How to Stop Sinus Drainage

By Amber Keefer

If you suffer from the common cold, sinusitis or allergies, you are likely bothered by constant sinus drainage. As uncomfortable as it may be, the treatment for most sinus problems involves draining the sinuses. The more effectively the sinuses can drain, the sooner the infection is gone, and the better you will feel. Once the infection is cleared, drainage will stop. According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, home remedies are often all the treatment that may be required. There are a number of treatments you can do at home to clear the sinus passages and get relief.

Woman blowing her nose

If you suffer from the common cold, sinusitis or allergies, you are likely bothered by constant sinus drainage. As uncomfortable as it may be, the treatment for most sinus problems involves draining the sinuses. The more effectively the sinuses can drain, the sooner the infection is gone, and the better you will feel. Once the infection is cleared, drainage will stop. According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, home remedies are often all the treatment that may be required. There are a number of treatments you can do at home to clear the sinus passages and get relief.

Pollen

Identify triggers so that you can avoid them. Smoke, dust, pollen, mold and chemical fumes are common irritants that cause inflammation in the nose. Cigarette smoke in particular causes more mucus to be produced. If you are sensitive to mold, remove any plants from your bedroom. Keep your bedroom well-ventilated at night.

Drink plenty of water

Drink plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated, as water thins mucus and can help reduce how much of it drains down into your throat. This condition, known as post-nasal drip, tends to get worse at night when you are lying down. The drainage often triggers coughing, so keep your head elevated when sleeping.

Add a quarter-teaspoon of salt to a glass of water

Irrigate your sinuses with a mixture of water and saline, or make your own mixture by adding a quarter-teaspoon of salt to a glass of water. Pour the mixture into a small squeeze bottle or ear or nose syringe, and squirt it in the nose. You might want to do this standing over a bathroom sink. This cleanses the sinus cavity of both mucus and irritants.

Inhale steam

Inhale steam several times a day. Boil a pan of water, and pour the water in a large bowl or sink with a closed drain. Place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam. Humidifying the air, especially at night, is another alternative.

Antihistamine

Take an over-the-counter antihistamine or nasal decongestant to dry up your sinuses, especially if the problem is caused by allergies. Reducing inflammation of the nasal passageways can improve sinus drainage. Choose a decongestant with the ingredient pseudoephedrine. An expectorant also works to thin mucus so that it drains more quickly.

Tip

Check with your pharmacist that over-the-counter medications will not adversely react with any prescription drugs you may be taking.

Warning

Avoid eating spicy foods that promote excessive sinus drainage.

References

About the Author

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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