Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sinus Pain
For those of us who have suffered with recurring sinus infections, we all know that the nose knows when we are suffering. I live in central Texas, which seems is a hub for all kinds of allergens throughout the year, so something is always blooming here from the blue-bonnets in the spring to the junipers in the fall. No matter where you live, if you have allergies which can trigger sinus infections, you can use a few tips and tricks to cure a sinus infection. This article summarizes a few sure-fire ways to decrease the pain and suffering while speeding up the recovery process from a sinus infection.
If you are someone who has had a few sinus infections, it doesn’t take long to realize that first tell-tale sign that you have another one starting. For me, it’s a slight head ache, a bit of mucus build up in the nose and some sinus pain directly behind the eyes. When I know a sinus infection is starting, these are the few things that I do to mitigate the pain and speed up recovery. This is my list of the top 5 ways to reduce sinus pain. All items here are found at your local drugstore as over the counter items and please use as suggested by the manufacturer.
1. Use a Saline Rinse:
The first thing that I do when the sinus infection is starting is to use a saline rinse. This is just a bottle of sterile saline solution in a pressurized can that you can spray in your nose. It actually comes out like a very fine mist and you can hardly feel it when spraying in the nose, but it helps irrigate the sinus cavity and keeps your sinuses from being dried out (the dryness is what causes some of the pain). I use the brand Simply Saline, but any over the counter saline solution will perform the same function.
2. Use Mucus Thinner
This section is not flattering to read about because most of us have experienced the rainbow of colors when blowing your nose. Because your sinus cavity is dry, blood tends to mix in with your sinus mucus and you can see all sorts of colors when blowing your nose and this mucus is usually very thick. The next thing I do is take an over the counter mucus thinner like Mucinex (or guaifenesin) to thin the mucus in your sinuses and help clear the airways. Using Mucinex is very effective in getting back to breathing normally again and it only takes a few minutes for this medicine to start working, be sure to drink lots of water as this is what helps thin the mucus in your air ways.
3. Take a Steam Shower
I take at least two steam showers per day to moisturize the sinus cavities and ease pain. It is very helpful to use a shower cover so that the steam does not immediately leave the shower (plus you will use less water and have a warmer shower if you use one ;-). You can find a simple steam cover for your stand up shower on eBay, just search for “home steam shower”.
4. Pain Relief
Because a sinus infection can last for 7-10 days, the sinus pain can get annoying enough that it will keep you from sleeping. I have found that taking an over the counter pain medication like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil) alleviates the sinus pain enough that you don’t notice it for most of the day. With some standard pain relief, I can function normally at work and sleep well at night.
5. Stop the Mucus!
Sudafed (generic pseudoephedrine) is the last thing I use when experiencing a sinus infection. You should use Sudafed for the temporary relief of sinus pain and pressure while at the same time slowing down the mucus production. There are multiple different variations of this product, but your drugstore will usually have a generic (Walgreens' carries their own generic called “WalPhed” and it has the same ingredients for about half the price).
These are simple tips and tricks to help those of us with recurring sinus pain, they seem obvious to me now but if you are a newbie to sinus infections, they might seem so obvious. Again, use everything as recommended by the manufacturer and if none of the above items seem to help, you definitely need to see your physician for a checkup. Thanks for reading and Good Luck!