What is sinus?
Sinus is a condition wherein, the nasal cavities experience inflammation. Such a condition can be triggered by allergies or cold and may get cured on its own. These conditions account for acute sinusitis.
Whereas, a prolonged or chronic one may be caused by infections and can last up to eight weeks. Runny nose, nasal congestion, headache and facial pain are some of the symptoms. Usually, there is no treatment needed for acute sinusitis, with pain medication, nasal saline rinses.
However, for chronic sinusitis, antibiotics may be required. The small air pockets behind our nose, cheekbones forehead and eyes are where our sinus is located. Mucus, a fluid produced by sinus, is a secretion that helps the body to fight germs. Sometimes, too much mucus is generated to fight bacteria and pathogens which block the opening of the sinus.
When one catches a cold or allergies, usually mucus generation is in abundance. This mucus accumulation may become thicker and may allow bacteria and other germs to build up in your sinus cavity, leading to bacterial or viral infection. Most sinuses improve within 1-2 weeks, without treatment. If not, medical care may be needed.
Certain home remedies can help to treat sinus naturally:
- Taking rest
Rest always helps the body to heal. Sleep promotes the release of tissue growth hormones in your brain. Your body will also generate more white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting viruses and other bacteria, while you rest.
2. Keep yourself hydrated
If you do not consume enough water, it may lead to your sinus drying out due to dehydration and raising the pressure on your face. Raise your water intake during the day. Fluids are going to reduce the sinuses’ blockages.
While water can make you stay hydrated, you can also include liquids with other foods and drinks, including:
- fruit and vegetables with high water content
Dry air and dry sinuses can increase sinus pressure and cause headaches and throbbing pain. By taking steam, you enable the mucus to thin out a bit which may have thickened over time. Further, moisture helps the sinus passage which has dried out to get back to normal and thus gives you sinus relief.
For an extra boost, add eucalyptus oil to your bath to speed your recovery. Eucalyptus contains cineole, an ingredient known to speed healing of acute sinusitis. The oil also may help to reduce nasal stuffiness and clear your pathways.
Your sleeping position can affect sinus. If you lay flat on your back, you can shoot up sinus build up in the nasal passage and hence disrupt sleep. Keep your head above your core with pillows in the night. This sleeping posture stops sinuses from building up and can make the breathing easier and help in sinus relief.
5. Saline flush
A typical treatment for sinus pressure and irritation is a saline wash. The saline spray contains salt which increases nose humidity and reduces sinus pressure. It is available in a drug store or you can make your own soda, purified water and iodine-free salt.
6. Working out
Exercising will relieve the pressure of the sinus, similar to yoga. Physical exercise can improve blood flow and temporarily relieve breathing congestion. While physical exercise is not comfortable when you are sick, it can increase your recovery time and speed of healing.
How to sleep with a sinus infection.
Many people suffering from sinus find it difficult to breathe and hard to sleep with sinus infection. This happens due to congestion and swelling in the nasal track and paranasal sinuses. The nasal passage gets blocked and makes it hard for us to breadth. The sinus also poses problems at night and makes one lose sleep.
While we are sleeping, we breadth through our nose but due to inflammation and swelling, caused by sinusitis, breathing becomes difficult and therefore our sleep is disrupted. The uvula (the soft tissue at the back of our throat) and the soft palate relax while we are sleeping. If these tissues block the way of air to pass, vibration is caused which creates sound known as snoring. Sinus swelling can make snoring more likely as it causes the mouth to breathe.
Snoring is not a serious matter by itself (particularly for partners in the same room) the ARS notes, even though it is a nuisance. But something more severe could be indicated: obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you stop breathing when you are sleeping for a brief period, repeatedly. Extremely loud snoring is a sign that you might have sleep apnea, particularly when it’s related to irregular silences and air gasps. People with sleep apneas often feel exhausted after sleeping full night, waking up with headaches and extreme tiredness during the day.
The long-term effects for sleep apnea may also be due to:
- Higher cardiovascular risk
- Increased blood pressure
- Higher risk of cancer, stroke and depression
- Obesity and weight gain
- Higher risk of cardiac congestion
NIighttime sinus relief
At times, sleeping can become difficult due to allergies, flu, cold etc which cause thickening of sinus thereby making it hard to breathe. People facing such problems can follow certain steps to stop this condition from ruining their sleep.
The following ways can be adopted for sinus relief.
- Keeping your head at an elevated angle from the heart lessens mucus formation to an extent.
- Using a humidifier will give a little moisture to your nasal passage and ease down the pain and discomfort. Humidifiers can also be used with oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint for more benefits.
- Due to continuous coughing the throat may become sore and dry. Honey works as a cough suppressant and helps ease dryness and discomfort.
- Wearing a nasal strip will pull the nose a little upwards and ease out the discomfort to an extent. Most people wear a nasal strip due to snoring but it can also help out in sinusitis.
- Using a nasal spray can ease out inflammation and congestion but is useful only for short time relief.
- Seeing a doctor is the best option to get sinus treated.
How to sleep with sinus infection
Sleeping with sinus infection can be uncomfortable. There are certain proven steps which one can adopt to sleep peacefully while suffering from sinus infection. Adoption of these steps will result in sinus relief.
- Applying a menthol chest rub on chest and neck may not ease nasal infection but can help you sleep.
- Applying the nasal strip can to an extent ease out breathing.
- Taking a hot shower before bed can help in thinning out mucus.
- Gargling with hot water helps to ease throat pain.
- Trying facial steam can also help to ease out breathing.