How to Relieve Sinus Pressure

woman blowing nose in the winter

Sinus pressure can affect you at any time during the year, but it tends to become a bigger problem in winter. As the weather gets colder, you might experience increased pressure that can cause considerable discomfort. If you suffer from sinus trouble, keep the following tips in mind for relieving pressure this winter.

Discover the Cause

Relieving sinus pressure involves knowing what’s causing it to occur. Depending on the underlying cause of your sinus trouble, you might find that certain types of treatment are more effective than others. For example, if you have sinus pressure due to a deviated septum, correcting this problem can provide you with relief. If you have sinus trouble from nasal polyps, having these growths removed can ease the pressure.

Open Your Nasal Passages

Opening up space inside your nasal passages can help ease sinus pressure. You can do this by placing a warm, damp washcloth over your sinuses throughout the day and by breathing in steam a few times per day. To breathe in the steam, let your shower run with hot water while you stay in the bathroom with the door closed. The steam enters your nasal passages and helps clear them out. Staying hydrated with plenty of water and other beverages, such as tea, can also help. Water makes your mucus thinner, while hot tea constricts the blood vessels in your sinuses, providing temporary relief.

Use a Humidifier

Making the air in your bedroom more humid while you sleep at night can relieve pressure in your sinuses. Use a cool mist humidifier to keep your nasal passages from becoming too dry and irritated. Avoid using a warm mist humidifier, since these can result in swelling inside your nasal passages.

Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Placing an extra pillow under your head and neck helps keep your sinuses at a higher level than your heart. This allows your sinuses to drain naturally during the night while you’re sleeping. Keep in mind that this works more effectively if you sleep on your back.

Try a Nasal Rinse

As your furnace runs during winter, the air inside your home can become too dry. This can increase your risk of dealing with sinus problems. A nasal rinse helps keep your nasal passages moist and eliminates mucus that has dried up. You can use a saline spray or try a neti pot filled with distilled water. However, you should avoid using a neti pot if your nasal passages are severely blocked since water can remain inside them and lead to sinus infections.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Getting rid of indoor pollutants and other irritants can help reduce your risk of having sinus pressure all winter long. You can make the air in your home healthier by replacing your HVAC filter with a new one. You might also want to consider getting a HEPA air filter for extra help removing dust, pet dander and other airborne irritants that can lead to sinus pressure and congestion.

Use Over-the-Counter Products

If you are still unable to find relief for sinus pressure, using over-the-counter decongestants and other products might offer temporary relief. These nonprescription products include oral decongestants, nasal sprays, antihistamine allergy medication and nasal steroids. Although they might ease sinus pressure, keep in mind that they are only designed to do so on a short-term basis.

If you are having trouble with your sinuses and can’t find relief, please contact ENT Centers of Excellence to schedule an appointment. We offer treatment and minimally invasive surgery for sinus disorders to help you breathe more clearly.

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