Table of Contents
5 Ways to Improve Your Sinus Health
If you’re struggling with sinus issues, you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, about 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis (sinus inflammation) each year. While there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help, there are also some simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve your sinus health.
1. Keep your nasal passages moist.
Dry air is one of the most common triggers for sinus problems. A humidifier can help add moisture to the air and prevent your sinuses from drying out. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can place a bowl of water on your nightstand or put a pan of water on the stove on low heat. Just be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil dry.
2. Irrigate your sinuses daily.
Nasal irrigation is a safe and effective way to cleanse your sinuses and remove irritants like pollen, dust, and bacteria. You can purchase a neti pot or saline spray at most drugstores, or you can make your own saline solution at home with ¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of distilled water. Lean over the sink and gently pour the solution into one nostril, allowing it to flow out the other nostril. Repeat on the other side.
3. Avoid known triggers.
If you know that certain things trigger your sinus problems—such as smoke, perfumes, or cleaning products—do your best to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them completely, try to limit your exposure as much as possible. For example, if smoke from cigarettes bothers you, ask smokers to step outside before they light up or avoid being in smoky places altogether.
4. Eat more horseradish and garlic.
Horseradish and garlic both contain compounds that can help thin mucus and improve drainage. Add them to soups, salads, sauces, or any other dish you like for a little extra flavor and sinus-fighting power. Just be warned that they may cause bad breath!
5. Get regular exercise.
Regular exercise helps improve airflow through your nose by opening up the nasal passages and keeping them clear. It also helps reduce stress—and we all know that stress can worsen just about any health condition! So get moving—your sinuses will thank you for it!
There are many things you can do to improve your sinus health without resorting to medication. By keeping your nasal passages moist, irrigating your sinuses daily, avoiding known triggers, eating more horseradish and garlic, and getting regular exercise, you can help reduce the frequency and severity of your sinus problems naturally!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my sinus health?
- Rest. This will help your body fight infection and speed recovery.
- Drink fluids. Continue to drink plenty of fluids.
- Use a warm compress. A warm compress on your nose and forehead may help relieve the pressure in your sinuses.
- Moisten your sinus cavities.
- Rinse your nasal passages.
How can I heal my sinuses naturally?
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat foods with antibacterial properties.
- Add moisture.
- Clear the sinuses with oils.
- Use a neti pot.
- Ease facial pain with warm compresses.
- Use over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
- Get a prescription.
What foods cause sinus problems?
Food to Avoid
Avoid dairy if you have had previous episodes of sinus infections. Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes (contain histamines), chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion.
What foods help clear sinuses?
- Fish and Seafood. Not only are fish chock-full of high quality protein, many types also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
- Dark Leafy Greens. You are better off listing what vitamins and minerals aren’t in leafy greens than trying to count all of the myriad health benefits.
- Hot Peppers.