It’s about that time of year. The temperature is changing, knocking our sinuses out-of-whack. Being congested is frustrating, and let’s face it – kind of gross. Unfortunately, there’s more than one reason your sinuses may be congested. Here are some of the most common:
- Rhinitis – An inflammation of your nasal cavity lining that may be allergic or nonallergic.
- Common Cold/Flu – A virus that involves sneezing, a runny nose and a headache.
- Sinus Infection – A common condition that affects 30 million Americans each year.
- Allergies – If you think your congestion may be related to allergies, see a health care professional.
Almost everyone has experienced nasal congestion at some point. It can be painful and uncomfortable. In some cases, it even interferes with speech, hearing and sleep. Many people use over-the-counter medicines to help clear up congestion, but it comes along with unwanted side effects. If you aren’t a fan of medicine, there’s a completely natural method you can use to help clear up your stuffy nose.
How to Clear Your Sinuses
- Sit down and position your head and body at a 45-degree angle. Turn your head sideways and massage the sternocleidomastoid muscle in a downward direction 5 times. This muscle is located directly beneath the ears. It runs down the neck, perpendicular to the collarbone. Repeat this technique on the other side of your neck. This will also relax the neck to make the next steps more effective.
- Using your index fingers, locate the hard and boney part of your nose. It runs about halfway down the length of the nose. Move your fingers down until you locate the soft part of the nose where this bone ends. The area between the soft part of the nose and the bone is where you’ll focus this technique. Use a circular motion to massage this area with firm but comfortable pressure for approximately 20-30 seconds. Next, massage the muscles down the side of the nose toward the cheekbones. This will help to relax this area of the face.
- Using your index fingers, locate the upper orbit bone. This bone is found in the area above each eye. Next, locate the super orbital notch, which is a slight indentation located about the center of the eyeball. Use a circular motion to massage this notch with firm but comfortable pressure for about 20-30 seconds.
- With both hands, locate the center of the forehead. Use a circular motion with firm but comfortable pressure to massage outward until you reach the temples.
Tips To Prevent Sinus Infections
- Don’t smoke – Cigarette smoke can irritate the sinuses and worsen an existing sinus condition.
- Eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet helps keep the immune system strong.
- Stay active – Part of keeping your body healthy is keeping it active. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise, at least three times a week to keep your immune system in top-notch shape.
- Drink plenty of water – Dehydration can cause many health conditions. Stay hydrated to keep your body healthy and prevent health issues.
- Wash your hands – Especially during cold and flu season!
- Clean your home regularly – Vacuum and dust your home weekly to get rid of irritating dust mites.