A popular home technique that clears nasal congestion is nasal irrigation. There are several methods, but essentially all are designed to help open up nasal passages and to clear out mucus and debris. These products range from the simple methods, like neti pots that help you flow water through your nasal passages, to more elaborate devices that actively pump water. Most products suggest using a saline solution to avoid stinging that may occur with pure water.
- Water. Staying hydrated helps keep mucus thin. Thick mucus can exacerbate sinus problems. So besides all the other health benefits to drinking more water, add overall sinus health and relief.
- Humidifiers. These devices increase the moisture in the air so that nasal passages are less likely to dry out. Humidifiers are especially useful at night when you are not aware that your nasal passages are drying up.
- Moisturizing sprays. These saline-based sprays give temporary moisture to nasal passages.
SOME UNEXPECTED TRIGGERS
- Smoking. Cigarette smoke reduces the effectiveness of the tiny hairs (called cilia) that sweep mucus and bacteria out of the sinuses. Without this sweeping, mucus can back up and cause sinus problems.
- Stress. Some people find that their sinus problems increase or worsen when they are under stress. Your mood can have significant effects on your overall health, including your sinuses.
- Workplace pollutants. There can be substances at work that trigger your sinus symptoms. This may be due to old or poor ventilation or strong fragrances from coworkers.