Treat nasal congestion caused by colds or allergies promptly.
Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis (which is swelling of the lining of the nose), small growths in the lining of the nose called nasal polyps and a deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity.
- Treat nasal congestion caused by colds or allergies promptly. This can help you prevent a bacterial infection from developing in your sinuses.
- Avoid breathing dry air. Consider using a humidifier at home and work to increase the moisture in the air. The sinuses drain better when the air is moist. Humidifiers help moisturize the air.
- Air conditioners help stabilize the temperature in either high or low weather. Electrostatic filters attached to heating and air conditioning equipment are also helpful in removing allergens from the air.
- Tobacco and smog cause irritation to the sinus lining which in turn causes bad drainage of mucus, making sinusitis worse.
- Avoid contact with people who have colds and other viral upper respiratory infections. If you do have contact with people who have these infections, wash your hands often, especially after being in contact with those who are infected.
- Avoid cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke in your home and workplace. Smoke causes and further irritates inflamed membranes in your nose and sinuses.
- If you have allergies, avoid the things that trigger your allergy attacks. Consider talking to your doctor about immunotherapy, such as allergy shots. If you cannot avoid travelling by air, use decongestant nose drops or inhalers before the flight to avoid this discomfort.
- Water increases the amount of moisture in the body and helps prevent congestion.
- A chlorine treated swimming pool irritates the lining of the nose and sinuses. Divers often experience nasal congestion, which results in a sinus infection, where water is forced into the sinuses from the nasal passages.
- Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of sinusitis. The risk of contracting these infections reduces by monitoring your hygiene, such as frequent hand wash with soap and water.
- Excessive consumption of dairy products like milk thickens the mucus and causes your nasal passage to narrow down, which further results in pain and headaches.
- Inhaling steam will loosen your mucus and moisten your throat, enabling proper drainage of the nasal cavities.
- Getting vaccinated is the safest and quickest way of treating colds and flu. If left untreated, it may lead to sinusitis.
- Everything that surrounds us is covered with germs, so it's very important that you wash your hands all the time and avoid infections.
- You must eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and other chemicals to help boost your immune system and help your body resist infection.
- Stress makes sinusitis symptoms go worse. If you've had sinusitis in the past, stress can trigger it or make it worse.
Home treatment may relieve symptoms of pain and pressure associated with short-term sinusitis. Home treatment may improve drainage of mucus from the sinuses and prevent the need for antibiotics:
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- Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your mucus thin.
- Apply moist heat (using a hot, damp towel or gel pack) to your face for 5 to 10 minutes, several times a day.
- Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water. Avoid extremely cool, dry air. Consider using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air in your home.
- Use saltwater nasal washes to help keep the nasal passages open and wash out mucus and bacteria. You can make your own saline solution at home - use distilled water or water that has been boiled and then cooled. People who have postnasal drip and are around age 8 and older may also find it helpful to gargle often with warm salt water. This can help prevent a sore throat.
- If you need to blow your nose, do it gently. Forceful blowing may force thick mucus back into your sinuses and block them. Keep both nostrils open when blowing your nose.
- Avoid alcohol. It causes swelling of the tissue lining the nose and sinuses.