Sinuses can make sufferers feel miserable because for many, pollens cause swollen tissue and copious drainage. When sinuses are in such a state, they can become more vulnerable to bacterial infections. The key to keeping your sinuses comfortable is taking care of them. In other words, prevention is always best. But when your sinuses are giving you trouble, there are some great home remedies that can offer some relief.
When your sinuses are full of mucus, wash them with saltwater. A concoction of a teaspoon or two of salt mixed into a cup of warm water will work wonders. This is especially helpful if you are suffering from an upper respiratory (sinus) infection. By cleaning your sinuses of the infected mucus, you reduce the spread of infection. There are many ways to wash your sinuses. It can be as simple as pouring saltwater up your nose (with your head tilted back). For a more powerful blast, to really loosen up the mucus, you can use an earwax bulb. Simply squeeze the bulb while the end is submerged in your saltwater to draw the water into the bulb. Then, with your face over the sink, insert the end of the bulb into one nostril and squeeze the bulb. Saltwater will rush up through your sinus cavity and out your nose, washing out mucus. Repeat with the other side and repeat again, until the wash comes out clean. Surgeons recommend this after sinus surgery to keep the healing incisions clean because saltwater has antibacterial properties.
Your sinuses may also ache because they are dry. Dry sinus tissue cracks and may even bleed or produce the occasionally bloody clot. Dry, cracking tissue is vulnerable to infection. To keep your sinuses moist, you can add a humidifier to your home. You can also breathe over a vaporizer to both moisturize your sinuses or help open them up when they feel swollen shut. Even a home-make vaporizer works — for which all you need is a cup of steaming water and a towel to place over your head. In your steaming water, you can add in products like Vick’s Vapor Rub, or even breathe in a steaming cup with lemon oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil. For a quick solution, simply inhale deeply over your morning cup of coffee or tea. And, if possible, you can always take a steamy shower to help moisturize and open up your sinuses.
Spicy foods can also open up your sinuses. Have some chips with a hot, Mexican-styled salsa. Jalapenos and other peppers, horseradish and garlic can provide some quick relief to stopped-up sinuses. But be prepared to eat these at full strength. And if your sinuses are draining into your throat, try drinking a cup of steaming lemon-water with honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper powder. It’ll soothe your throat and help open your sinuses.