Friday, May 9, 2008


For many people, sinusitis (inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the facial sinuses) is a nuisance that requires treatment, but not one that's severe enough to be worth a trip to the doctor. Here are some of the options for quick symptom relief at home:

Up the humidity. Keeping the membranes inside your nose and sinuses moist is very helpful for relieving congestion and discomfort.

Saline (salt-water) nasal sprays are terrific and safe to use as often as desired. A hot shower or hot drink can do wonders to clear a stuffy head.
You can also hold your head over a bowl of boiling water and cover your head with a towel to concentrate the steam. I like to make the water as hot as possible, but watch out for burns!

A whole-house or room humidifier is also a good idea. Just be diligent about keeping it clean - these devices can become part of the problem if mold or fungus is allowed to accumulate inside them.

Stay hydrated. Drinking more fluid minimizes dryness and irritation, and helps prevent or treat some headaches.

Irrigate the nasal passages. Several devices that go beyond simple nasal sprays can actually flush out your nose and sinuses with saline. This approach isn't for everyone, but some people really love it.

Keep the eyes moist. Like nasal sprays, saline eye drops help reduce the pain, itching, and dryness that often come with allergies.

Drop the cough. Many cough drops in the form of hard "candies," some with herbal ingredients, can suppress a cough for up to an hour. These can work in different ways, including simply increasing the production of saliva, which helps keep the throat moist and reduce irritation. If you are diabetic or have high blood sugar, be sure to use a sugar-free version.

Try cough medicine. The most common active ingredient in these medications is guaifenesin, which is intended to thin out the mucus and make it easier to drain and less irritating in your throat. There is still debate, however, about whether guaifenesin really does any good.

The best chance of success other ingredient to look for in an over-the-counter cough medicine is dextromethrophan, which often is indicated by the letters "DM" in the medication's name. DM works like codeine to prevent coughing, but is not a narcotic and is not addictive.

It can cause drowsiness, but for some people that's preferable to the fatigue that comes from all the congestion and coughing. Cough suppressants are available in syrups and tablets. The liquid, syrupy formulations typically have lower doses, and therefore might last only for an hour or two. These syrups also often contain sugar or alcohol, which can be a problem for some people.

Kill the pain. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen are the active ingredients in most analgesic painkillers, and can help with many of the bothersome symptoms of sinusitis.

Finally, a word about the combination medicines that are designed to treat multiple symptoms in one tablet. Many of these include an antihistamine, or a decongestant, or both. The benefit is fewer pills to buy and swallow, but the risk is that you might end up taking some medicines that you don't really need. The Lowest Prices On The Web For All Your Health Needs ... PLEASE VISIT OUR HEALTH BLOG FOR THE LATEST HEALTH NEWS



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