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Soothing Sore Sinuses

The headaches, the stuffiness, the pressure—cranky sinuses can make you feel just plain awful.

And if this sounds like you, you have plenty of company: Roughly 37 million Americans sneeze and sniffle their way through sinus troubles every year.

Fortunately, there are natural ways to help relieve sinus symptoms and let you get back to living your best life.

Symptoms of Sinus Troubles

Although it doesn’t feel that way when you’re constantly blowing your nose, sinuses do actually serve a purpose (other than making you miserable).

These air-filled cavities, all of which are connected to the nasal passageway, help filter and moisturize air as it enters the body. Their location makes them prone to blockages and infections, leading to sinus irritation, or sinusitis.

One of the most common forms of sinus congestion crops up during a head cold.

“Acute sinus problems are usually due to viral infections. These typically include other symptoms such as a cough, chills, sore throat and fever,” says upper respiratory system specialist Omid Mehdizadeh, MD. These uncomfortable symptoms usually last about 10 days.

Sinusitis that continues for three months or longer is considered chronic. According to Mehdizadeh, such infections include at least two out of four symptoms: nasal congestion, drainage, a sensation of fullness and a decreased or absent sense of smell. Additional symptoms may include pressure, headaches, pain in forehead or cheeks, and difficulty breathing.

Helping Sinuses Feel Better

Typically, sinus congestion is treated with oral antibiotics and nasal sprays. However, steroid sprays can take up to 10 days to start working, says Mehdizadeh.

Non-drug sinusitis management includes nasal irrigation with a neti pot, which helps remove pollen and dust from the nasal passages; for best results, use filtered, distilled, sterile or previously boiled water. According to one study, people who used nasal irrigation experienced fewer symptoms, and they didn’t visit the doctor as often if sinus problems recurred.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

When stuffy sinuses make it hard to breathe, often the simplest solutions such as running a hot shower can be very effective.

“Steam inhalation is an excellent home remedy to alleviate sinus pressure,” says Bethany Tennant, ND, a naturopathic physician. “Use a hot shower or even heat water in a bowl, and place a towel over your head and the bowl to create an intense steam treatment.”The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Essential oils can also work well to lessen sinus symptoms. Tennant suggests using a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree or thyme “at the base of a hot shower for a dual-purpose steam/essential oil treatment.” An oil diffuser is another option.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Sinus-Friendly Lifestyle

Making changes to your household environment can reduce the frequency or intensity of symptoms.

Tennant recommends deep-cleaning your living space to eliminate pet dander, dust mites and mold, all common sinusitis culprits. She suggests using hypoallergenic cleaning supplies, explaining that “dyes, chemicals or perfumes used in laundry or dish detergent or any other home-cleaning products can worsen symptoms.”

What you eat can impact sinus symptoms indirectly.

“Some foods are helpful for patients to avoid,” says Olivia Rose, ND, who practices in Toronto. She notes that dairy, including cheese and yogurt, tends to increase mucus production, and it can make expelling mucus a challenge.

“Alternatively, other foods can help,” Rose notes, “such as spicy dishes that contain capsicum and ginger, which can work to clear blocked sinuses.” Other sinus-loving foods include pineapple, apple and onions.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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