BREATHE EASY

The best ways to cope with con­gested nasal pas­sage­ways or a runny nose.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

Si­nuses pro­duce mu­cus to keep the in­sides of your nose moist and to keep al­ler­gens and pol­lu­tants away. Si­nus prob­lems can be trig­gered by al­ler­gies, or very of­ten be­cause of anatom­i­cal de­vi­a­tions like hav­ing nar­row si­nuses. And th­ese is­sues can be a real pain es­pe­cially when you’ve got a long day ahead of you. If you find your­self of­ten wak­ing up with con­gested nasal pas­sage­ways or a runny nose, here are ways to cope with your eas­ily ir­ri­tated si­nuses to set your day right.

1 HU­MID­I­FIER

Dry air causes your mu­cus to be­come thicker. This re­sults in con­ges­tion of your nasal pas­sages where mu­cus can­not be drained out prop­erly. The hu­mid­ity in the air has a huge im­pact on your si­nuses. A hu­mid­i­fier pro­vides moist air to ef­fec­tively soothe dry­ness, ir­ri­ta­tion or itch in your si­nuses. Try us­ing one nightly to min­imise dis­com­fort.

2 DRINK WA­TER

Downing enough wa­ter keeps the whole body hy­drated, and that in­cludes your si­nuses. Wa­ter will also help to keep your mu­cus thin for it to flow smoothly. Steer clear of caf­feine or al­co­hol as they may cause de­hy­dra­tion.

3 HOT SOUPY FOODS

Hot liq­uids can help loosen mu­cus and soothe dry­ness in your throat. Choose foods that come with thin soup bases like chicken noo­dle soup. It may sound like an old wives’ tale but a study pub­lished in Chest Jour­nal found that chicken soup may con­tain an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory mech­a­nisms that im­prove the con­di­tion of up­per res­pi­ra­tory tract in­fec­tions.

4 GET RID OF AL­LER­GENS

If your si­nus prob­lems are trig­gered by al­ler­gens, it would be wise to take mea­sures to al­lergy-proof your home. You can start by us­ing bed­ding with al­ler­gen barriers and keep­ing your pets out of your bed­room. Avoid hav­ing rugs and car­pets as they trap dust eas­ily. You should also wear a mask when you have to clean dusty ar­eas in your house. If th­ese mea­sures do not suf­fice, in­vest in an air pu­ri­fier with an al­lergy fil­ter for a cleaner and more ven­ti­lated home.

5 HY­GIENE

Practising good hy­giene habits may be com­mon sense but it is some­thing many of us of­ten take for granted. Grime and dirt

from your hands may trans­fer to your si­nuses eas­ily when you touch your face. Wash your hands fre­quently to pro­tect your­self.

6 TAKE A HOT SHOWER

The heat and steam from a hot shower can re­lieve con­ges­tion and si­nus pres­sure. Run a hot shower with the doors closed and in­hale the steam. Show­er­ing with hot wa­ter can also pro­vide some re­lief for your dis­com­fort. Al­ter­na­tively, in­hal­ing the steam from a bowl of hot wa­ter works too!

7 HOT COM­PRESS

If the pres­sure in your si­nuses starts giv­ing you a headache, soak a cloth in hot wa­ter and place it over your eyes while ly­ing down. Do­ing so can help to warm your nasal pas­sages and ease the pres­sure.

8 LIGHT EX­ER­CISE

Brisk walks or slow jogs can help to clear your si­nuses as they may trig­ger your pas­sages to open up when you take deep breaths. But it is im­por­tant to know your lim­its and stop im­me­di­ately if it is wors­en­ing your con­di­tion.

9 NASAL SPRAY

If your si­nus is­sues per­sist de­spite all the mea­sures taken, con­sult a doc­tor and get a pre­scrip­tion for a nasal spray. There are sev­eral types of nasal sprays like a de­con­ges­tant that helps to clear the stuffi­ness by shrink­ing the swollen tis­sues in your nose. Other types in­clude an­ti­his­tamine and cor­ti­cos­teroid nasal sprays. Your doc­tor will be able to tell you what suits you best.

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