Six Tips for Preparing Your Sinuses for Spring

Spring is upon us! There are many things to appreciate about this season but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may only be looking forward to some things being in bloom. So instead of dreading the season this year, be proactive about preparing your sinuses for what’s about to happen.

If you suffer from allergies, allergic triggers can cause your sinuses to become inflamed. This inflammation causes the nasal passages to swell and creates drainage, leading to headaches, snoring that disrupts sleep, and post-nasal drip that can upset your stomach and cause gastric reflux.

Be proactive by avoiding pollen.

If you’re experiencing allergic symptoms in the spring, they’re probably caused by a reaction to grass and tree pollen. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get away from pollen because it can travel great distances, but you can work on avoiding pollen and keeping them out of your home by taking some simple steps.

  • Use your air conditioning and keep the windows closed at home and in your car.
  • Pay attention to pollen counts and stay inside when they’re high and when the weather is dry and windy.
  • Because tree pollen peaks in the early morning, and grass pollen in the afternoon, choose other times for your outdoor activities.
  • Shower and wash your hair nightly to keep pollen out of your bed.
  • Don’t mow your lawn or be around the freshly-cut grass. If you have no option but to mow, wear goggles and a mask.
  • Use your dryer instead of hanging your laundry to dry outdoors.
  • Wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face or rub your eyes, especially when you’ve been outside.
  • Keep your pets clean, cleaning their paws and fur when they come inside to reduce the allergens they carry into the house.

Make your home airway friendly. Change your HVAC filters frequently to remove dust and dander from the air in your home, and use a humidifier to keep the air moist. Moist air can help to soothe irritated mucus membranes and thin the mucus in your sinuses, making it easier to expel. Keeping your sinuses clear will make you less likely to develop sinus infections.

Stay hydrated. The proper hydration can help your mucus membranes function successfully and adequately ward off congestion and infections. When your body is well-hydrated, your mucus will remain thin and able to flow freely. You can drink sports drinks, juice, and tea to support hydration, but water is the best option for protecting your mucus membranes and helping your sinuses to drain.

Stock up on sinus-pampering supplies. Plenty of products are available to help keep your sinuses healthy by promoting good nasal drainage. One device is the Neti Pot, a small container with a spout-like shape used to introduce water into one nostril and allow it to drain through the other. You can effectively use this device to flush your sinuses as long as you use distilled or sterile water rather than tap water, which can raise your risk of sinus infection. In addition, a saline spray is an over-the-counter treatment for promoting healthy mucus membranes. Finally, keep warm compresses on hand to relieve sinus pressure and inflammation, and if you’re feeling stuffy, take a hot shower or steam your face over a sink full of hot water.

Get help to treat sinus inflammation. Talk to your doctor about the best medications to help you alleviate sinus inflammation.

  • Over-the-counter antihistamines may offer relief, like Benadryl, Dimetapp, Zyrtec, Claritin, Clarinex, and Allegra. However, pay attention to the specific side effects of whichever medication you try.
  • Decongestants can also help and are especially effective when combined with antihistamines.
  • Nasal steroids work well when used daily as a treatment for seasonal and perennial allergies.
  • Allergy immunotherapy­ may be recommended for you if other treatments aren’t working or are causing side effects or if you have symptoms regularly and prefer not to take daily medications. Talk to a board-certified allergist for more information about whether immunotherapy is right for you.

When you want help preparing your sinuses for spring or need assistance with allergies, look for an experienced, board-certified allergist. The physicians at Allergy & Asthma Specialists are board-certified in allergy and immunology. They can help you identify triggers and learn to control your symptoms. Call (866) 966-0583 or visit the website for an appointment or to learn more.