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How to Drain Sinuses

Two Methods:

Sinus congestion due to an upper respiratory infection or allergies can be annoying, but it can also affect your ability to get quality sleep and impact your productivity at work. Prolonged sinus congestion can lead to sinus infections. These conditions can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, thick green or purulent nasal discharge, facial pain, pressure headaches, cough, and a low grade fever. If you are dealing with nasal congestion, there are many ways you can drain your sinuses.


Using Home Remedies

  1. Breathe in steam.Steam is one of the best ways to get your sinuses to drain. To produce enough steam to help, go into the bathroom and turn on the hot water in the shower, closing the door to keep the steam inside. Remain in the bathroom with the hot water running for three to five minutes. The nasal secretions should be loose and ready to be blown out of your nose after this time. You can also place your head over a large bowl of just boiled water and cover your head with a towel to hold in the steam. Breathe this for about 10 minutes, or until you feel your nasal congestion get better.
    • If you feel dizziness during either method, step into fresh air, have a seat, and breath normally. This will pass. It is not anything to be alarmed about and will resolve in a few minutes.
    • You can use essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint in the bathroom as well. They have shown promise in their natural decongestant properties and may prove beneficial. Eucalyptus oil has been shown to have decongestant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which should help to clear your sinuses and aid in prevention of a sinus infection.To use, drop five to 10 drops of the oil in the tub or bowl of water.
    • Keep essential oils away from children. They can cause serious problems and possibly death if ingested or used in the wrong way.
  2. Buy a humidifier.Sometimes, your sinuses may be really dry, which can add to sinus congestion. Humidifiers can help much in the same way as steam. Keep it on while you are around the house or while you sleep in order for it to increase the moisture level in your nose and help loosen nasal secretions.
    • You can apply around five drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint into your humidifier water to help with your congestion. Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial, decongestant, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help your condition.
  3. Use a warm compresses.Heat can also help your nasal congestion and drain your sinuses. Take a moist washcloth and place it in the microwave for two to three minutes. The temperature should be hot but tolerable. Place the cloth across your nose and allow it to sit until the heat is gone. Repeat this as needed. It should loosen secretions and permit clearance from your nose with blowing.
    • Use care not to burn yourself as you remove the washcloth from the microwave. All microwaves are different and yours may have heated the cloth too hot.
  4. Make saline spray.Saline spray is beneficial in loosening nasal congestion. To make your own, mix 8oz of warm water with one half teaspoon of salt in a bowl. To administer it, buy a bulb suction device at the store. Place the long end of the bulb suction device in the bowl of solution, push on it to release water, then let the bulb go so the bulb will fill. Next, place the small end in your nose and administer two sprays into each nostril to add the liquid to your nasal secretions, which will facilitate blowing.
    • You may also buy saline (non-medicated) nasal sprays and drops at the pharmacy. You can use nasal saline sprays every few hours as there is no medicine in them to worry about. Nasal saline drops are very safe and effective even for babies.
  5. Use a neti pot.A neti pot is a miniature tea pot shaped device can cleanse your sinus passages by flooding warm water through one nostril and out the other. To use, fill the pot with warm water around 120 degrees. Tilt your head to the left and a little bit back and place the spout of the pot at your right nostril. Raise the pot up and pour water into your right nostril. It will drain out the left nostril.
    • Make sure the water is clean and sterile. Boil the water beforehand to warm it and remove all the impurities if you are unsure about the safety of your water supply.
  6. Drink or eat hot substances.There are drinks and food that can help with your sinus issues. Try hot tea, which will have a similar effect to steam. The heat from the tea will heat up your sinus passages and help them drain. Any type of tea you prefer is fine, though peppermint and lavender may have additional benefits with sinus congestion.
    • Also change up the way you eat. Try hot salsa, hot peppers, hot wings, or any food you prefer that has a spicy kick to it. The added heat to your system will help heat up your sinuses and get your secretions running.
    • Hot soup or broth can also help loosen the sinuses.
  7. Exercise.Although you may not feel like exercising when you have sinus congestion, the physical activity can help increase the flow of the mucus in your sinuses, which will help with the clearance of nasal secretions. Try some aerobic exercise for 15 to 20 minutes to help you.
    • If you are allergic to pollen or other outside substances, try exercising inside at a gym or at home to avoid increases exposure to irritating allergens.
  8. Perform a manual massage.Sometimes, you can use your hand to help drain your sinuses. Apply gentle pressure using your index and middle fingers, rotating in a circular motion over the forehead, the bridge of your nose, beside your eyes, and under your eyes. Use an oil such as rosemary oil along your forehead to help open up your sinus passages.
    • This manual manipulation can manually or structurally break up secretions as well as warm the area with the action of your hands.

Seeking Medical Help

  1. Try medications.There are many medications, both over the counter and prescription, that can help relieve nasal congestion in your sinuses. Flonase and Nasacort are nasal steroid sprays that are available over-the-counter. To use, administer one spray per nostril, once or twice daily. This is especially helpful if you have allergies. You may also try Zyrtec, which is a non-drowsy antihistamine, which can reduce sinus congestion. Take 10 mg once a day. Also try Claritin, another non-drowsy antihistamine that may work well for you. Take 10 mg once a day. Oral decongestants that include pseudoephedrine may also be helpful.
    • If the over the counter doses don't work for you, talk to your doctor about stronger version of these medications or other, prescription only decongestants that may work better for your case.
    • OTC pain medications for the pain associated with sinus congestion, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may also help.
    • Nasal decongestants, such as Afrin, can quickly reduce sinus congestion, but should only be used for three days. If you use them longer, you may get rebound symptoms.
    • Pregnant women or people with medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or thyroid disease should not use these medications without talking to their doctor. And talk to your child’s doctor before giving them to children.
  2. Ask your doctor about immunotherapy.If you have severe chronic allergies that cause your sinus issues, consider immunotherapy to eliminate your sinus congestion. Immunotherapy is the process by which you are administered small doses of what you are allergic to, such as pollen, mold, or pet dander, either by injections or under the tongue. The first step is to get tested by an allergist, who will figure out exactly what you are allergic to. Once your doctor has confirmed what you are allergic to, he or she will begin to administer the allergen as injections or under your tongue. The doctor gives you doses of the allergen with the idea that your body will learn to adapt to the allergen, no longer see it as an invader, and no longer continue to mount an immune response, such as the sinus congestion or a runny nose.
    • The injections or treatments will take place weekly for the first four to six months. Next, you should be at the maintenance level and require treatment every two to four weeks. Gradually you will go longer and longer between treatments until you only need them once a month. After one year, if you have responded to therapy, you will have either no symptoms or be much improved and your treatments can continue for three to five years, when you should be completely immune to the allergen.
    • If you haven't responded, the immunotherapy will be terminated.
    • This treatment is time consuming and can be expensive, but many people are turning to this therapy because it removes their sinus congestion and improves their quality of life.
  3. Seek medical attention.There are certain situations when a doctor may be needed. If you have had symptoms of a head cold for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor to check for a larger issue such as a bacterial infection. If there is a change from your usual allergy secretions and symptoms for a week, it is reasonable to seek treatment if you are worsening on day seven instead of improving.
    • Occasionally, sinus congestion can lead to a bacterial sinus infection, and your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic at that time. Sinus surgery is rarely needed for chronic sinus congestion or infections.
    • If you are bleeding from your sinuses, if your sinus congestion is associated with headaches that are severe or with high fevers, confusion, neck stiffness, or weakness, or if any symptom increases after the use of any home remedy, see your doctor immediately.
    • Drainage from sinus congestion can trigger symptoms in people with asthma or other lung problems. See your doctor right away if you have a cough, wheezing, chest pain, or shortness of breath associated with your sinus congestion.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is there a medical way to drain my sinuses?

    Doctor of Medicine
    Dr. Marusinec is a Board Certified Pediatrician in Wisconsin. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995.
    Doctor of Medicine
    Expert Answer
    See the advice in the article for medical ways to drain your sinuses. Rarely, surgery may be needed if these things don't work. Always check with your doctor if you are concerned about your health or don't know what to do.
  • Question
    How do I help a 5-year-old drain his nose?

    Doctor of Medicine
    Dr. Marusinec is a Board Certified Pediatrician in Wisconsin. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1995.
    Doctor of Medicine
    Expert Answer
    You can do many of the things in the article. Check with your pediatrician if you are unsure what to do. But you can use things like a humidifier, warm compresses, breathing in steam, nasal saline (salt water drops or sprays), and some of the medications such as some nasal steroid sprays or antihistamines.
  • Question
    How do I get rid of a sinus headache fast?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sit on a chair and bend over your body (as if you are trying to pick up a pencil under the chair). Stay as long you are comfortable. For me, this head position can help drain my sinuses. You could also try pushing hard against the bridge of your nose to open up your sinus cavities.
  • Question
    What should I do if I have had trouble all day and night?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Visit your doctor is none of the remedies above helped.
  • Question
    Are all sinuses connected?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sinuses, also called paranasal sinuses, are air-filled spaces within the facial bones surrounding the nose. All the sinuses are connected through hollow cavities in the skull, known as sinus cavities.
  • Question
    How do I drain my sinuses?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Follow the tips in the article. Use nasal saline, or nasal spray. Steam also works.
  • Question
    How do I prevent mucus from draining into my throat and stomach?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Unfortunately, unless you're using the neti pot method described in the article, there is really no way to control that. When using the neti pot method properly, the secretions should flow out of the opposing nostril along with the saline solution; however, some residual drainage will still occur afterwards. If you are having frequent drainage issues causing stomach upset, consult your physician.
  • Question
    I usually have sinus trouble at night. How can I drain my sinuses quickly and easily?
    Chloe Yeung
    Community Answer
    Try to use a nasal spray. It will make you feel much better. You could also add one more pillow above the one you normally use to get rid of that awful feeling.
  • Question
    Is there an easy way to keep it cleared through the night so I can get some sleep?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There is no easy way to completely prevent any congestion in the throat and nose, but adding pillows to elevate your head might help drain some mucus. Also, keep a box of tissues and bottle of water handy in case you wake up from the congestion/runny nose and need a quick fix. Medicines like Vaporub, Tylenol, and Nyquil might also help. If you are having trouble also with coughing, try putting some Vaporub on the soles of your feet. There is no scientific proof for this technique, but many people swear it helps with coughing, possibly because the soles of your feet have a cluster of nerves that lead to your spinal cord.
  • Question
    Is there anything I can substitute for a neti pot?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can purchase a sinus rinse bottle as an alternative. Some find it easier to use. Whether you use a neti pot or a sinus rinse bottle, be sure to use sterile water for your saline solution. Do not use tap water. Also, once you have rinsed your sinuses, wash the bottle in soapy water and allow to air dry.
Unanswered Questions
  • I hit my nose on a fence when I was young, so it is hard for me to drain my sinuses. I have seen doctors and tried all these methods. What else can I do to drain my sinuses?
  • Will diuretics help drain sinuses?
  • How to treat frontal sinus pressure?
  • What do I do if my sinuses are blocked?
  • How can I get rid of the issue of clogged sinuses without serious medication?
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  • Drinking plenty of fluids, reducing caffeine and alcohol, and sleeping with your head elevated may also help.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. Sadlon, A.E., Lamson D.W. Immune Modifying and antimicrobial effects of eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. Alternative Medicine Review 2010, April 15 (1) 33-47
  2. Essential Oil Poisoning, Clinical Toxicology 1999 37 ( 6) 721- 727
  3. Sadlon, A.E., Lamson D.W. Immune Modifying and antimicrobial effects of eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. Alternative Medicine Review 2010, April 15 (1) 33-47
  4. Sublingual Immunotherapy for Allergic Rhinitis, as Effective as Subcutaneous Therapy, Journal of Asthma and Clinical Immunology, 4-3-2013
  5. Sande, Merle and Jack Gwaltney. Acute Community Acquired Bacterial Sinusitis, Continuing Challenges and Current Management Clinical Infectious Disorders 2004 39 (supp 3) s151-s 158

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Date: 06.12.2018, 14:08 / Views: 51252