Eliminating deep sinus congestion can feel like a constant battle for those affected by colds, the flu or allergies. If the congestion is not alleviated, antibiotics may become the final resort and chronic symptoms may develop.
The United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health both recommend several home remedies—some in conjunction with one another—to relieve sinus congestion while saving money and a trip to the doctor. A little maintenance, too, can ward off congestion and its accompanying symptoms.
Things You'll Need
- Saline nasal spray
- Cool-mist humidifier
- Extra fluids (e.g., water, 100 percent fruit juices, hot tea, soup, broth)
- Over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant
- OTC antihistamine
Use a saline nasal spray twice per day to alleviate a dry nose. Since mucus builds up faster in a dry nose and doesn't drain properly, bacteria is more likely to grow in the dry environment; a nasal spray is an inexpensive yet effective way of keeping the nasal passages moist.
Place a humidifier or vaporizer in the room that you spend the most time in—usually the bedroom. With the colder months of winter comes drier air; adding moisture back into the air helps keep the nose in working order.
Take in extra fluids. Whether through drinking water or juices or through eating hot soup, adding more fluids to your diet keeps you hydrated from the inside out.
Use OTC Medicines
Try using a decongestant to relieve a stuffy head. Do not take it for more than three days, as symptoms tend to come back even stronger. Also, decongestants do not help a runny nose, so make sure to medicate the correct symptom.
Take an antihistamine. Much congestion comes from swollen or inflamed nasal passages; an antihistamine may help reduce swelling, thus aiding in mucus drainage.
Look for a cough medicine or expectorant with guaifenesin, which helps thin the mucus in the lungs; coughing the excess mucus out becomes much easier and symptoms often subside.