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Spring-time Sinus Relief Tips

Health • by Paul de Beyer • 03 September 2019
Spring is a beautiful time of the year, especially as the flowers begin to bloom. Unfortunately for some, this can be an extremely uncomfortable time as pollen levels rise and hay fever sets in. But hay fever isn’t the only cause of sinusitis. Other common causes include allergies, chemical exposure, environmental irritants like smoke, a deviated septum, the common cold or chronic sinusitis.

As the pressure increases in your sinuses, pain and discomfort can spread throughout your face and head. But there are ways you can help relieve this pressure.

Over-the-counter Medication

For those suffering from hay fever, keeping a stock of antihistamine tablets is always a good idea. When you feel a sneezing bout coming on or a dry tickle in your throat and nose, taking an antihistamine can stop your sinuses from becoming inflamed.

However, if you’re already suffering from congestion, simply ask your pharmacist for decongestants that will not only relieve pressure but mild headaches too.

Steam to Success

Sometimes medication or very dry air can cause your mucus to dry out and create greater blockages in your sinuses. This can cause your head to feel “full and stuffy” as the pressure builds. Steaming your face is a great method for softening the mucus in your sinuses.
Here are three ways to steam your sinuses:

Hot Shower - Run a hot shower or bath with the bathroom doors and windows closed. This will cause the room to fill with steam. Breathe in the moist air for a while, but leave the room or shower if you feel faint or lightheaded. You can add essential oils to your bath to help loosen the mucus.

Steam from a Bowl - Put the kettle on to boil some water and get a large bowl and towel ready. Pour the boiling water into the bowl, bend over with your face close to the bowl and drape a towel over the bowl and your head. Breathe deeply for a while. If you feel faint or lightheaded at any time, remove the towel and lean away from the bowl.

Vapouriser - A fancy method of steaming is using a vapouriser. This machine basically replicates the bowl steaming method but has a heated pad to keep the water warmer for longer and a specially-designed opening for your face to rest on.

Pro tip: for any of the steaming methods above, add a teaspoon of Vix rubbing ointment to your boiling water for greater results!

Saline and Salt Water Flush

If you’re suffering from very blocked sinuses, flushing out your nasal cavities with saline or salt water can offer great relief. There are three ways to do this:

Saline Spray - The most common and easiest method is to buy a saline spray from your pharmacy. Spray the saline up one nostril, inhale and then blow out the same nostril. You can repeat this a few times.

Salt and Water - Another common method is to make a bowl of warm, salted water and inhale short bursts up each nostril before blowing out.

Nasal Douche - The final method is to buy a nasal douche from your pharmacy. This is basically a heavy-duty saline spray that allows for a more powerful and prolonged cleansing.

Pro tip:  Always try to use your saline spray after steaming. The blockages will be much easier to remove if they’re moist already!

Exercises

If you do suffer from sinus issues, always try to drink lots of water. Sleep with your head propped up and try to exercise when you feel your sinuses are becoming blocked. The exercise helps increase blood flow and raises your core temperature which helps in heating the mucus and keeps it from solidifying.

Don’t exercise if your mucus has changed to a dark colour as this could indicate that you have an infection. If this happens, you should consult your doctor immediately as this could lead to respiratory illnesses.

If you’re a chronic sufferer or have one in the family, consider chatting to your family doctor. Ensuring that you have affordable medical insurance can make a huge difference in the long run. Simply fill out your details and one of our experts will call you back today.

What is Sinusitis?

References:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321322.php; https://www.healthline.com/health/nasal-congestion#causes; https://www.healthline.com/health/relieve-sinus-pressure#treatment; https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/remedies-for-sinus-drainage#causes; https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/managing-sinus-congestion/clear-sinus-congestion-pictures

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