“The secret to living well and longer is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.”
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Sinuses produce mucus to keep the insides of your nose moist and to keep allergens and pollutants away. Sinus problems can be triggered by allergies, or very often because of anatomical deviations like having narrow sinuses. And these issues can be a real pain especially when you’ve got a long day ahead of you. If you find yourself often waking up with congested nasal passageways or a runny nose, here are ways to cope with your easily irritated sinuses to set your day right.
Dry air causes your mucus to become thicker. This results in congestion of your nasal passages where mucus cannot be drained out properly. The humidity in the air has a huge impact on your sinuses. A humidifier provides moist air to effectively soothe dryness, irritation or itch in your sinuses. Try using one nightly to minimise discomfort.
2 DRINK WATER
Downing enough water keeps the whole body hydrated, and that includes your sinuses. Water will also help to keep your mucus thin for it to flow smoothly. Steer clear of caffeine or alcohol as they may cause dehydration.
3 HOT SOUPY FOODS
Hot liquids can help loosen mucus and soothe dryness in your throat. Choose foods that come with thin soup bases like chicken noodle soup. It may sound like an old wives’ tale but a study published in Chest Journal found that chicken soup may contain anti inflammatory mechanisms that improve the condition of upper respiratory tract infections.
4 GET RID OF ALLERGENS
If your sinus problems are triggered by allergens, it would be wise to take measures to allergy-proof your home. You can start by using bedding with allergen barriers and keeping your pets out of your bedroom. Avoid having rugs and carpets as they trap dust easily. You should also wear a mask when you have to clean dusty areas in your house. If these measures do not suffice, invest in an air purifier with an allergy filter for a cleaner and more ventilated home.
Practising good hygiene habits may be common sense but it is something many of us often take for granted. Grime and dirt from your hands may transfer to your sinuses easily when you touch your face. Wash your hands frequently to protect yourself.
6 TAKE A HOT SHOWER
The heat and steam from a hot shower can relieve congestion and sinus pressure. Run a hot shower with the doors closed and inhale the steam. Showering with hot water can also provide some relief for your discomfort. Alternatively, inhaling the steam from a bowl of hot water works too!
7 HOT COMPRESS
If the pressure in your sinuses starts giving you a headache, soak a cloth in hot water and place it over your eyes while lying down. Doing so can help to warm your nasal passages and ease the pressure.
8 LIGHT EXERCISE
Brisk walks or slow jogs can help to clear your sinuses as they may trigger your passages to open up when you take deep breaths. But it is important to know your limits and stop immediately if it is worsening your condition.
9 NASAL SPRAY
If your sinus issues persist despite all the measures taken, consult a doctor and get a prescription for a nasal spray. There are several types of nasal sprays like a decongestant that helps to clear the stuffiness by shrinking the swollen tissues in your nose. Other types include anti histamine and corticosteroid nasal sprays. Your doctor will be able to tell you what suits you best.
Upgrade your shower
According to figures from the PUB, Singapore’s tap water contains an average of 2.45mg/l of residual chlorine, a figure much higher than other countries like Australia or the UK. This high chlorine content can cause problems like excessive hair fall or dry skin. And while you can’t change the mineral contents of our tap water, you can do something about it by using the Sonaki VitaC Shower heads ($59.90-89.90, www. sonakisingapore.com). Each shower head comes with an in-built vitamin C filter that helps to neutralise 90 per cent of chlorine and chloramine levels in the water. Doing so is supposed to improve symptoms of chronic eczema, reduce hair loss and dandruff, and prevent dry skin. P.S. The shower heads are of a universal size and can fit most shower hoses. Just screw them on to enjoy chlorine-free water in seconds!