If you are experiencing sinus drainage, congestion or pain, consider the following:
- Acupuncture. It can be remarkably effective for relieving acute sinusitis. Acupuncture can ease pain and promote sinus drainage within minutes of the placement of the needles.
- Hot compresses. Help promote sinus drainage by placing very warm, wet compresses over the whole sinus area (be sure to cover your cheekbones and forehead) frequently. Work up to as much heat as you can comfortably stand for 10 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Steam inhalation. Inhaling steam with a little oil of eucalyptus in it may ease sinus clogging. You can do this in the bathroom with the shower on hot and door closed or purchase a small steamer specifically made for inhalation.
- Saline flushes. Flushing your nasal passages with a warm saline solution can help relieve sinus congestion and prevent sinus infections. Try this two to four times a day if you have active congestion. You can use a Neti pot, a traditional Indian nasal-irrigation device shaped like Aladdin’s lamp, which lets you pour the water into your nose. Or simply dissolve a ¼ teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and pour some of the solution into your cupped hand, then inhale it through one nostril while a finger from your opposite hand compresses and blocks the other nostril. Alternatively, you can sniff the solution from a small cup or squirt it into your nostrils with a rubber-bulb syringe. The idea is to inhale enough water to spit it out through your mouth.
- Look at your diet. If summer is your typical time for congestion, maybe your diet is to blame? You may find congestion relief by removing gluten and/or dairy products from your diet. Excess sugar can be a major contributor as well and often finds its way into your summer diet in the form of soda or alcoholic drinks and ice cream. If the above tactics do not help clear things up, it is certainly worth a three-week trial of eliminating these foods as you may notice other health improvements like clearer thinking or less joint pain.