Sinus infections, sometimes called sinusitis, are the result of swelling and inflammation of the sinus cavities. When tissue lining the sinuses swells – usually caused by allergies or a cold – mucus becomes pooled and infested with bacteria, which then becomes infected. Sinus infections can be acute, lasting about four weeks, or chronic, lasting 12 weeks or more.
No matter your type of sinus infection, you’ll want to find ways to relieve the pressure that causes facial pain and headaches. Below are strategies for relieving sinus symptoms.
Sinus pressure can be exacerbated by dry air. To combat this, try steam. Steam adds moisture to the air, moistening the sinus passages to help thin out mucus. Taking a hot shower can be helpful, and using a humidifier provides more long-term relief.
There is evidence that eucalyptus oil can speed your recovery because it contains cineole, an ingredient known to speed healing of acute sinusitis and reduce nasal stuffiness. Try putting a few drops in a bath or humidifier.
Saline rinses are another common treatment to relieve sinus pressure and congestion. You can administer it in a spray form using a spray bottle or use a device like a Neti pot to do a full flush of the sinuses. You can purchase a saline solution at the store or make your own using baking soda, distilled water and iodine-free salt.
A good night’s sleep allows your body to heal. This is because sleep stimulates the brain to release hormones that encourage tissue growth, and helps the body produce more white blood cells, which are essential for attacking viruses and bacteria. Avoid caffeine, exercise and other stimulants close to bedtime to ensure you get restful sleep.
Enough sleep isn’t the only thing that can help your sinus symptoms, but also the position you sleep in. When you lie flat, it increases mucus buildup and sinus pressure, disrupting your sleep cycle. Instead, prop your head up with pillows to keep it above your heart. This position lets mucus drain more easily so you can breathe more comfortably.
Dehydration contributes to the nasal passages drying out and increased pressure in the face. Increase your water intake if you feel ill, as fluids can thin mucus and reduce blockages in the sinuses. While water is the best choice for hydration, you can also consume broth, soup, ice cubes, tea and water-based produce.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call CENTA Medical Group today!