Natural Treatments for Winter Sinus Troubles
There’s no question that our bodies take quite a beating when winter sets in. From chapped lips and dry skin to cracked heels and rough elbows, the atmospheric changes and frigid temperatures take a toll on us from head to toe. But nothing seems to suffer more than our sinuses. Viruses and infections can lead to uncomfortable congestion, blockage and sinus pressure, and low humidity dries out the sinus membranes, leaving them irritated and sensitive.
If you’re prone to experiencing sinus troubles when the temperatures start to drop, there are several precautions and home remedies that can alleviate your bothersome symptoms. Take these steps to give your sinuses a little TLC this winter:
Drink plenty of water
Keeping your body hydrated will promote sinus drainage and prevent the buildup of thick mucus which causes painful sinus pressure. A good rule of thumb to determine your daily water intake is to divide your body weight by half and that is the number of ounces you should drink daily. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water per day.
Turn down the heat
It may be tempting to curl up by the fire or bump up the thermostat when there’s a nip in the air, but breathing in that warm, dry air can lead to dried out sinuses and blocked sinus exits. Instead, keep warm by dressing in layers and having several blankets on hand throughout your home.
Use a humidifier
Running a humidifier will increase the moisture in the air to lubricate your sinuses and prevent the buildup of thick, crusty mucus. There are several affordable options for humidifiers and even small, portable ones for your cubicle or office. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent circulating mold and fungus.
Bring water to a boil in a pot or kettle on the stove. Position your face a comfortable distance over the boiling water and carefully breathe in the steam. This will relax your nasal passages and loosen the buildup of stubborn mucus. Add a few drops of essential oils to the water for extra relief.
Gently blow your nose
We have a tendency to blow our noses too hard when we’re overly congested, but this mistake can actually send germ-filled mucus right back into the sinuses. Instead, press a finger against one nostril and gently blow with the other nostril.
Prop yourself up while you sleep
Lying flat allows mucus to collect in your sinuses while you sleep at night. Help promote sinus drainage by propping yourself up with a few extra pillows. If this feels uncomfortable, use a wedge pillow to comfortably elevate your upper body.