How do I Choose the Best Sinus Treatment?

Patti Kate

To choose the best sinus treatment for your individual needs, see your doctor for an examination and advice. Your primary care physician can assess your sinus problems and prescribe the best course of action. If necessary, he may refer you to an allergy specialist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist who can further treat your symptoms. There may also be effective sinus treatment options you can use at home.

Prescription drugs may be required to treat sinus infections.
Prescription drugs may be required to treat sinus infections.

It is important to treat your individual symptoms accordingly. Make a list of symptoms that bother you regularly and relate this to your doctor. If your symptoms only flare up during a particular time of year such as spring or autumn, your physician may test for allergies.

Soaking a washcloth in hot water and placing it over the forehead may help relieve sinus pressure.
Soaking a washcloth in hot water and placing it over the forehead may help relieve sinus pressure.

In many cases, chronic sinus problems, with or without infection, can be greatly improved by altering the environment in which you live. Those with recurring sinusitis may be over-exposed to dry air from home heating, or even dust and dander from pets. For allergy sufferers, this can aggravate sinus symptoms. Therefore, the first step in your sinus treatment plan should be to assess conditions around your home.

People who experience recurring sinusitis may be overexposed to irritants such as pet dander.
People who experience recurring sinusitis may be overexposed to irritants such as pet dander.

If you're bothered by sinusitis during winter months, your home's heating system may be drying your air. Lack of humidity, especially in your bedroom, may make your nasal and sinus passages feel very dry, irritated, and stuffy, especially upon awakening in the morning. This often leads to sinus pressure and sinus headaches. A simple solution is to find a way to raise humidity levels in your home. This can be done by the use of a cool mist humidifier.

Placing some houseplants around the home also can improve humidity levels. The water added to the soil will humidify the air. Some people find that placing a shallow bowl or pan of water near a heating vent replenishes moisture in the air somewhat. Alternately, you can use a spray mister bottle to squirt water in the air throughout the day.

It's not a good idea to overly use nasal decongestant sprays, as these can be habit forming and worsen your symptoms. Instead, use a saline nasal moisturizing spray, which is generally a safe alternative. Also, when you feel stuffy or congested, a natural sinus treatment is steam. Take a warm shower and breathe the steam vapors or invest in a personal steam inhaler. Also, if you don't mind the mess or smell, rubbing some mentholated ointment on your chest and throat before bedtime may make breathing easier and unclog your sinuses.

Alternately, boil a large pot of water, wrap your head in a towel and allow the steam to penetrate your passages, which can relieve sinus pain and pressure. Try wetting a washcloth in very warm to hot water. Ring out the excess water and place the cloth across the bridge of your nose, or on your forehead, depending upon where the pain and pressure bothers you most. Use caution not to burn yourself, and never put a hot cloth directly over your eyes.

Your doctor may prescribe prescription sinus treatment therapy. Some individuals however, are concerned about taking certain decongestants that may raise blood pressure or cause restlessness and insomnia. Drinking plenty of fluids including chicken broth and warm tea may also act as a natural decongestant and should be a part of your sinus treatment plan.

Various nasal sprays can be used to treat sinus conditions, although overuse of nasal sprays can cause sinus problems.
Various nasal sprays can be used to treat sinus conditions, although overuse of nasal sprays can cause sinus problems.

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