If you are plagued by sinus problems, take a moment to consider these valuable parts of your head.
What can turn good sinuses into problem sinuses?
Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones between your eyes, behind your cheekbone, and in the forehead. They produce mucus, which helps keep the inside of your nose moist. That, in turn, helps protect against dust, allergens, and pollutants.
Common Sinus Problems
Each sinus has a narrow spot, called the transition space (ostium), which is an opening that’s responsible for drainage. If a bottleneck or blockage occurs in the transition of any of the sinuses, mucus backs up.
Deviated Nasal Septum
Another common issue is a deviated nasal septum, the thin wall of bone and cartilage inside your nasal cavity that separates your two nasal passages. Ideally, your septum is situated in the centre of your nose, equally separating the two sides. But whether from genetics or injury, in about 80% of people, the nasal septum is displaced to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other. A deviated septum is one reason some people have sinus issues. A deviated septum can also lead to obstructed breathing and snoring.
More often, certain people just have variations in their anatomy that creates a longer, narrower path for the transition spaces to drain. It’s thought to be pure genetics, since it’s the way we’ve inherited how our sinuses are put together and how easy or difficult it is for them to stay open or become blocked.
Sinus Sensitivity and Allergies
Finally, there are certain people who have sensitivity to things in the environment and to the foods they eat. This sensitivity triggers a dilation of blood vessels in the nose, and sometimes releases chemicals from cells in the nose that cause swelling.
Your doctor can prescribe medications to control your symptoms. People with sinus problems and allergies should avoid environmental irritants such as tobacco smoke and strong chemical odour’s, which may increase sinus problems.
Protecting Your Sinuses
Try these tips to reduce inflammation and prevent sinus problems:
- Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your face several times a day to help open the transition spaces. (you can also apply the Sinus Gel to alleviate sinus pain)
- Drink plenty of fluids to thin the mucus.
- Inhale steam two to four times per day (sit in the bathroom with the hot shower running).
- Use a nasal saline spray, like the Kuraflo spray, several times per day.
- Wash the nose with a salt water solution.
- Try a humidifier to moisten the air you breathe and help open sinuses.
- If your sinus problems are related to allergies, we recommend the Manna Sinus Support