Sinus pain and pressure can have a profoundly negative affect on your quality of life. While a tendency towards sinus problems can be inherited, there are steps that you can take to lessen the frequency and severity of your sinus problems and reduce your chances of infection and serious complications.
Keep Your Environment Clean
Allergens and other environmental pollutants can trigger sinusitis by increasing the body’s production of mucus and increasing inflammation. While you can’t control the outside world, you can do your best to make your home and workplace as free of irritants as possible.
HEPA filters on your heating and cooling units and in your vacuum cleaners and air purifiers can go a long way towards keeping allergens like dust mites, pet dander and mold spores from circulating in the air in your home. Wash your bedding regularly and use pillow and mattress covers that have been engineered to keep dust mites from infesting your bed.
Dust and vacuum regularly and eliminate places where pollutants lurk such as carpets, window treatments and clutter. Remove your shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in allergens.
Use Nasal Irrigation
Cleaning out your nasal passages and sinuses with a saline solution is a good way to get short term relief from pressure and pain. It can also help keep the sinuses from becoming infected. You can use a Neti pot, squeeze bottle system or electronic nasal irrigator to remove mucus from the sinuses.
If your home has low humidity, consider using a humidifier to keep the nasal secretions loose and easy to remove. Dry air thickens the mucus which makes it cling and more difficult to expel. A steam vaporizer or hot shower can also help loosen and expel mucus.
Drinking plenty of water keeps nasal secretions loose and will also help promote general health. Plain water is the best choice, although warm tea and broth can be soothing and might help clear your sinuses and nasal passages.
Eating spicy foods like chilies or horseradish can also help your body naturally flush mucus from the sinuses. Just be careful to overdo it!
Avoid Smoke and other Pollutants
If you smoke, you already know that it’s in your best interests to quit. If you don’t, avoid places that are full of smoke and don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home. For those that live in apartment buildings where smoke can drift between units, HEPA filters and air purifiers can remove some of the particles but you should also talk to your landlord to find a more thorough solution.
Be mindful of cleaning sprays and scented products. These can be very irritating and trigger sinusitis. Use as few products as possible and always work in a well ventilated area.
Wash Your Hands
There is no 100% certain way of avoiding the common cold, but hand-washing can help reduce your chances. Break the habit of touching your face, especially the nose, mouth and eyes. Avoid crowds as much as possible during the cold and flu season and stay away from those known to be sick. Coming down with a cold is usually a sure path towards sinusitis for those who are susceptible, so the healthier you can stay, the better.
If you do get a cold, try zinc lozenges as soon as you start to notice symptoms. There is some evidence that these can shorten the duration of your cold, which means less time for a sinus infection to set in. If you suspect the flu, call your doctor right away to see if Tamiflu would be a good option. Above all, stay hydrated and use nasal irrigation and a humidifier to keep your sinuses from becoming painfully impacted.
Jacob Maslow is a writer and marketing director for AllergyBeGone which sells allergy bedding and other products that help those with allergies, asthma and sinus problems lead healthier, more comfortable lives.
Sinus problems can often lead to bad breath problems too. Excess mucus and infections in the sino-nasal area are a breeding field for bacteria and hence halitosis. In order to cure bad breath, you will need to first deal with your sinus problems and any other conditions that may be contributing to your oral / nasal malodours.
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