Your skull has small cavities filled with air called sinuses. They produce mucus which helps keep the nasal passages clear of pollutants and allergens. Sometimes the tissue lining these cavities can swell, blocking off the sinuses and trapping air and mucus inside them. The inflammation of the tissue lining these small cavities is called sinusitis. The inflammation usually causes pain, pressure, and sometimes bacterial infection.
Your New York facial plastic surgeon may recommend surgery if you have chronic sinusitis due to a deviated septum, polyps, or other structural problems. But many people with sinusitis often find relief with the following home remedies.
Nasal irrigation is a process of flushing out your sinuses with salt water to clear out mucus and other debris and keep your sinuses moist. You can flush out your sinuses using a neti pot or bulb syringes. If you are using a neti pot, follow the directions supplied with your specific neti pot. Below are general guidelines.
- Fill your pot with saline solution
- Incline your head at a 45-degree angle
- Insert the pot’s spout into your top nostril and carefully pour the saline solution down the nostril.
- Repeat the process with the other nostril
It is best to use distilled water because water from the sink contains contaminants like bacteria or parasites, which could worsen your condition. Also, be careful to sanitize your neti pot after every use and store it in a clean place.
Drink plenty of water
Consuming a lot of fluids, especially water, helps thin the mucus, reducing the blockage in your sinuses. You also want to avoid alcohol since it worsens inflammation.
Keep your sinuses hydrated
Keeping your sinuses hydrated can ease congested and swollen nasal passages. Here are various tips to ensure your sinuses are hydrated.
- Place a humidifier in the bedroom at night to increase moisture in the air; this can relieve nighttime nasal blockages.
- Use natural saline nasal sprays during the day and before you sleep. You can get saline sprays at your local drugstore but be sure to avoid those with Oxymetazoline since they can be addictive. Saline sprays are safe to use several times daily to break up congestion.
- Expose your sinuses to steam. Take regular hot showers and breathe damp air. Another method is to fill a bowl with boiling water and lean over it with your nose 10 inches above the water. Use a thick towel to cover your head and the bowl so that you inhale as much steam as possible.
It is best to take it easier than usual when you’ve got a sinus infection. Get adequate sleep and rest when you feel tired to give your body a chance to recover. For some people, home remedies may do the trick. But it is best to see your doctor if your symptoms have lasted several days or are severe.
If your sinusitis symptoms are recurrent, visit your healthcare provider at Matthew W. Shawl, MD, for treatment to eliminate the symptoms and improve your quality of life.