Does any good ever come from sinuses?
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
We have a lot of pressure in our day-to-day life, like work, home, kids, traffic. And annually, for one out of eight adults, there is the added pressure from sinuses. If you get a headache that feels like it’s in your forehead, on either side of your nose, in-between your eyes or in your upper mouth, it might be your sinuses.
What purpose do sinuses serve?
You know they serve a purpose, but when the only time you notice your sinuses is when they are causing pain, you wonder why they exist. Our sinuses lighten the weight of our head, humidify and heat the air we inhale, and keep out potentially harmful dirt, allergens and other particles in the air. They are hollow air spaces in the bones behind your eyes and nose that connect to the nose through small, narrow channels.
How do sinuses get infected?
For many, the inflammation starts when viruses or bacteria infect your sinuses (often during a cold) and begin to multiply. Part of the body’s reaction to the infection causes the sinus lining to swell, so the sinuses cannot function properly. The infection is referred to as sinusitis and can also be called rhinosinusitis because the symptoms involve both the nose and the sinuses.
Simple tips to prevent infections are similar to ways to prevent catching a cold. Drink plenty of fluids; frequently wash your hands; consume vitamin C; blow your nose frequently instead of sniffing; avoid cigarette smoke; and don’t let your nasal passages get too dry. Try to keep your nose cleared out but not dried out by using a nasal spray or humidifier.
How to treat
There are many over-the-counter medications for the sinus infection that is not getting worse and lasts less than 10 days.
To help ease the symptoms, there are home remedies such as:
Drink plenty of fluids
Run a humidifier in your bedroom at night while you sleep
Inhale steam by bending over a bowl of boiling water and put a towel over your head
Put a warm towel over your nose
If you feel worse or the symptoms are prolonged, call your doctor.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.