For the many who suffer with sinusitis at times, they are all too familiar with the torment of stuffy nasal passages, post nasal drip, repetitive sneezing, and a throbbing headache. The pain caused by sinus infection can be debilitating because of the placement of the sinus cavities. Swollen and inflamed sinuses can cause your eyes to hurt, your head to throb and your whole face to ache.
While there is no cure-all, here are some options for alleviating the pain and avoiding the known triggers of the problem.
Don’t smoke and avoid those who do. It is a fact that smoke of any kind irritates the sinus passages. When your sinus passages are irritated, they swell and restrict the flow of mucus, which allows for clogging of the sinus.
Use a humidifier to regulate the moisture in the air of your home. The level of humidity should be 30% to 60%. This will help to cut back on sinus irritation from dry air.
Try a steam bath of water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Make a tent with a towel over a pan of this bath and breathe it in. It is very soothing and will temporarily unclog the sinus, which will afford some lessening of the pain. Taking a hot shower will also help as you breathe in the warm steam.
Eat a well balanced diet and include some spicy foods. These will open up your clogged sinus and you will be able to breathe better. Chicken noodle soup will not only comfort your soul but also will help comfort swollen and sore nasal passages. You can also try sucking on a piece of hard peppermint candy.
Getting enough rest will help your immune system fight off germs that cause sinus infections. Sleep plays an important role in helping you to recover from the common cold.
AVOID SICK PEOPLE
Colds are spread easily. Many times after or during a chest cold we develop a sinus infection, which may hang around long after the cold is history. Avoiding others with a cold will lessen your chance of repeating your illness.
Think about buying an air purifier if you don’t already own one. A good air purifier will remove dust particles and allergens from the air.
Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when you go out into the cold air of winter. The cold air is dry and will cause your sinus to become dry as well. Breathing cold air is particularly painful when you have sinusitis.
Consider wearing a dust mask when you must do something that stirs up dust such as raking leaves, mowing grass, vacuuming or dusting your home.
IDENTIFY AND AVOID KNOWN ALLERGENS
If pollen is a trigger for your sinus problems, try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high. Also wearing a dust mask will help. Drive with your car windows shut, as gas fumes will irritate the sinus passages too. Avoid unpaved roads, as they are dusty when dry.
If you experience an allergic reaction and are unaware of what caused it, be sure to consider what you ate or where you went before the allergy started to cause problems with your sinuses. You may be able to isolate some of the triggers and cut down on sinus infections.
Try nasal irrigation with a saline solution to clean out your sinus. Using a warm water flush will also alleviate the pain. Sinus irrigation systems are available for purchase on Amazon.com or your local drugstore.
WARM WET HEAT
Wet a washcloth with hot water and ring it out. Lie down and place this over your face for a few minutes until it cools. The moist air you breathe in plus the warmth next to your sinus cavities will help with the pain. Repeat as needed and as often as you like.
BLOWING YOUR NOSE
Never blow your nose hard. Use gentle pressure or you may end up with an ear infection too.
OVER THE COUNTER SPRAY
Try an over the counter nasal spray to clear out your sinus and antihistamine to fight allergens. But be careful, some nasal sprays are addicting and could land you in worse shape than you started out with.
A minimally invasive procedure is now available to bring relief to people who suffer from chronic sinusitis. A small telescope with a balloon is inserted in the nose to expand the opening. A computerized tomography scan is used to help guide and direct the scope.
The guided imaging makes the process more accurate and more comfortable for the patient. Generally covered by insurance, patients with polyps in the nose or a severe deviated septum are not candidates for the procedure. For those who qualify, the results are permanent.
Remember that the best way to relieving sinus pressure is to prevent it from happening. You may not be able to eradicate it totally from your life, but by eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and exercise and avoiding the things that place you at risk, you will be able to tell a difference in the volume and severity of sinus attacks.
If you experience an episode of sinusitis and need relief, you can visit an Urgent Clinics Medical Care facility any day of the week, including weekends. Walk-ins are welcome at our clinics open from 8 am to 9 pm and conveniently located in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight. Friendly, experienced and licensed medical professionals offer effective treatment to alleviate your sinus related suffering.
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center