Before we look at what over-the-counter (OTC) sinusitis treatments are trying to do lets have a recap on why we might need them.
What causes sinusitis and sinus discomfort in the first place?…
Your nose and sinus membranes respond in a similar way to some viruses, common bacterial infections and any allergic reactions you may to something in the environment. Your sinus membranes become swollen and the accompanying increased discharge causes congestion. The congestion causes pressure and that causes pain. This is usually referred to as sinusitis.
The discharge often thickens over time, which makes natural drainage more difficult and can lead to a bacterial infection of the sinuses. This is normally referred to as chronic sinusitis.
The passages behind the nose are also connected to the inner ear, that’s why there are ear nose and throat specialists, they are all connected and have an effect on each other. The congestion in the nose may even block the tubes going to the ear, resulting in a feeling of a blockage in the ear or liquid behind the eardrum.
Almost 40 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year; symptoms usually include congestion, thick yellow or greenish nasal discharge, and a feeling of pressure and pain behind the face. Most seek relief from their sinus discomfort by taking non-prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and there are plenty to choose from.
The Role of OTC sinusitis medicine is to help reduce the symptoms caused by the inflammation of the sinus membranes. Hopefully the medicine will,
(1) Open to nasal passages
(2) Reduce congestion
(3) Stop pain and pressure feelings
(4) And help prevent complications
Many of the (OTC) medications try to accomplish this with a combination of “active ingredients” a pain reliever, a decongestant and an antihistamine to reduce inflammation. I think for active ingredients you can read chemicals most of which have side effects, here is a quote from webmd.com
“What Are the Side Effects of Decongestants?
Decongestants may raise blood pressure, so they are not recommended for people who have blood pressure problems or glaucoma. They may also cause insomnia or irritability and restrict urinary flow.”
If we forget the side effects for a minute, do they work? They didn’t work for me but I am only a sample of one, and I rather suspect that they didn’t work for you either or you probably wouldn’t be reading this page. I had great results with Joe Johnson’s sinus doctor which is completely natural and it really worked for me, but it is not as easy to use as the (OTC) medications and is more expensive, but I only needed to buy it once, you can click this link to visit his site.