Got Allergies Consider An Antihistamine
Swelling of the nasal tissues, especially when caused by allergies, often triggers increased , which can further obstruct your airways, explains Dr. Auth. Over-the-counter , such as diphenhydramine and loratadine , can help dry up excessive mucus, he says. If youre taking an antihistamine during the day, check the label carefully and choose one labeled nonsedating.
The Difference Between A Cold And A Sinus Infection
The common cold is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Its also one of the most common illnesses in the U.S., with adults getting an average of two to three colds per year, and children catching between eight and 12 colds per year. Most of the time, colds resolve on their own within three to seven days, with some symptoms possibly lingering for up to two weeks. But in some cases, colds can temporarily weaken the immune system or cause swelling of the lining of the airways or nose. This can lead to a secondary viral or bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection.
A sinus infection or sinusitis is the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose. The most common cause of a sinus infection is a virus associated with a cold. However, about two percent of sinus infections are bacterial infections. Sinus infections usually improve within 10 days, but when they last longer, theyre more likely to be bacterial infections.
How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection
Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
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Can A Sinus Headache Be Prevented
- Good handwashing and hygienic practices can help prevent colds and upper respiratory infections.
- Smoking cessation can also decrease your risk of airway infections.
- For people with allergies, avoid allergic triggers to help prevent sinus infections.
- Keep the body well hydrated and humidify the air since these can help promote efficient drainage of fluids from the sinuses.
Apply Hot Or Cold Packs To Congested Sinuses
Another common natural treatment for congestion is applying hot or cold packs across the bridge of your nose. Although this is certainly a soothing activity, it wont do much in the long run. Theres no evidence that hot or cold packs reduce nasal inflammation, but if it makes you feel better, then theres no problem with them, says Stringer.
If youre looking for quick, simple congestion relief, you can create a hot or cold pack using items you have at home: For a ready-made cold pack, take a bag of frozen peas or other frozen vegetables out of your freezer, wrap it in a towel, and lay it across your face. For a hot pack, wring out a wet washcloth and heat it in the microwave for approximately one minute. Before laying it across your face, be sure to check that its not too hot.
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Natural Remedies For Sinus Congestion
When you’re feeling stuffed up and miserable, getting to the drugstore seems almost impossible. Fortunately for you, there are a number of home remedies for sinus congestion relief, here’s three:
1. Humidity:Keeping your nasal passages moist when you’re experiencing sinus congestion may help to relieve that “stuffy” feeling. To do this, apply a warm, wet towel against your face or run hot water in the shower to unblock the sinuses. You could also use a humidifier for the same purpose.
2. Neti pot: A neti pot looks like a miniature teapot with a long spout. With the help of saline or a saltwater solution, these tiny nasal irrigation devices are used to treat congested sinuses, allergies, and the common cold. You can purchase a neti pot online or at your nearest health food or drugstore. Note of caution: Tap water isn’t safe to use as it’s not filtered or treated and may contain material that could cause infection or irritation.
3. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils to reduce pain or improve sleep. While there’s still research that needs to be done, some studies suggest specific essential oils may relieve symptoms of sinus congestion. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy , 1,8 cineole, the main component of eucalyptus oil, has been proven to clear airways of mucus and is a natural cough suppressant.
How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
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Naturade Herbal Expec Herbal Expectorant
For individuals seeking an effective homeopathic remedy, Naturade Herbal Expec Herbal Expectorant with Guaifenesin is the perfect option. This all-natural product aims to relieve chest congestion with its potent formulation that incorporates guaifenesin for effective results.
The product is very effective and doesnt cause any side-effects on users. The only issue that some consumers have is that it does not taste very pleasant. Whats more, the liquid formula only comes in large bottles, so bringing one with you can be inconvenient.
Corticosteroid Drops Or Sprays
Corticosteroids, also known as steroids, are a group of medications that can help to reduce inflammation.
If you have persistent symptoms of sinusitis, your GP may prescribe steroid nasal drops or sprays to help reduce the swelling in your sinuses. These may need to be used for several months.
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Sinus Infection Vs Covid
Some sinus infection and COVID-19 symptoms may overlap. Both illnesses can cause a fever, headaches, nasal congestion, fatigue or a sore throat. Symptoms unique to COVID-19 include body aches, nausea, shortness of breath and vomiting. Learn the difference between the cold, flu and COVID-19 based on your symptoms.
Menthol Vapours Rubs And Pastilles
There are many products which contain ingredients such as menthol or eucalyptus oil, which you can buy over the counter for nasal congestion. The most well known of these are Vicks® and Olbas® but there are many others which work in the same way. They are available as vapour rubs, which you rub on your chest so you breathe in the vapour, and oils which you add to hot water for steam inhalations. There are also throat sweets to suck. These soothe a sore throat but also release a vapour to help clear the nose.
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Tips To Help You Get Relief From Your Head Cold
Oh, your aching head! If youâre suffering from unbearable nasal congestion and headache, you probably have a head cold. The reason youâre so stuffed up? When you have a head cold, the membranes lining your nasal passages become swollen and produce excess mucus to flush out whatever is causing the irritation, whether itâs a virus or an allergen. You might experience pain in your forehead, under your eyes or in your upper teeth.
The key to getting rid of a head cold is to reduce sinus swelling and help mucus drain from your sinuses. Although it might seem counterintuitive, keeping your nasal passages moist is the best way to clear out congestionâdry sinuses will only result in further irritation.
Try these simple tips to clear up a head cold and help relieve headache and sinus pressure.
Since breathing in dry air will dry out your sinuses, itâs best to add moisture back into your environment by using a cool-mist humidifier or steam vaporizer. You can also try breathing in steam from a hot shower. Doing so can help soothe the irritated membranes lining your nasal passages.
A great way to ease a headache and sinus pressure is to place a warm compress on your forehead and nose. If you donât have a compress, try moistening a washcloth with warm water and applying it to your face several times a day. This will help relieve nasal congestion and relieve your head cold symptoms.
Treatments From Your Gp
If these treatments don’t help, you GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for an assessment and to discuss whether surgery is a suitable option.
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Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
Why Is Nasal Congestion More Prevalent At Nighttime
On lying down at bedtime, the blood flow toward your nose and head increases, causing further swelling of the blood vessels and tissues inside the nasal passage. Moreover, people with acid reflux often suffer a backflow of stomach acids into the food pipe on lying down due to the backward push of gravity.
The acid irritates the back of the throat, and the discomfort can be felt in the nasal passageways because the two are connected. To reduce this problem, feed babies and young children with their head in an elevated position. In adults, meals should be avoided for at least 2 hours before bedtime.
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What Is Acetaminophen And Why We Eliminate It Too
It can be unbearable to suffer from allergic symptoms, and it is natural to want to relieve yourself of pain and fever. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever, used for treating many conditions such as sinus, headache, backache, toothache and fever. It comes with side effects:
- Swelling of the tongue or lips
- Difficulty with breathing
- Serious skin reactions. Between 1969 and 2012, the Food and Drug Administration found that 67 people required hospitalization of which 12 died after skin reactions were reported after taking acetaminophen products. This comes from documented medical literature. One of the skin reactions linked to acetaminophen included Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis . You start with flu-like symptoms such as headache, aches and fever and progress to a blister-like rash. The skin starts peeling and the hair starts falling out. This skin reaction is often fatal.
There are different brands and forms of acetaminophen available, but all labeling warns you not to take more than is recommended. It can damage your liver, more so if you drink alcohol with it.
Use Caution With Certain Over
While it might be tempting to run to the drugstore to fill your basket with everything in the decongestant aislethey are called decongestants!these come with a warning from all of the medical pros we spoke to.
Common decongestant nasal sprays and decongestant pills should be used with caution because excessive use can eventually exacerbate the congestion, Zafar says.
A condition called “rebound congestion” may crop up after use of these medications for more than three days. “Your body can get used to these medicines, and if you use it constantly, you can end up with worse congestion than when you started,” Simmonds says.
Avoid taking nasal decongestants for more than three days at a time.
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What Causes A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can be caused by several different things including:
Seasonal allergies A deviated septum: The septum is the part of the nose that divides it into right and left nostrils. Some people have crooked or deviated septums, which makes them more susceptible to sinus infections. Nasal polyps Respiratory tract infections
Sinus infections may be acute or chronic .
Revamp Your Nighttime Routine To Open Sinuses
As anyone with stuffy sinuses can attest, congestion often feels worse at night. This can create a vicious cycle because you need lots of rest to get over a cold or the flu, but the difficulty you have breathing at night can make it hard to sleep. The solution is to help your body stay as congestion-free as possible while you sleep.
For starters, put an extra pillow or two under your head, as this will help drain your sinuses. Make sure your bedroom climate is humid, and run a humidifier while you sleep to further thin the mucus in your nose. For another natural remedy, try nasal breathing strips, which lift the sides of the nose to help open nasal passages.
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Inhale Diffused Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has a strong odor that often helps patients find instant relief from sinusitis. Research has found that cineole, the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, helps people recover from sinus infections more quickly than those who dont use eucalyptus oil. You can inhale eucalyptus oil through a diffuser, or rub some on your temples and chest to open your breathing passages. You can even use food-grade eucalyptus oil and place a drop on the roof of your mouth.
What Are Some Other Nasal Congestion Remedies
If you are feeling discomfort resulting from dry nasal passages, using a saline nasal spray to lubricate the area may help. If you are looking for a natural nasal decongestant, a sinus wash may provide temporary, non-medicated relief of your symptoms. Similar remedies include using a nasal irrigator like Navage or a Neti Pot. These treatments can help provide relief because keeping your nasal passages and sinuses moist may help you breathe more easily and will also help keep the membranes from becoming further inflamed due to dryness.
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Hydrate And Soothe With Warm Soups And Teas
Many people swear by drinking liquids, especially hot liquids, to help relieve a stuffy nose. Although its certainly important to stay hydrated especially when youre not feeling well the effect of hot liquids on congestion can mostly be chalked up to the placebo effect.
Researchers who split up a group of people with cold and flu symptoms, giving half of them a room-temperature drink and the other half a hot drink, found that there was no measurable improvement in nasal stuffiness in either group. But interestingly, the group that drank the hot drink reported greater relief from symptoms. Researchers also speculated that in addition to the placebo effect, the taste of the hot drink also contributed to the favorable response.
If youre ready to heat up your own congestion remedy, try hot teas, such as chamomile and green tea, hot soups like chicken noodle, or a glass of hot water with a dollop of honey and some lemon. These have been used traditionally in many cultures, and are safe, but have limited research evidence backing their use specifically for nasal congestion.
Oral And Nasal Decongestants
Over-the-counter decongestants work by shrinking blood vessels inside the nose. There are both oral and nasal formulations.
Sudafed is an oral decongestant used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion caused by the common cold, sinusitis, and respiratory allergies. Do not use Sudafed for longer than three days as it can also lead to rebound congestion.
While Sudafed is available without a prescription, it is kept behind the pharmacy counter and requires an ID to obtain. A similar drug called Sudafed PE can be purchased without hindrance but has not proven to be anywhere near as effective as pseudoephedrine.
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