Breathe easy: Natural remedies to get rid of sinus congestion
Sinus congestion is the most common symptom of sinusitis. This condition can be inconvenient, especially if you are unable to work due to pain or a building pressure in your forehead. If you have trouble breathing properly, try some of the natural remedies listed below to relieve your condition.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, occurs when your sinuses and nasal passages become inflamed. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this common condition affects about 30 million people in the U.S. annually.
The sinuses are small air pockets located behind the eyes, forehead, nose, and cheekbones. Your sinuses produce mucus, a jelly-like liquid that protects your body by trapping germs. When allergens or bacteria cause too much mucus to form, the openings of your sinuses become blocked.
Colds or allergies frequently cause excess mucus and a buildup of mucus may encourage bacteria and germs to grow in your sinus cavity. This can then cause a bacterial or viral infection.
Home remedies for sinus congestion
Use these natural cures if you’re suffering from sinus congestion and pain:
Add more vitamin C-rich foods to your diet. Increasing your intake of vitamin C can help fight off infection faster, minimize sinus inflammation, and relieve cold symptoms.
Eat spicy foods. If you can tolerate the taste, eat spicy foods to help clear your nasal passages. Add horseradish, hot peppers, hot sauce, or wasabi to your food.
Flush your nasal passages. You can flush your nasal passages using a neti pot. This small pot uses a salt and water solution to flush your nasal passages.
Get some rest. Simply getting enough rest can help your body fight infection and hasten your recovery.
Prop your head up with a couple of pillows before you go to sleep. Staying elevated can help you breathe more comfortably.
Identify your triggers. Try to figure out what can trigger a cold and be prepared. If you feel a cold coming on, use a neti pot right away.
Stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids, such as clear vegetable broths, herbal macerates, plain water, or natural juices without artificial sweeteners, to help thin your mucus. Stay away from alcoholic or caffeinated beverages – besides their bad effects on your health, they also cause dehydration.
Take a facial steam bath. Inhaling the steam from a pot or bowl of warm water can help relieve your symptoms. You can also take a hot shower if you prefer. Another option is to place a warm, wet towel on your face followed by a cool towel to help ease sinus pain and open your nasal passages. Use a humidifier or vaporizer. Putting a humidifier or vaporizer in your bedroom while you sleep helps add moisture to the air. This may help reduce congestion.
Avoid exposure to chlorinated water, dry air, and tobacco smoke. These triggers may irritate the mucous membranes in your nose and create an environment ripe for sinus infections.
In most cases, sinus infections are viral and they can be resolved within seven to 10 days with home remedies. However, if your symptoms don’t improve after several few weeks, you may have a bacterial infection. If this is the case, consult a healthcare professional immediately.
September 20, 2019
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