Sinus pressure is that annoying, stuffed up feeling often caused by the common cold, seasonal allergies or the flu. Most of the time, it clears up on its own. But chronic sinusitis can lead to infections and vision problems. Most of the time, sinus pressure and sinus headaches can be treated at home. Read on to learn about some home remedies for sinus pressure.
Keep Nasal Passages Moist
If a runny or stuffy nose dries out, it can actually make the symptoms of sinus congestion worse. To help keep nasal passage moist, use a humidifier in the home, take a long, hot shower or inhale steam from a hot bowl of water. Warm compresses on the face not only provide steam, which moistens nasal passages, but may also help you to relax.
Some people choose to add essential oils to their humidifiers or bowl of steaming water. Thyme essential oil has been shown to kill bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Moraxella catarrhalis that can cause sinus pressure and infection. Additionally, thyme is an anti-inflammatory. Lavender, eucalyptus and menthol may also increase ciliary beat frequency. This helps the tiny hairs in your nose clear mucous from nasal passages.
Another option is instilling water directly into the nose with a Neti-Pot, nasal bulb irrigator, or a syringe. Be sure the water you use is sterile (or at least boiled and cooled) to kill possible bacteria and amoebas.
Avoid Pollutants and Other Triggers
Also be sure to avoid activities which can dry nasal passages, such as flying on airplanes and swimming in chlorinated pools. Tobacco smoke and polluted air are also irritating to the airways and lungs, and avoiding unnecessary pollutants can help reduce sinus inflammation. If you are prone to sinus pressure, be sure to steer clear of people who have active infection. If you know allergies are at the root of your sinus pressure, avoid being outside in areas with common triggers for prolonged periods of time.
Change Your Position
You can also manually encourage draining by elevating the head of bed at night or simply propping yourself up on pillows.
If none of this works, you may consider over-the-counter medicines, such as pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. If allergies are the cause of the sinus congestion, you can also consider an antihistamine drug, such as diphenhydramine, cetirizine or fexofenadine. Nasal spray decongestants are another option, but they should not be used longer than 3 days as they can actually make congestion worse long-term. Decongestants taken by mouth may increase blood pressure, so check with your doctor and pharmacist before using them.
When Nothing Helps
As much as we like to treat common ailments at home, some sinus pressure requires the help of a physician. See a doctor if you have recurrent sinusitis, if congestion lasts longer than 10 days, or if you have a fever, swelling or redness around the eyes, severe headache, forehead swelling, confusion, double vision, or a stiff neck. This could be a sign of something more severe.
What are your favorite home remedies for sinus pressure? Comment and share below!
Looking for a DIY recipe that may help? Check out this Change of Season Throat Spray!