Nasal congestion and sinus pressure have many causes: colds, flu, allergies, to name a few. Whatever’s triggering them, the symptoms can be a pain literally.
These tips may help make congestion and sinus pressure a bit more bearable and help you breathe a little easier.
Nasal Congestion and Sinus Pressure: Home Treatments
What’s actually causing that stuffed up feeling? When you’ve got a cold or allergies, the membranes lining your nasal passages become inflamed and irritated. They begin to produce excess mucus as a way of flushing out whatever is causing the irritation, such as an allergen.
When you’re stuffed up, you need to focus on keeping your nasal passages and sinuses moist. Although people sometimes think that dry air might help clear up a relentlessly runny nose, it actually has the opposite effect. Drying out the membranes will irritate them further.
So to keep your nasal passages moist, you can:
Use a humidifier or vaporizer.
Take long showers or very carefully breathe in steam from a pot on the stove.
Drink lots of fluids, which will thin out your mucus and may help prevent your sinuses from getting blocked up.
Use a nasal saline spray simple unmedicated salt water to help prevent your nasal passages from drying out.
A number of different viruses cause the minor infections of the nose and throat that result in colds. But the rhinovirus, long blamed for cold symptoms, may not directly cause colds, as once believed. The rhinovirus changes the activity of the body’s genes, which then trigger cold symptoms, according to research.
People in the United States make more visits to the doctor for colds than for any other condition, according to the American Lung Association. Adults typically get two to four colds a year, while children average six to eight.
One to three days after contracting a cold virus, symptoms start and include: runny nose, congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat and cough, and reduced sense of taste and smell. Young children may develop a fever. Fatigue and muscle aches, headache, and watery eyes may also accompany colds, although a fever of more than 102 degrees with nausea may be signs of the flu.
Why Do We Get Colds?
Colds enter the body through the nose or mouth. The virus can become airborne when a sick person coughs, talks, or sneezes. The virus can also be spread by contact with a sick person.
“Most colds stem from viruses that are spread from person to person through close contact,” said William Schaffner, MD, professor and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. “We inhale the virus-laden air that others have exhaled.” Aside from airborne causes, we can “catch a cold” when we have the virus on our hands and touch our face, mouth, or nose.
Many people attribute sinus pressure to an increase in mucus which blocks their airways. While it is true that increased mucus is a symptom of the common cold, it is not always what makes you feel so stuffed up. Sinus congestion can also be associated with the swelling of the tissues in the nose known as inflammation. The result is a shrinking of your airways.
Sanaflu combines the relief of a strong decongestant to open your airways with the power of Sanaflu Xtra to relieve the pain commonly associated with sinus pressure.