Imagine if you were in the dentist’s chair and the person examing you was breathing heavily the entire time. It would probably make you really uncomfortable, and the noise wouldn’t exactly be the most soothing thing you’ve ever heard.
This is exactly the kind of situation you’re putting your patients in if you have a sinus infection!
You owe it to them to provide the best possible experience while they’re under your care – and part of that means taking care of yourself, too. Luckily, you don’t have to go out of your way to avoid a sinus infection or to treat the one you may already have.
Here are five simple things you can do at home to clear up your nasal pathways.
1. Get a Little Steamy
Putting steam on your face is one of the easiest ways to relieve sinus congestion. There are a few different ways you can use steam to start healing.
The first is to consider buying a humidifier to use in the comfort of your home or simply boil water in a large pot. The humidifier is better because it allows you to control the temperature of the heat. It pushes the steam up toward your face whereas an open pot would allow a lot of the heat to escape.
If you’re feeling up to it, you can also go to a gym or find a local spa and sit in the sauna for about 20 minutes. Being in such a hot environment is sure to not only help your sinus issues but also give your entire body a nice detox. You can also take a really hot shower at home for a similar steamy effect.
2. Switch Between Hot and Cold
As effective as applying heat to your face is, it’s smart to apply a cold material to your face, too. The easiest way to alternate between the two is to get a hot towel and a cold compress and lay down.
Put the hot towel above your eyes and nose. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until the heat starts to cool. Then, apply the cold compress on just your nose (no need to put it over your eyes).
The heat will allow your nasal pathways to open up, which relieves some of your sinus congestion by creating more room for the build-up of mucus. It fights nasal congestion at the source while the cold compress helps ease the symptoms of your congestion. The cold sensation soothes the pain and sensitivity you may be feeling around your nose.
3. Keep Your Head Elevated
This tip is particularly important while you’re doing your hot towel and cold compress, but it applies to everything you do when you have a sinus congestion.
The tricky thing about keeping your head elevated is that it changes the way you do things like sleep at night and examine patients during the day. Still, it’s something you should do as much as possible when you’re having sinus issues.
This is especially important if you decide to have sinus surgery and you want to recover quickly. Elevating your head counteracts some of the build-up that happens in your nose. It makes it easier for mucus to flow down your nasal pathways rather than getting stuck in one area.
Try sleeping on your back with a few more pillows under your head and use a supportive chair instead of the couch to relax. These may not be your favorite positions in which to unwind. But, they’ll do wonders when you have a sinus congestion you’re trying to get rid of.
4. Stay Hydrated
Here’s another thing you may not be prone to doing: drinking water!
Be honest, how many glasses of water would you say you drink on a normal workday? If it’s anything less than 8 full glasses, you’re among the 80% of working Americans who don’t drink enough water.
Water is a crucial nutrient for the body. It affects your energy levels, how you digest food, process information, and yes, what’s going on with your mucus.
When the body doesn’t have enough water to do everything it needs to do, it begins to ration water to perform its most important functions. A healthy flow of mucus in your nose is not as critical as things like healthy digestion or the transportation of oxygen throughout the body.
That means you may be raising your chances of getting a sinus infection if you’re not drinking enough water. More so, one of the best things you can do to treat your sinuses is to drink more water than usual.
5. Avoid Things That Make Sinus Congestion Worse
The final way to ease your sinus congestion is to avoid anything that will only make it worse. Keeping your head elevated is part of this, but that’s only the beginning.
Some things that can trigger worse congestion or bring on more symptoms are:
- swimming, especially in pools with a lot of chlorine
- air travel
- drinking alcohol
Take a moment to feel whether or not you have a headache or to see if you’re coming down with a cold. A cold will make your sinus infection worse.
A headache, on the other hand, may actually be the root of your infection! Sometimes, migraines can get so bad that they start to affect other areas of your body – like your nose or your neck and shoulders.
More Health Insights and Natural Remedies
The best natural remedy for everything from a sinus congestion to the common cold is prevention.
It’s much better to maintain good health every single day of the year than to try transforming your health when you come down with something that needs to be treated. Of course, you’re still prone to getting sick even if you do everything right, but your chances of getting ill are much less likely.
For ways to boost your health and stay healthy all year ’round, click here.