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Bring on the Heat for Sinus Relief!

- Arthur Boia

Do you suffer from chronic sinus problems? If you do, you are not alone – far from it, in fact. An estimated 38 million Americans experience sinusitis or chronic inflammation of the facial cavities in the nose, cheeks and eye areas. Despite this staggering number of people affected and regardless of the cause, there are some simple things you can do to get relief. It starts with understanding the root of the problem.

What causes sinus problems?

Sinusitis can be attributed to a number of causes – from allergens, to toxins, and even the stress of our busy modern lifestyles. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has found that most sinus congestion and infection begins with a cold that leads to a bacterial infection because of trapped nasal secretions. Sinusitis can stretch a cold into weeks of discomfort, coughing and aggravation. And if you already have existing pulmonary problems such as asthma, the problem is even more aggravating and even dangerous.

And with the increase in pollution and drug-resistant bacteria, the number of people who suffer sinus issues will continue to skyrocket, despite over-the-counter and prescription drugs and remedies you will find at your local health food store.

Heat does the trick

You can’t do much about the actual causes of sinusitis; they are part of our modern lifestyles. But you can get relief using simple home remedies. Cold and dry air only keeps nasal congestion trapped, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. One of the simplest and least invasive things you can do is to simply use heat.

How it works

Using heat on inflamed sinuses can help relieve pressure and inflammation and even help with drainage.  Here’s how and why: 

  • Heat can thin nasal secretions, helping facilitate their release through the nose.
  • Heat can loosen thick mucous and even infection, helping it to drain.
  • Steam also works, combining heat and moisture.

What to do

  • Apply heat to the forehead and bridge of the nose for 10-20 minutes twice a day or as necessary.
  • Apply heat to the back of your neck and/or forehead for this duration, as well, to relax tight muscles and help relax your head and face.
  • Hold a towel over your head and then hold your face over a pot of hot water, breathing in the steam for at least 5 minutes.

In addition, make sure to stay hydrated. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily. Keeping enough water in your system will also help to keep mucous from thickening and the heat will then help with drainage. Any and all of these simple solutions can help keep your sinuses healthy and allow you to keep up with your busy life!

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