Sinus Problems

Having to breathe through a half-blocked nose can wear you out, shorten your temper and be generally debilitating because it lowers energy. Sinus problems are exacerbated by very dry air that is laced with a light layer of smoke or other fine particles and continuous smells.

Having an allergic reaction to pollen or other airborne irritants are equally annoying to the delicate nasal passages. Most of us think that being allergic to something in the air always makes us sneeze or have a nose that constantly runs. While this is true for many of us, sometimes you just get reddish eyes and skin, a funny little dry cough; feeling tired all the time and an almost compulsive need to scratch your itchy nose, eyes, chin or throat.

If you don't have the obvious sneezing, runny nose type reaction to airborne particles or smells, it is less obvious that you are having a reaction to something in the air.

Ways that you can tell are:
1. Try taking a Telfast or another anti-histamine tablet and see how you feel after an hour.
2. If you can relate to lots of the following symptoms, then it is quite likely that you are having a reaction:
Irritated airways, disturbed sleep, allergic shiners – dark patches around your eyes, allergic salute – rubbing or pushing the end of the nose upwards, red or slightly glazed eyes, repeated throat clearing or little cough, post-nasal drip, feeling tired, irritable or a little anxious for no reason.

What you can do about it:
If possible, remove yourself from the irritant, or the irritant away from you. For example, if it is a vase of strong smelling roses then put them in another room or move away from the vase. Wear a mask to filter out the particles if it is something bigger than a vase of flowers.
Breathing through your nose all of the time is extremely good at filtering out most of the particles as well as moisten the air reaching your throat and lungs. To assist with the moistening, take a shower or have a steam inhalation, while continuing to breathe through the nose.

If you catch yourself sneezing repeatedly, pause your breathing momentarily after each sneeze before inhaling again through your nose.

Instead of clearing both nostrils at once, blow one side of your nose at a time, and blow softly rather than blasting the air out.

If you want a blocked nostril to open up, block it with the pad of your thumb and breathe through the more open one for a few breaths.

Research shows that people with asthma, frequently have sinus problems before their asthma flares up, which makes sense when you consider that it is the same airway that is affected by both problems. Bearing this in mind then, treat the sinus problems quickly in the hope that the asthma will not kick off as well.