Sinus congestion is a problem that millions of people face day after day. A stuffy nose, otherwise known as a nasal congestion, sinus infection, or simply the sniffles, is due to the swollen blood vessels in the membranes lining the inside of the nostrils, normally due to the flu, cold, or allergies. When some one gets a cold or allergy, the membranes lining his/her nasal passages become swollen and irritated. They starts to produce excess mucus as a way of flushing out whatever is causing the irritation – whether a virus, or bacteria, or allergens. As the tissues are swollen, it obstructs the normal passage of fluid through the nasal pathways. Although this can be dangerous to newborns, for most adults, the condition is just uncomfortable. On the other hand, there are many home and optional remedies that might aid in clearing sinus congestion.
What is Sinusitis?
The sinuses are four pairs of void spaces in the bones of the face lined with mucous membranes and connected to the nose. The sinuses let the air to flow freely within the spaces in and out of the nose. Small hairs in the sinuses (cilia) often aid in moving mucous out through the nose. In case if the small openings from the nose to the sinus cavities (sinus ostia) are obstructed or when surplus mucous is produced, inflammation can take place within sinus cavities which leads to sharp and sensitive sinusitis. Sinusitis may chase colds or other respiratory infections. Those who have allergies may develop sinusitis following an allergy reaction or a sequence of allergy erupts.
What are the causes of Sinus congestion?
I. Allergy reactions also cause irritation and enlargement of the nasal passages and may close the small openings from the nose to the sinuses. Irregular irritation and enlargement of nasal passages from allergy reactions stimulates mucous production and encourages bacteria and fungus to cultivate. People with destabilized immune systems are often in danger, as they are susceptible to infections of all varieties. II. Some other reasons for sinus congestion may are:
Incomplete treatment of the initial sinus infection.
Excessive usage of nasal decongestants, mainly over-the counter sprays that leads to sinus return effects.
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History of asthma.
Dispersal of a mild infection within the body, by blowing the nose very hard.
Lack of rest.
Cystic fibrosis, a condition
Foreign bodies in the nasal passages
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Nasal and facial tumors.
What are the symptoms of sinus congestion?
The symptoms of sinus congestion are:
Soreness or pain in the top of the mouth.
Sinus headaches that starts at the center forehead, temples or cheekbones.
Pain and facial tenderness around the eyes, forehead or cheeks.
Pain is worse with sudden movements of the head and bending forward
What are the ways to treat sinus congestion?
Over-the-counter medicines which have decongestants and antihistamines might decrease inflammation in the nasal passages, while antihistamines will dry up surplus mucus. Well-liked medications for nasal congestion are Claritin and Sinutab. One can use products such as Tylenol Sinus or Advil Cold and Sinus, which merge the effect of a pain reliever and a decongestant.
Using a humidifier or vaporizer, helps the mucous to thin and let it to drain.
Massaging the sides of nose, forehead and other pressure points on the face will aid in reducing the inflammation in the sinus pathways and reduce nasal congestion.
Inhaling the vapors of herbs helps sinus congestion. For instance, mint leaves or eucalyptus leaves are added to boiling water. While the water is still hot and steaming, the face is kept over the pan to allow the steam to enter the nasal passages. Once can do this by putting a towel over the head to form a tent and keep the steam in. It is essential to be cautious with boiling water.
Foods that trigger nasal congestion such as, foods that are high in arachidonic acid which increases inflammation should be avoided. Arachidonic acid is present mostly in low fiber foods like meats, white bread. However, intake of Onions and garlic, whole grains, vegetables are known to cure with the sinus congestion symptoms.
Intake of fluids increases the body's moisture content and thus helps in sinus congestion.
Nasal sprays such as Afrin offer instant occasional momentary relief from nasal congestion. Nasal sprays make the condition better, even though they may not cure the root cause of sinus congestion. Nasal spray should not be used for more than three or four days without consulting a doctor. Repeated use of nasal sprays can make the symptoms to get worse.
Cigarette smoke, chemical and environmental pollutants should be strictly avoided.
There are acupressure points for sinus congestion. The massage is based on Chinese acupressure. First, ten pressures on a cavity at the corner of the nostrils, is applied, while closing and opening the nostrils. Then, ten pressures are applied on a cavity just below the ear, at the back the earlobe. Finally, the earlobe is massaged for ten times. Stimulating these points with acupressure can cause endorphins to be released; which are neuro chemicals that relieve pain. Pressing on those points can also release muscular tension which accumulates around them. This tension keeps areas of the body from functioning properly. Thus, by applying pressure on those points one can help a specific area or organ to function better and relieve some conditions. These acupressure points are known to be a best way to cure sinus congestion.
Some ayurvedic medicines, that are the traditional health care of India, are also helpful. It is important to choose a professional ayurvedic doctor.