Allergies and the common cold can lead to sinus pressure and nasal congestion. With a healthy lifestyle and some common sense however, you can mitigate your sinus issues. Take action on a problematic sinus in six steps:
Step #1 Know the cause
If you have a deviant nasal septum or narrow sinus passage, you are probably at high risk for obstructions. Polyps and other growths can also narrow down your sinus passage. In any case, it is of the essence to decongest the spaces in the sinuses for them to drain appropriately.
Step #2 Open your sinuses
Maintain moisture in your nasal passages. This may mean letting the hot shower run while you’re in the bathroom or any other way you can inhale steam twice daily. To help open the transition space in your sinus, moisten a washcloth with warm water and put it on your face several times a day. Remember to imbibe lots of fluid to deplete the mucus.
Step #3 Humidify air inside the house
Your nasal membranes can become parched due to hot air indoors. Left dry too long, they would turn crusty and cracked, leading mucus to congest in the sinus.
Try using a humidifier in your bedroom during the dry months. You may need to lower the humidity in winter though.
Step #4 Nasal irrigation
An over-the-counter saline spray can eliminate a surfeit of mucus, allergens and irritants from your nasal passage.
You can also make your own solution. Mix around 16 ounces of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt and, as an option, half a teaspoon of baking soda.
Pour this solution into a sterile Neti pot. Tilt head at a 45-degree angle. After putting the spout into the top nostril, gently pour mixture. It will ‘irrigate’ your nasal space and go out of the other nostril. Blow nose to get more water out. Do this to your other nostril.
Make sure the water in your solution is previously boiled, if not purified or distilled. Always rinse the irrigation device after using. Let it air-dry.
Step #5 Medicating sinus conditions
At worst, your medical practitioner may refer you to someone who specializes in sinus problems. He or she may prescribe surgery to take out polyps, adhesions, scars, and other obstructions in the nasal tunnels.
Steroids can address polyp growth in the nasal passages. Apt to be prescribed are budesonide, fluticasone propionate, funisolide, and mometasone. Steroids also reduce inflammation inside the nose and slow down mucus secretion.
For quick pain relief, you can get anti-inflammatory drugs from most pharmacies and grocery stores. They should not be taken consecutively for more than a week, unless the doctor explicitly said so.
Decongestants may alleviate swollen nasal passages. They can be taken orally (phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine) or nasally (naphazoline, oxymetazoline and phenylephrine). Pills should not be taken for more than a week, nasal sprays for more than three days.
If your sinus issues are allergic reactions, antihistamines from the drugstore can help. The most helpful variants are cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, and loratadine. Get your doctor first to conduct a skin test for allergies.
For the natural and alternative health lovers, these natural remedies for sinusitis are recommended:
- AllergiClear – Herbal remedy to support healthy sinuses, maintain clear eyes and keep histamine levels in a normal range
- Congesto-K KiddieRub – Natural aromatherapy chest rub and massage oil with eucalyptus to promote easy breathing in children
- SOS HistaDrops – Natural remedy to maintain normal histamine levels and keep clear eyes and nasal passages
- Sniffly Sprinkles – Homeopathic remedy to relieve flu-like symptoms in babies, including nasal and chest congestion
Step #6 Prevent sinus irritation
If only as part of a healthy lifestyle, clear away from tobacco smoke, cleaning fumes, aerosols, and similar gases. Cease smoking if you haven’t already. If possible, stay inside the house on days when the air is heavily polluted.
HEPA filters can, to a limited extent, manage your problematic sinus. These devices catch undesirable matter floating in the air, e.g. pollen, dander, dust, mites and other irritants. As for allergens that are not airborne, you may need to find other ways to expel them.