How to Stop Sinus Drainage

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If you suffer from the common cold, sinusitis or allergies, you are likely bothered by constant sinus drainage. As uncomfortable as it may be, the treatment for most sinus problems involves draining the sinuses. The more effectively the sinuses can drain, the sooner the infection is gone, and the better you will feel. Once the infection is cleared, drainage will stop. According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, home remedies are often all the treatment that may be required. There are a number of treatments you can do at home to clear the sinus passages and get relief.

Sinus drainage
Sinus drainage (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Step 1

Identify triggers so that you can avoid them. Smoke, dust, pollen, mold and chemical fumes are common irritants that cause inflammation in the nose. Cigarette smoke in particular causes more mucus to be produced. If you are sensitive to mold, remove any plants from your bedroom. Keep your bedroom well-ventilated at night.

Pollen
Pollen (Image: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Step 2

Drink plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated, as water thins mucus and can help reduce how much of it drains down into your throat. This condition, known as post-nasal drip, tends to get worse at night when you are lying down. The drainage often triggers coughing, so keep your head elevated when sleeping.

Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Step 3

Irrigate your sinuses with a mixture of water and saline, or make your own mixture by adding a quarter-teaspoon of salt to a glass of water. Pour the mixture into a small squeeze bottle or ear or nose syringe, and squirt it in the nose. You might want to do this standing over a bathroom sink. This cleanses the sinus cavity of both mucus and irritants.

Add a quarter-teaspoon of salt to a glass of water
Add a quarter-teaspoon of salt to a glass of water (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Step 4

Inhale steam several times a day. Boil a pan of water, and pour the water in a large bowl or sink with a closed drain. Place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam. Humidifying the air, especially at night, is another alternative.

Inhale steam
Inhale steam (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 5

Take an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal decongestant to dry up your sinuses, especially if the problem is caused by allergies. Reducing inflammation of the nasal passageways can improve sinus drainage. Choose a decongestant with the ingredient pseudoephedrine. An expectorant also works to thin mucus so that it drains more quickly.

Antihistamine
Antihistamine (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Check with your pharmacist that over-the-counter medications will not adversely react with any prescription drugs you may be taking.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods that promote excessive sinus drainage.

References

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