For many sinusitis sufferers, the swelling and congestion they feel is accompanied by cold symptoms, headaches, and sometimes even nausea and vomiting. Chronic sufferers also know that anything can set off their bouts of uncomfortable sinus congestion and irritation. For most, it’s not simply seasonal, but can be triggered by sensitivity to cold air – be it winter temperatures or excessive air conditioning, certain chemicals and fragrances, and organic allergies to pets, dust mites, and pollen.
Sinusitis, by definition, is a swelling, or inflammation, of the mucous membranes which line the sinuses. Irritation can come from many sources, among them, seasonal allergies, hay fever, cold, and even the overuse of over-the-counter medicated nasal sprays. In rare cases, the patient may have a condition known as nasal polyps, which are small growths and can prevent air flow through the nasal and sinus cavities.
The most common symptom of sinusitis is a feeling of pressure in and around the nose, forehead, eyes, and sometimes the ears. Your upper and lower jaw, and even your teeth, will be painful in some cases. Many a dentist has referred a patient to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist because of what the patient believed to be a toothache.
When the air passages are irritated, they will produce a mucous fluid. This increases the risk of infectious sinusitis. The fluid-filled sinuses become the perfect breeding ground for viruses, along with fungus-borne infections and bacteria.
When this happens you may experience several different symptoms. From a cold, to fever and chills, a dark, thick mucous discharge and increased pain and pressure can all accompany a sinus infection. Left untreated, your sinus infection can spread to surrounding areas, such as eye sockets, and facial bones, even more serious conditions, which could land you in the hospital.
Treating Inflamed Sinuses at Home
- Like magic, grandma’s soup seemed to make everything better. For those with sinusitis, drinking hot liquids of any kind is beneficial. The warmth makes the cilia, or tiny hairs, inside your mucous membranes work to move the congestion, causing your nose to run. The warmth moistens, soothing dry sinuses, and soup – especially grandma’s homemade soup – is good for you! Of course, if soup isn’t possible, try some calming herbal tea.
- Breathe in the aroma as you sip, and you’ll be feeling better before you finish the cup.
- Irrigate your sinuses. It’s become extremely popular lately to utilize nasal lavage to prevent, or inhibit, sinusitis. Try an over-the-counter nasal saline-only spray. To get the effect of a nasal lavage, set the bottle of spray in warm water before using it.
- A warm compress to the face can bring instant relief to those who suffer from sinus pain. Take a towel and soak it in warm water, wring it and apply to your face for 5 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. Try adding a drop of eucalyptus essential oil to the water. The warmth makes your cilia move out the mucous, and the eucalyptus gives a nasal-clearing fresh scent.
- Taking a steamy shower will also move the cilia around and loosen your congestion. Again, a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a washcloth in the shower, will add a higher degree of comfort to the experience.
Hot and spicy food for medicinal purposes. Bring home some Thai food, spread extra wasabi on your California roll, or slather some horseradish on your corned beef. Not only will your sinuses begin to unclog, but spicy food is delicious!
Finally, for those plagued by chronic sinusitis and dreading the next occurrence, contact the American Sinus Institute to inquire about a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure to clear the sinuses. You’ll find instant relief from the uncomfortable effects of sinusitis, and experience life to the fullest, once again.