Sinus infections are a widespread problem that can be caused by numerous triggers, from colds and flu, to allergies, to cigarette smoke and other air pollutants. Millions of people suffer from chronic sinusitis, not realizing that in most cases the issue can be alleviated through natural remedies and a few changes in one’s diet. Here are a few suggestions on things you can easily do at home to get rid of the pain and discomfort associated with sinus inflammation.
Stay in the hot shower a little longer and inhale some steam to open up your nasal passages. You can also achieve a similar result by boiling a pot of water, placing a towel over your head and breathing steam for a couple of minutes. Put your hand over the vapor to make sure it’s not too hot before leaning your face over it. You will also end up breathing in steam when eating soup or drinking hot tea, all of which help relieve the nasal irritation.
2. Indoor Temperature Control
If you keep your home too warm during the winter, your membranes are more likely to get dry. It’s better to keep the temperature a little lower, to the point where you have to wear a sweater, rather than cranking up the heat at the risk of making your indoor air too dry.
3. Salt Water
Rinse your nose with salt water solution regularly to clear out the mucus and moisturize your passages. Mix 16 ounces of lukewarm sterile water with one teaspoon of non-iodized salt. You can also add half a teaspoon of baking soda to get rid of the sting that the salt might cause. Many people use neti pot for this purpose, although you can use any dish with a narrow spout to fill each nostril with the saline solution, one at a time. Put the water into one nostril and let it run out of the other one, then change it up. Lean over the sink, keep your mouth open and don’t breathe through your nose.
Here’s a video on how to use a neti pot (Click this Amazon affiliate link, neti pots are inexpensive).
Even though you might want to keep your home as energy efficient as possible in the winter months, stale air can aggravate any sinus issues you are having. For this reason, it’s better to let some air flow through the house on warmer days. If you are allergic to pollen, check the pollen count forecast on the day you are planning to open your windows.
While experts are divided in their opinions about humidifiers, you can try using one if you live in a very dry area or if your nasal passages get dry and irritated during the winter months. It will help you breathe easier at night, but try not to overdo it either. If you keep your air too humid, you can get a dust mite problem. Many people are allergic to these, so in the end you might just be making your sinuses worse.
Pay attention to your diet during the infection, as the foods you eat can also influence your recovery rate. Flour, fried foods, dairy products, eggs and chocolate can worsen the situation, so avoid them if you can. Soups, whole grains, cold-pressed oils and raw or lightly cooked veggies are all safe to eat. Drink lots of water and other liquids throughout the day, but avoid alcohol and caffeine. Both of these can further dehydrate your system, and alcohol can even increase nasal swelling.
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