The first time someone told me about a neti pot, I immediately shut them down. Pour what where? No thanks. However, as my sinus problems grew to nightmarish proportions, I reconsidered the idea of a sinus rinse. I tried rinsing in the shower, which helped when I was having one of my all-day sneeze filled allergy attacks, and thought, hey, maybe this neti pot stuff is more helpful than I initially thought.
After a particularly bad allergy attack a few months ago, no amount of half-assed rinsing out my nose in the shower did any good. I broke down and bought a neti pot. I was still a little wary of pouring a saline solution out of Aladdin's Lamp and into my nose, but I was so miserable I would have tried anything to get some relief. Two rinses was all it took for me to become a believer. I use the neti pot daily now, and have fewer sinus headaches, virtually no facial pain/sinus pressure, less congestion, and have noticed a decrease in the duration and frequency of my allergy attacks. Bonus: I think I've finally found something that grosses the un-gross-out-able B out. Me using the neti pot in front of him was so NOT sexy.
Don't fear the neti pot. Embrace the neti pot. It is a thing of wonder.
One of the most annoying symptoms of my sinus issues is itchy ears. They feel all plugged up, I cannot hear worth a damn, and they itch so badly I dream of poking some size 1 sock needles in there to scratch away. I recently had about a week of discomfort brought on by my Eustachian tubes refusing to drain. I saw my doctor, he advised me to take some Sudafed and a nasal spray. Guess what? After five days of decongestants and steroids shot up my nose, my ears were still plugged up and itchy. Two solid weeks of itchy ears and yelling, "what?" when people talked to me. I was losing my mind. Nothing worked.
Then, while talking to my grandmother, I was reminded of the terrible ear infections I got as a kid, and that a guy at their campground did this weird thing involving my ear, rolled up newspaper and fire once, and I was ear infection free for months....which led me to try ear candling.
There is a lot of information out there on the internet about ear candling, and for the most part, that information tells you that ear candling is a dangerous waster of time and money. If you're trying to de-wax your ears, I'm inclined to agree. It's not gonna happen. Just use a Q-Tip. Wax is SUPPOSED to be there to protect your ears. Don't get all crazy with some kind of war on earwax. However, I wanted to give ear candling a try to see if the heat and dryness would help pull some of that moisture out of my ear. I picked up some ear candles at the health food store, and convinced B that it would be super fun to stick burning tubes in my ears. He agreed to help.
I won't lie. It was weird. I was lying on the couch, looking at my reflection in the tv screen, watching a fireball get closer and closer to my ear. Creepy. B just sat there, staring at me like I had grown a second head. "Honey, is this weirding you out?" I asked. "Uh, no babe. Nope. It's cool." he replied. Liar.
Two candles later, my ears were draining and I could hear again. I don't think it was a coincidence, or that the medication I had been taking just happened to magically kick in. Will I ear candle regularly? Probably not, but I will definitely keep it in mind for future itchy/clogged up ear issues. Is it scary? Kind of...you DO have a cone of flame next to your head. Is it guaranteed to work? Definitely not, I can only tell you what worked for me. If you try ear candling, remember that it IS dangerous, and you should never ever ever do it by yourself. I was lucky to have a brave assistant, make sure if you try it you have someone there to help you stay safe.
Next: Why yes, I DO take vitamins, and I also drink some really stinky tea.