Constant sinus issues stemming from colds or allergies with all of the snot, pressure and headaches can be difficult to handle. From stuffy noses with no sense of smell to tender, swollen eyes that can barely open, changes in the season can bring about uncomfortable sinus changes and blockages. Knowing how to find lasting relief is essential in being able to breathe with ease and live a regular, comfortable life at work and home. Here are a few ways to relieve the terrible pressure and lasting inflammation of chronic sinus issues.
There is often a range of symptoms that make thinking, breathing and even opening the eyes difficult when suffering from sinus issues during the year. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help mitigate some of the pressure and swelling that come from blocked sinuses. These medications can also often help with fevers and for taking away some of the consistent pain, which can make sleeping and functioning regularly during the day a little easier.
Other allergy medications that are focused on what caused the allergic reaction can also be helpful for those who want to relieve some of the stuffiness and inflammation. Antihistamines like Benadryl and Claritin can help lessen the allergic reaction and restore some function and comfortability to the face. Knowing if the sinus symptoms are from a common cold or from allergies can be helpful in deciding which medication will provide the most comfort.
Nasal sprays are another great medication that can be found over the counter or through a doctor’s prescription. These sprays work to help inflammation and allow more room in the nasal passages to breathe. They also decrease the size of nasal polyps if they’re present. These growths are soft and painless and line the inner nasal passages or sinuses. Chronic inflammation often leads to nasal polyps, which can make it hard to breathe or smell.
They’re a common growth that occurs alongside chronic sinus issues and inflammation. In most cases, they can be treated with medication to diminish their size and restore smell and easy, regular breathing. If the polyps persist and increase in size, surgery may be necessary to remove them. Unfortunately, even with surgery or medication, nasal polyps often come back with the constant occurrence of infection and inflammation.
Corticosteroids can also be given orally or injected but are often only used that way to treat extreme symptoms. Nasal sprays are a more common and often safer approach to handling sinus infections.
Irrigating the nasal passages with saline and rinses can help to remove some of the infections and allergies from the area and improve the ability to breathe. Neti pots are a specialized form of equipment meant to introduce saline, which is a salt and water mixture, into the nasal passages to flush out allergies, mucus and other blockages. There are also squeeze bottles and saline canisters that can be used. This is commonly known as a generally effective home remedy for sinus relief.
For those with a lot of head and sinus pressure, moisturizing the nasal passages and applying warm compresses can help to ease the pain. Warm compresses can be applied to the nose and forehead area to relieve persistent pressure and throbbing pain. The compresses should be kept as warm as possible to achieve maximum benefits. This is another great at-home remedy for those who are in between medication doses or are waiting for new medication to arrive.
Moisturizing the nasal passages refers to breathing in warm air for a prolonged period of time. This can look like standing in the shower while it’s on and filling the room with steam. It can also look like draping a towel or blanket over the head and breathing in the steam from a hot bowl of water. When suffering from chronic sinus issues, it’s helpful to branch out and try more than one way to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms. Taking medication and nasal sprays while using a warm compress can be one of many combinations that brings the most comfort during the day.
Using a humidifier to moisten the air can have great benefits for chronic sinus issues. Moist air can help loosen mucus in the nasal passages and lessen irritation and inflammation. Dry air environments can actually worsen chronic sinus issues, resulting in increased pressure and even skin cracking or additional swelling in the nose. Making sure the air is moist enough is a small but ideal part in creating an environment where the nasal passages can heal.
There are many different kinds of humidifiers on the market today that serve a variety of spaces and purposes. It’s important to choose a humidifier that fits the desired space and is easy to clean without having to take out too many parts and possibly damage it. Check for an automatic off feature that shuts down the machine when optimal air moisture is reached. Ultimately, choosing the perfect humidifier for sinuses is boiled down to making sure it provides a comfortable environment that’s easy to breathe and live in.
If the chronic sinus issues persist after attempting everything possible, it may be time to look into surgery options. There are a few rare cases where it’s necessary to get endoscopic sinus surgery to correct structural issues that may be present in the nasal passages. This surgery can be used to remove unwanted tissue that may be blocking nasal passages, polyps or even correct a deviated septum.
These structures in the nasal passages are entirely out of the person’s control and can occur or worsen due to chronic sinus issues. It’s important to consider seeing a doctor if sinus problems like inflammation, swelling and pressure continue, worsen or repeat for prolonged periods of time. Staying healthy and being aware of the body’s processes are essential to understanding when something feels intrinsically off and needs a professional opinion.
Finding Relief from Constant Sinus Issues is a feature post