by: Lauren Rae, CPT at TRYM Fitness and Sunwarrior Contributing Writer
If you’ve ever experienced a runny nose in combination with headaches, fatigue, or itchy eyes, nose, and ears, chances are you are suffering from sinus congestion associated with seasonal allergies or illness. More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from sinus congestion, and according to the Huffington Post as many as 30 million Americans regularly suffer from headaches, facial pressure, and nasal congestion. Being aware of causes and symptoms as they arise and being prepared with an arsenal of natural home remedies can help keep you comfortable and congestion-free.
Mayo Clinic Online reports that nasal congestion can be caused by anything that irritates and inflames the nasal tissues. Infections—such as common colds, influenza, or sinusitis—allergies, and various irritants like animal dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, and other false irritants such as tobacco smoke, may all cause sinus congestion and accompanying ailments.
General symptoms of sinus congestion can occur as pressure in your face and under your eyes and often includes drainage. Sinuses are responsible for lightening the weight of the skull and giving resonance to your voice, as well as filtering and moistening the air that we breathe, while removing unwanted air particles. Located in your forehead, between your eyes, and in your cheeks, these sinuses drain into the nasal passages through narrow openings. When a blockage occurs as the result of an irritation or inflammation, the sinuses can back up and cause the most common symptoms of sinusitis: nasal congestion and drainage in the nose or throat. Sinus pressure, headaches, and occasionally nausea are also known to accompany sinus congestion.
When allergens are ever-present or you feel a cold coming on, get the relief you need by utilizing natural home remedies to battle your congestion head-on and keep breathing clear and comfortable all year round.
3 Natural Ways to Relieve Sinus Congestion1. BromelainBromelain is a naturally occurring enzyme in pineapples. It can be consumed in the purest form by eating pineapple or, to avoid extra sugar calories, try the supplement form. Taken regularly, these enzymes can relieve your sinus congestion by decreasing headaches, inflammation, and swelling caused by infection or allergies, as well as by reducing excess nasal mucous. Supplements that utilize Bromelain are also useful for athletes and active adults as it is shown to speed up recovery from DOMS (delayed onset muscle fatigue) and other inflammation associated with exercise.
2. Nasal irrigationFirst used in the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda, nasal irrigation was first developed by breathing in warm water and blowing it out. With inventions like the Neti Pot, flushing the nasal passages is now a widely used practice in all cultures and an extremely effective tool for battling sinus congestion. Used regularly, nasal irrigation can be used as a daily ritual against regular exposure to irritants like smoke, dust, and other allergens.
3. Steam FacialsVaporizing herbs and essential oils—including Peppermint, Juniper, and Anise—can provide immediate relief from sinus congestion by loosening the mucus from the nasal cavity. Just place the herbs or extracted oils in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Remove your boiling water from the heat source. Cover your head with a towel and lean over to inhale the steam. Breathe deeply to allow the vapors to permeate your nasal passages for quick, natural relief.