What causes sinus problems?
The sinuses can easily become blocked when an allergy triggers inflammation, or when a cold virus causes swelling in the nasal passages. When this happens, mucus can't be drained away and sinusitis may occur.
Structural issues, such as a deviated septum or polyps, may also cause inflammation in the nasal passages.
How do you fix sinus problems?
Cold-related sinus problems, such as a runny nose, blocked nose and headache, usually ease after a week or so. Unfortunately, though, many people can experience symptoms for longer due to a weak immune system, stress and poor diet, while some people simply fail to address their symptoms. Without treatment, sinus problems can take as much as three weeks to disappear.
To help calm symptoms and aid recovery, there are some simple things that can help:
- Keep hydrated
- Shower or bathe
- Try Sinuforce Nasal Spray
- Use PoHo oil
- Use a humidifier
- Cut down on dairy
- Get more vitamin D
- Get more vitamin C.
1. Keep hydrated
Quite often we can end up breathing through our mouth when our nose is blocked. This is problematic as it dries out the nasal membranes.
Drinking plenty of plain, still water (about 1.5 litres a day) will help counter this problem as it helps to re-hydrate the area.
2. Shower or bathe
The heat and steam generated by a bath or shower can help to increase moisture in the nasal passages and reduce inflammation.
Doing steam inhalations can have a similar effect. To do this safely, I recommend you fill a big basin with hot water, place it on a steady surface and then place your nose near the water, but not so close that you are going to get burnt! Next, take several deep breaths, pause, then repeat.
3. Try Sinuforce Nasal Spray
The Sinuforce Nasal Spray can help to improve sinus problems. It contains Eucalyptus and menthol which help to increase air flow through the nose. The addition of chamomile is very soothing, whilst diluted eucalyptus can help with inflammation and, therefore, stuffiness.
4. Use PoHo oil
PoHo oil may also be of benefit when problems like congestion crop up. This oil is very strong, however, so it must be used sparingly and should not be applied directly onto the skin.
There are a few ways in which you can use Po Ho oil, so I have listed these below:
- Waft the bottle under the nose and inhale
- Put a drop on a tissue and hold near the nose. It is good to keep this tissue by your bed side, at your work desk or in your bag
- Put one drop in a body cream and apply to the chest (remember, though, PoHo should not be applied directly to the skin without diluting it first)
- Place in an oil burner
- Place in a hot basin of water and inhale.
5. Use a humidifier
You can keep moisture in the air around you by using a humidifier/mister. Again, this helps to lubricate the nasal passages so can make them feel more comfortable.
Placing hot bowls of water on the radiators around your home will have a similar effect, though, of course, this is not advisable if you have small children or pets around!
6. Cut down on dairy
Dairy products can promote the production of phlegm, so you may find it helpful to cut down your intake when sinus problems flare up.
However, fermented dairy products can be used, plus dairy-free options like almond milk offer a suitable alternative. Both of these options are readily available in supermarkets and health foods stores.
7. Get more vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is thought to contribute to the rapid production of sinus tissue in people with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). CRS causes inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and this makes it difficult to drain mucus.
You can get more vitamin D by spending time out in the sun, though natural vitamin D supplements are readily available too. Public Health England recommends that adults get 10 mcg of vitamin D a day.2
8. Get more vitamin C
Vitamin C can be supportive of the respiratory tract so it's important to make sure you are getting plenty in your diet. You can use our recipe hub to get ideas for vitamin C-rich meals and snacks such as our Kiwi & Ginger Green Smoothie.
Again, a vitamin C supplement can also be taken if you want to boost your vitamin C intake further. Our natural Nature-C Tablets may be ones to look at here as they are well absorbed by the body.