Sinus congestion which is popular for its other names nasal blockage, blocked nose, nasal obstruction, stuffy nose, sinus congestion and rhinitis refers to that condition characterized by having blocked nasal passages triggered by the swollen membranes lining around your nose. The swollen membranes are caused by an inflammation in your blood vessels. Nasal or sinus congestion can cause utmost discomfort to its sufferers because of its ability to interfere with their hearing and speech development and sleep. This condition may also lead to snoring and sleep apnea. If you are dealing with this problem, then note that you can find the most suitable treatment for your case after you gather enough information about the treatment and get an idea about the severity of your case.
Major Causes and Symptoms of Sinus Congestion
Sinus or nasal congestion is caused by a number of factors. These include the following:
- Allergic reaction
- Influenza or common cold
- Hay fever
- Deviated septum
- Reaction to certain types of medication
- Intake of foods and drinks that may aggravate sinus congestion including spicy foods, alcoholic beverages and caffeine
- Nasal polyps
- Cluster headache
- Nasal tumor
- Cystic fibrosis
- Drug abuse
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus
- Environmental irritants
- Viral infections
Aside from learning the major causes of sinus congestion, it is also important for you to gather information about its symptoms so you will know exactly the perfect time for you to take action. Among the signs and symptoms of the condition are blocked nose, runny nose, sinusitis, stuffiness, pain and pressure around your eyes and face, headaches, fever, stuffy nose, body aches, itchiness around your nose and eyes, pain or tenderness in your frontal sinus or that specific part above your eyebrows, thick yellow or green discharge, dry cough, bad breath and postnasal drip. If you are experiencing most of the symptoms mentioned above, then it is best for you to contact your doctor immediately. It is also important for you to visit your doctor if you notice that you are suffering from a stuffy nose accompanied by swollen eyes, cheek, forehead and side of nose, stuffy nose accompanied by blurred vision, increased pain in your throat, coughing which lasts for more than ten days, coughing which produces gray or yellow-green mucus and stuffy nose that lasts for more than two weeks.
A visit to your doctor will allow him to conduct a physical examination which focuses on your nose, ears, throat and upper respiratory treatment. You can also expect your doctor to ask you a few questions that are vital in accurately detecting your condition and these include the time when your stuffy nose started, the treatments that you have already tried to obtain relief from the condition and the specific symptoms that you are experiencing. Your doctor will also perform some diagnostic tests including allergy skin tests, throat culture or sputum culture, blood tests, chest-x-ray and x-rays of your sinuses. The results of these tests will determine if you are indeed suffering from sinus congestion and the severity of your case.
Effective Sinus Congestion Treatments
If you notice that your sinus is already severe, then it is advisable for you to start asking your doctor about the most suitable treatment for your case. Among your treatment options are the following:
- Antihistamines: These are extremely beneficial for runny nose sufferers. You can expect this type of treatment to work in drying the congestion in your sinuses and in slowing down the drips. It is also useful in treating seasonal allergies. Among the many antihistamines that you can use for your problem are Claritin, Benadryl and Allegra.
- Decongestants: Decongestants are effective treatments for sinus congestion especially if this condition is accompanied by a full and stuffy feeling in your head. What makes decongestants useful is their ability to break the congestion of your sinuses and drain it.
- Humidifiers: You can expect these to work in maintaining air’s moisture and in preventing extreme dryness in your nasal passages. Humidifiers are proven to be more effective during the winter season. Heaters may cause the air in one’s household to quickly dry out and this will result to nasal passage dryness and difficulty in breathing. The use of humidifiers especially when you are sleeping at night can decrease your risk of suffering from thick and congested nose and dried nasal passages after waking up.
- Saline Nasal Sprays: You can expect these sprays to work in loosening congestion in your passages and in improving drainage. While using these nasal sprays for several times each day is acceptable, you have to make sure that you avoid over-using the treatment. Keep in mind that if you use the sprays excessively, there is a great tendency for your congestion to worsen.
- Saline Nasal Drops: These drops are effective for infants who are suffering from sinus congestion. This treatment works in effectively pulling out the thick mucus or drainage from the nose of your infant. If your infant is diagnosed of having congested nasal passages, then you have to consider using the drops right away to open up the passages as infants can only breathe with the help of their noses. The good thing about saline nasal drops is that these are safe for infants and are incapable of causing any negative side effects.
- Irrigation: This sinus congestion treatment involves the use of salt water in opening up your nasal passages. Salt water works in getting rid of all the mucus and debris in your nasal passages including germs and allergens while also maintaining the moisture. You can use numerous approaches when it comes to applying the salt water. These include the use of a neti pot, syringe and nasal irrigator. It is also important for you to make sure that you are using sterile, distilled or boiled water in creating your irrigation solution.
- Warm Compress: You can apply warm compress in your face to obtain relief from sinus congestion. What you need to do is to sit comfortably with a wet and warm towel in your face in order to open up your blocked nasal passages and obtain relief from the discomfort caused by the condition.