Preventing Sinus Infections
Can Sinus Infections Be Prevented?
Just as preventing a common cold, totally avoiding sinus infections may not be possible. However, you can greatly reduce the frequency of sinus problems by taking a few preventative measures.
Install air purifers---As dusty curtains as well as carpets and pillows saturated with dust mites can irritage your sinuses, you need to reduce the airborn allergens in your home. Therefore, it would be a good idea to use an air purifer (especially in your bedroom) containing a HEPA filter.
Use humidifiers—Your sinuses need moist air to drain properly. As humidifers increase the moisture in air, it’s a good idea to invest in one. Also use air condtioners rather than opening up the windows, further irritating your sinuses.
Avoid tobacco smoke---If you don’t want to verbally confront any smokers who visit your home, a simple sign, “Please do not smoke” should get the message across.
Reduce alcohol intake---Alcohol can also make nasal and sinus membranes swell, leading to an infection.
Avoid smog---If you live in an area filled with smog, you need to find another place to live as smog is also a culprit in sinus problems.
Reduce air travel---Cut back on airline trips as frequent flying can add to your sinus infections. Sinus problems sometimes occur when the air pressure in a plane changes during either taking off or landing. If your job demands that you fly often, use an inhaler or decongestant nasal drops before boarding. Unfortunately, airliners have strict regulations regarding carrying liquids onboard. Chewing gum also helps relieve the pressure change.
Keep your nasal passages clear---You can keep your sinus passages clear of mucous by frequently irrigating your nose and sinuses with a solution of salt water. Or, just buy an over-the-counter sinus rinse that comes with pre-measured packets. Just be sure to read the instructions to avoid overuse, drying out your nose.
Relax more---Stress can also be a factor in sinus problems. Find ways to unwind when your life gets complicated. For example, take up a relaxing hobby, pray, or find a trusted friend to talk to about your problems.
Drink more water---As water increases the moisture in your body, it helps prevent congestion. Frequent hydration also thins mucous for better drainage.
If you follow all these tips but still suffer with chronic sinus infections, then you may have to go for a battery of medical tests. In some severe cases, surgery is even recommended.