What makes good sinuses go bad? You may be surprised to find out the problem isn’t the sinuses themselves. In fact, they are just hollow air spaces within the bones that sit between your eyes, right behind your cheekbones and in the forehead.1 They make mucus that helps keep the inside of your nose moist. That mucus helps protect against dust, allergens, and pollutants. These are how normal sinuses function. So what happens when you experience sinus pain?
If you deal with allergies, the tissue in your nose may be swollen. This happens as well if you have a cold. If there is something that is blocking your sinus passages, your sinuses cannot drain and this may result in pain. Sinuses are also responsible for the tone and depth of your voice. This explains why your voice changes when you are all stuffed up. In total, there are eight sinus cavities. They are paired with each one of the left and right side of the face. There are two sinus cavities in your forehead. Two more are behind the cheekbone. Then there are two within the bones between your eyes and two behind each eye.
Well Known Sinus Problems
There are a few different reasons why your sinuses may be giving you problems. Usually, what we experience are the symptoms of sinus issues. We will now discuss some of the reasons behind why we experience sinus issues.
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Each sinus has a narrow opening called a transition space. This is an opening that is responsible for drainage. If this narrow space becomes blocked, mucus begins to back up. This is called a blockage.
Your nasal septum is a thin wall of bone and cartilage that sits inside your nasal cavity. It serves to separate your two nasal passages. It lies in the center of your nose and equally separates the two sides. In many people, whether caused by genetics or injury, it sits off to one side, or “deviated.” This results in one nasal passage being smaller than the other. A deviated septum is a reason why some people have sinus issues, and it can also cause snoring.
Another reason why you may experience sinus problems is due to narrow sinuses. Some people just have variations in their anatomy resulting in a longer, narrower path for the transition spaces to drain. Sinus sensitivity and allergies may also cause problems. This results from sensitivity to things in your environment and certain foods you eat. This typically can cause a reaction that leads to swelling in the nose.
Sinusitis is also known as a sinus infection. It is an inflammation of the sinuses. Common symptoms of sinusitis are thick nasal mucus, a plugged nose, and facial pain. There are additional signs and symptoms that may include fever, headache, poor sense of smell, sore throat and a cough.
Because sinus problems happen to millions of people, it is worthwhile to explore ways to alleviate symptoms associated with sinus problems. Now that we understand the most common reasons for sinus problems we are going to shift gears and talk about ways to improve your overall sinus health through natural remedies.
Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain
Dry, thick mucus in your nose and also in your sinus passages can form crusts. These crusts can block sinus drainage and trap viruses and other particles.2 An increase in humidity and getting more fluids into your body can help your mucus to thin out and get moving again. There are some natural ways to get your sinuses draining and relieve sinus pressure. These include drinking plenty of fluids, using a humidifier, avoiding cold dry air, taking plenty of steamy showers and drinking a cup of hot tea or soup.
Saltwater irrigation is a superior way to cleanse the nose and also the sinuses. This can help to prevent or relieve sinus pain. You can use a nasal spray available over the counter, but the best, most effective way to irrigate your sinuses is to use a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or bulb syringe irrigation kit.3 You can purchase these at a drugstore.
Hot and Cold Compresses
While reclining, place a hot washcloth over your eyes and nose. This can help warm the nasal passages and loosen mucus. You can also choose to alternate warm and cold compresses to relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure.
This may come as a surprise but adding a little spice into your diet can help with sinus pain. While eating spicy foods, many people find that they experience relief from this sinus pain. Spicy food like peppers and hot mustard have an ingredient called capsaicin, and it has been found to be effective at relieving certain types of pain. If you love the taste and can endure the pain, you can add some spicy foods to help with sinus discomfort.
Researchers in Sweden have found that humming can help to keep your sinuses clear. That almost sounds unbelievable, but humming may increase both airflow through your sinuses and the level of nitric oxide and your sinuses. The combination of nitric oxide and airflow may reduce the risk of sinusitis. If you have a common cold or even allergies and want to prevent a sinus infection, try humming a happy tune that you don’t mind hearing for an hour to relieve your sinus pain.
Avoid over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray’s – they may give you fast relief, but after a few days they could actually make sinus pressure and nasal congestion much worse. There are other things you can do to help to prevent sinus pain. These include avoiding alcohol because alcohol can aggravate sinus pain and congestion. Cleaning your humidifier will help to avoid fungal allergies. Wash your bedding in hot water in order to decrease allergy exposure. And lastly, try to avoid swimming, diving or even flying when you have sinusitis, a common cold, or nasal allergies.
Easy, natural remedies like the ones mentioned above can effectively improve inflamed sinuses. These treatments will soothe irritated passageways and also increase the flow of mucus. This will make it so that you don’t feel so stuffed up. While sinus problems can definitely be uncomfortable, the effect of natural remedies can help alleviate the pain and discomfort of sinus issues.
If you find yourself in need of a little extra support, check out MONQ’s Relieve blend, a scientifically crafted blend specifically designed to promote natural healing and pain relief!
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