Sinus Infection: 5 Tips On How You Can Naturally Avoid It

Sinus Infection: 5 Tips On How You Can Naturally Avoid It
Sinus infections can be caused by harmful bacteria or viruses within the nasal passages.
Most people suffer from acute sinus infections that last for less than a month but some people suffer from chronic sinusitis that lasts for 3 months or more. In some cases, an individual may suffer from recurrent sinus infections which greatly reduces their quality of life. Sinus infections that are caused by viruses are particularly difficult to treat since antibiotics have no effect on them. The good news is that there are several natural ways to reduce your risk of sinus infections. 

Natural Ways To Prevent Sinus Infections 

1. Inhale steam regularly

The mucus in our nasal passages serves an important purpose as it traps bacteria, dust and particulate pollutants and prevents them from entering our lungs. However, if your mucus becomes thick, it might not be easily expelled when you blow your nose. The bacteria that is trapped within the mucus will multiply and this can lead to a sinus infection. 
Steam helps to make mucus more liquid which is why inhaling steam on a regular basis will help to prevent sinus infections. You can use a steam inhaler machine or use a saucepan of very hot water and a towel to create a “steam tent”. You should inhale steam more often during dry months when the lack of humidity in the air is more likely to trigger sinus problems.

2. Practise Nasal Irrigation 

Nasal irrigation is the practise of using a saline solution to flush out mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. You can make your own saline solution for nasal irrigation by adding salt to boiled water. It is important to only use boiled water as tap water could introduce harmful bacteria or parasites into your nasal passages. 
A neti pot is designed for nasal irrigation but if you don’t have one, you can use a bulb syringe or squeeze bottle instead. Nasal irrigation dates back to ancient India where this practise was part of an individual’s daily personal hygiene routine. You can practise nasal irrigation on a daily basis to keep your sinuses clean and reduce irritation and inflammation of the nasal passages. 

3. Drink lots of water

Mucus is made up of more than 98% water. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your body cuts back on the secretion of serous fluid which will make your mucus thick and sticky. Good hydration keeps mucus thin and loose so that it can lubricate your nasal passages and be easily expelled. 
Use a water bottle to track your fluid intake and make sure that you drink enough water to stay hydrated every day. Inadequate water intake is one of the most common harmful habits and it has also been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Drinking warm or hot water, especially before you go to bed, will help to prevent dehydration as well as encourage mucus production. 

4. Manage your allergies 

Sinus infections are closely linked to allergies which is why people suffer from increased sinus infections during their worst allergy months. Allergies cause swelling of the nasal and sinus passageways which can block the sinus drainage pathways. When the drainage pathways get blocked, the mucus in the sinuses starts to accumulate which drastically increases the risk of a sinus infection. In addition to your regular allergy medication, you can take steps to prevent an allergic reaction. 
For instance, when you go out during allergy season, wear an N95 respirator mask as it will block approximately 95% all air-borne allergens. You can also install a HEPA filter on your air conditioning system as this will help to remove allergens and bacteria from your home. 

5. Sleep with your head elevated

The mucus in your sinuses tends to pool during the night when you’re sleeping flat on your back. If you’ve been feeling sick and think you might be coming down with a sinus infection, use a couple of pillows to keep your head propped up when you sleep. If possible, invest in a wedge pillow that you can use on a daily basis. 
A wedge pillow will keep your head elevated throughout the night which will allow your sinuses to drain easily while you sleep. This will help to reduce the accumulation of mucus within the sinuses which in turn will help you avoid sinus infections. Sleeping with your head propped up is also a good way to get sleep when you have a cold or the flu. 

Recurring sinus infections can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless. Research shows that patients with chronic sinusitis are over 60% more likely to develop depression or anxiety. This is why doctors often recommend stress control measures for people with chronic sinus problems. Simple stress management techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises will make you physically and mentally stronger and help you become a more resilient individual.

Author’s Bio

Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. 
Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome stress and eating disorder. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.
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