Yes, do go to the doctor. As a chronic sinus sufferer, you may have an infection. I just had one last month, my first in almost 10 years. I, too, use the Neil/Med irrigation system, but sadly, I had a short spell where I didn't take the time to use it at least once/twice a week and when your nasal passages get dry, you are more susceptible to infection.
I hate antibiotics as well. If they upset your stomach mention this to the doctor. But when you have an sinus infection, shortterm antibiotic therapy is the solution. After you finish the entire regimen of antibiotics, take acidophillus and eat yogurt and your intestinal flora will be back in no time.
But the swelling could mean you have an infection. Have you tried a personal steamer? Vicks makes one. (V1200 Vicks Electric Personal Steam Inhaler
) Also, alternating with hot, then cold compresses on the area, may help.
I also swab a dab of tea tree oil in my nose. But be careful as this can burn so don't insert it deeply into your nose, just a dab at the bottom. I usually follow this with a very warm washcloth placed on my face to create a steam-like effect and inhale deeply. If it burns use a little vaseline at the bottom of your nose.
Here are a few products you might want to keep on hand in addition to the Neil Med if you are a chronic sinus suffer:
Welcome | Boroleum Soothes and Relieves Nasal Irritation, Itching, Redness and Dry Nasal Skin!
Better than vaseline for irritation and lightly moisturizing nasal passages. Not as strong a menthol effect as Vicks. It's also multi-purpose and great for babies and kids.
Alkalol Company: A natural, soothing nasal wash, mucus solvent, and cleaner.
An amazing product and very versatile. Also, great for minor mouth irritations. It can really thin mucous. And the ingredients are all natural.
Make sure to get their really inexpensive irrigator, designed to work with the product. Although you can use a neti pot, I find the irrigator is better.
How do I care for my nasal irrigation device? It
Mucinex® – Mucinex In. Mucus Out.™
I use Mucinex occasionally to thin mucous. It's way better than decongestants and antihistamines. A doctor recommended it and I've used it with great results. Remember to drink a full glass of water with it and keep hydrated.
Ayr | B.F. Ascher & Company, inc.
AYR Sinus Spray, convenient saline solution when in a hurry and AYR Nasa Gel, keeps noses moisturized.
To get your stomach back into shape after a regimen of antibiotics, this product works well. But regular powdered acidophillus is fine, too.
Aloe Vera 80 Stomach Formula by Lily Of The Desert - LV-1022 - at The Vitamin Shoppe