Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is an inflammation of the tissues in your sinuses. Sinus infections can be both acute and chronic (meaning lasting longer than 12 weeks) and is a common problem for many people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28.9 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinus problems can interfere with your life at home, work and affect your sleep. Let’s look at a few ways to help keep your sinuses healthy, as well as when to see a medical provider for additional treatment.
Home Remedies to Help Your Sinuses
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is important for all aspects of life, including your sinuses! It helps keep your mucus thin and loose, which can decrease nasal congestion.
- Daily nasal rinses. Rinsing your nasal passages daily with a neti pot or bulb syringe and saline solution helps prevent and treat sinus problems. Just make sure to always use distilled or previously boiled water to avoid the risk of infection.
- Use a humidifier. Dry environments can irritate your nasal passages, making sinus symptoms worse. Consider using a humidifier in your home, especially when you sleep, to help prevent nasal passages from drying out.
- Wash your hands to avoid getting sick. Most sinus infections are caused by viruses. Take steps towards preventing illness by washing your hands regularly and avoiding contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
- Avoid your allergy triggers. If you have allergies, they can contribute to sinus problems and make it more likely that you develop sinusitis. Do your best to avoid or minimize your exposure to things like dust, pet dander and pollen by regularly dusting and cleaning your home and avoiding outdoor areas like Lookout Mountain Park if pollen levels are high.
When To See an ENT Specialist
Acute sinus infections will often go away after their own. However, if you’ve been experiencing symptoms lasting more than ten days without getting better or your symptoms are severe, make an appointment with an ENT specialist.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Facial pain and pressure where sinuses are located
- Sore throat
- Postnasal drip
- Bad breath
To learn more or to schedule an appointment to have your symptoms evaluated, call Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.