Sinus Allergy Relief

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sinus-allergyMillions of people are familiar with the stuffiness and painful pressure of sinusitis, one of the most common chronic ailments.

Your sinuses are air-filled pockets located above your eyebrows, under your eyes, between your eyes, and behind your nose. Normally, mucus from your sinuses drains into your nose and down your throat, where stomach acids destroy it. When your sinuses clog up, the tissues swell, and mucus does not drain prop­erly. This results in a buildup of mucus, which can quickly become infected.

The symptoms of sinusitis include a stuffy or runny nose, painful pressure around your eyes, earaches, and coughing which becomes worse when lying down. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. People with asthma or allergies are more likely to have sinusitis. It may also be brought on by environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and weather conditions. Many people find that their sinusitis is worse right before a storm. Some people may have a deviated septum, which means the wall of bone and cartilage between the right and left nostrils is crooked. This can interfere with mucus drainage.

Steps to Stop Sinusitis

  • Wash your sinuses out with a neti-pot or sinus rinse product using a balanced saline solution.
  • Get the right amount of sleep. Too much or too little sleep may make you more likely to suffer from sinusitis. Sleeping with your head elevated may also help. If you only have sinusitis on one side, try sleeping on the other side. This may help open your nasal passageway.
  • Change your diet. You may have food allergies which could trigger your sinusitis. Try eliminating foods like wheat, milk, or red wine. Spicy foods like garlic, horseradish, and cayenne pepper may help clear sinuses.
  • Use a nasal spray. Saline nasal sprays help moisten and soothe nasal pas­sages. Over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays should not be used for more than three days in a row. A rebound effect may occur if you use them too much, which means your symptoms will get much worse when you stop using them.
  • Exercise. Most people with sinusitis find that exercise opens nasal passages by increasing the flow of mucus. However, some people may find that exercise makes their symptoms worse.
  • Make sure your glasses fit. Improperly fitting glasses can pinch the bridge of your nose and cause congestion.
  • Inhale steam. Breathing in steam may help. You can add pine oil, eucalyptus, or menthol for a little extra nasal-opening power. A warm facial pack (hot tow­els) can have the same effect.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier may prevent your sinuses from becoming dry and irritated, which could lead to swelling and infection. A humidifier is partic­ularly helpful during the colder months.
  • Use a HEPA air purifier and HEPA vacuum to reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your indoor air. Regular use of HEPA technology can drastically improve allergies symptoms in a home environment.
  • About the author:
    Stan K. Hall has been a recognized specialist in indoor air pollution for 25 years and has performed over 400 in-home environmental evaluations. He has been recommended by doctors, nutritionist’ as well as other health professionals for his expertise in diagnosing and remediating sick houses. He has more information about indoor air quality on his official Sick House Doctor website.

    Medical Sources:American Family Physician (53,3:877)
    The Asthma and Allergy Advance (January/February 1994)

    How to Use a Neti Pot

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