Sinus congestion can be the result of a cold, flu or allergies. The symptoms of sinus congestion can be painful pressure within the nostril and facial area. Your sinuses naturally produce mucus, which helps to moisturize and drain the nasal passage. When your sinus opening becomes blocked, drainage of these openings cannot occur. This develops mucus build-up, causing the sinus pressure and congestion. There are treatments that can help alleviate the pressure of sinus congestion.
Using a saline solution to clear out the nasal passage can help alleviate stuffiness and mucus build-up. According to the Mayo Clinic, mix 1/8 teaspoon of salt with warm water to make a solution, or buy a saline solution at your local supermarket. You can use a bulb syringe, which can also be bought at a supermarket. Suck in some of the solution, and gently place the syringe into the tip of your nostril. Squirt the solution into your nostril to help break up any thick mucus. You will need to repeat the irrigation process until the fluid that drains from your nostril is clear. Make sure you clean the bulb after each application in order to prevent bacterial build-up on the bulb. Once you have irrigated your nostrils, your nasal airways should be cleared.
Antihistamines help to prevent and relieve symptoms of allergies, colds and hay fever. These symptoms include runny nose and congestion. Antihistamines can be taken orally, with eye drops or with nasal sprays. Oral antihistamines such as Benadryl may cause undesirable side effects such as drowsiness. Other antihistamines such as Claritin do not have the same effects.
According to the Mayo Clinic, relief from decongestants is temporary. Decongestants help to narrow blood vessels, which allows for the clearing of your nasal passage. Decongestants such as Sudafed may contain pseudoephedrine, which can cause side effects including headaches, sleeping disorders such as insomnia, dizziness, and a fast heart beat. It isn't recommended to take decongestants if you have conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), other heart disease issues, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. There are also nasal decongestants such as Afrin that offer quick relief.
Other treatments that may help are the use of humidifiers. Humidifiers help to moisturize your sinuses, which can open up your nasal passages. Humidifiers also help to thin mucus and allow for drainage. Nasal corticosteroid sprays can help relieve symptoms of stuffiness. An example of a corticosteroid spray is Flonase. If treatments do not work effectively for your congestion, seek medical attention to make sure you are not suffering from an infection such as sinusitis.
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