If you are suffering from sinus congestion, sinus headaches or even chronic sinus infections, here are a few ways to naturally relieve your discomfort. If you're unsure of the cause of your sinus discomfort, please visit your Primary Care Physician for a diagnosis before attempting to cure your problem on your own.
Keeping nasal passages moist, especially in dry winter air, is paramount to keeping your sinuses healthy. Germs are more likely to stick to dry mucus membranes in the sinus cavity, so keeping them moist is important! Moisture also helps wash away thickened mucus, making it easier to breathe. Moisture can come from many sources, but I would encourage you to try as many of them as you can. Neti pots, sinus irrigation bottles and saline sprays are all good for washing out the sinuses and eliminating thickened mucus which can block breathing. Read the directions, and never use tap water in these devices, as it can contain dangerous bacteria that your stomach can fight, but your nasal passages can't.
Humidifiers are great for moisturizing the air in your home. Not only do they moisten the air, they help cut down on aggravating static electricity. We run large, room-size humidifiers at home that hold about 5 gallons of water each. We start them around Halloween and run them until Spring. We've seen a huge decrease in the amount of winter colds we get just by running these. One piece of advice though; clean them regularly to prevent bacteria and mold!
A warm, moist cloth placed over the sinuses. This is a tried and true method to relieve sinus congestion that can cause headache pain. It is especially comforting for children.
Drink lots of water. Keeping yourself hydrated provides the moisture needed to produce healthy, thin mucus that will wash away germs and keep sinuses moist. Your body depends on water for life, so be sure to drink up. And, although tea, coffee and soda will provide some water, they are also diuretics which cause you to lose water. My rule is to drink a glass of water for every glass of tea or cup of coffee I consume.
Breathe steam, even from hot beverages. Hot broth and hot tea seem to soothe congested heads and that may be because we breathe the steam from the cup and it moistens the sinuses. At home, we boil water and add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil and lean over it tented under a towel to breathe in the steam. This method clears the congestion up quickly, even though you may have to repeat the procedure every few hours.
Oklahoma provides plenty of pollen and dust that gets trapped inside the house and can aggravate the sinuses as allergic reactions. The air inside your house is 4-5 times dirtier than the air outside, so keeping the house as clean as possible is your best defense. Vacuum often, wash sheets and bedding, vacuum hard floors instead of sweeping which just lifts the dust back into the air. I also like to open the windows and let the air circulate through the house on nice days.
If you have a headache that just won't respond to the above natural remedies, please call our office at 918-664-2273. We are glad to help.