Should You Use Heat or Cold for a Sinus Infection?

Should You Use Heat or Cold for a Sinus Infection?

Natural sinus decongestants

Sinuses are cavities in the bones around your face and above your eyes. Colds or allergies can make them swollen and filled with mucus. A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is caused by bacteria or a virus. Over-the-counter medications are often enough to clear it up, but the pressure, pain, and other symptoms can be harsh. There is, however, another effective sinusitis treatment—heat.

Believe it or not, heat is a natural nasal decongestant. Cold from an ice pack can cause mucus in your sinuses to thicken, making your symptoms worse. Heat can be used in various forms:

Warm compresses: A heated towel on your face can help relieve pressure, and a washcloth works well, too. Apply it to your cheeks and forehead to help ease the swelling and throbbing sensation. Before bedtime, lie back on a bed or couch and keep the cloth over your face for five to ten minutes for the best results.

Steam it out: The steamier, the better. That’s why a shower or a cup of hot tea works. When you breathe in the steam, the heat loosens up the mucus and the moisture relieves dryness. A hot shower is also great for stuffy sinuses, as the steam easily passes to your lungs and nasal passages.

Steam treatment: Hot water and tea are a great combination for steaming out your sinuses. Boil some water, and add an herb such as chamomile or thyme. Let it cool a bit, and pour the liquid into a bowl. Put a towel over your head, with your face over the bowl, and breathe deeply—the warm steam will eventually start to provide relief.

Treating sinusitis with heat

Humidify: Although it doesn’t contribute heat, a humidifier can clear your sinuses and relieve pressure so you can sleep. Moist air is generally effective at clearing stuffiness. Saline nose sprays work in a similar way, but they contain compounds that help break up mucus and ease swelling.

Spice it up: The heat doesn’t always have come from the temperature. Spicy food is known for clearing up congestion. The relief may be temporary, but wasabi or horseradish, jalapeno, spicy ginger, onion, or garlic work for even severe congestions, if you want to know how to drain your sinuses naturally.

Care for your cilia: The tiny hairs in your nasal passages move bacteria and toxins toward the throat so they can be swallowed and digested. Thick mucus can impair movement. Hot compresses increase blood flow, loosen mucus, and help improve cilia movement. Hydration is helpful, with tea and saline solutions useful in stimulating cilia.

Get a mask: Applying the natural benefits of heat for sinus pressure and congestion, the Sniff Relief face mask offers a comfortable fit and eight temperature settings. You can even use it before bed—an automatic shut-off is included so the heat won’t stay on long. The mask molds around the shape of the nose for maximum comfort.

Order a Sniff Relief from our website today, or contact us online for more information.

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