Woman grabbing her nose in discomfort/pain.

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses, the hollow spaces within the bones behind your cheekbones, in your forehead, and between your eyes. The sinuses make mucus. When they are healthy, they are filled with air. When sinuses are blocked, they fill with fluid that can become infected and cause inflammation.

What Causes Sinusitis To Develop?

Sinusitis is most commonly caused by a cold virus. A cold causes congestion, which can block your sinuses and stop the mucus from draining. This is the reason for about 90% of sinusitis cases.

Other causes of sinusitis include the following:

  • Small growths in the nasal lining (nasal polyps)
  • A deviated septum
  • Allergens that cause swelling of the lining of the nose (allergic rhinitis)

What Can Make Sinusitis Worse?

Sinus pressure, headaches, and other symptoms of sinusitis, such as a sore throat, can persist long after your cold has faded away. There are some specific things that can actually make sinusitis last longer and get worse instead of better:

Dehydration 

When you’re congested, your body is using fluids to make mucus. This leads to dehydration. Without drinking enough water, the sinus pressure and headaches can get worse. Dehydration can cause the mucus to be thicker and harder to expel. Drink more water to stay fully hydrated and thin your mucus. Hot drinks help to loosen mucus, and cool drinks can help to ease a sore throat. 

Dry Air

Dry air tends to irritate your nasal passages, making your symptoms worse. Use a humidifier or a cool-mist vaporizer at night and during the day. A hot shower several times a day as you breathe in the steam is also helpful. Humidified air helps to soothe a sore throat, promotes mucus drainage, and helps ease your cough. 

Lack of Sleep

Without proper sleep, your body can’t fight infection and ease sinusitis. Don’t exert yourself during the day, and get plenty of sleep at night. This helps your immune system fight off sinusitis and allows your body to heal fully. Instead of pushing yourself to do everything you usually would, which may exacerbate your symptoms, go at a slower pace.

Smoke or Perfume

Cigarette smoke, perfumes, or strong artificial scents can further inflame your sinuses, causing greater sinus pressure. Don’t smoke or wear perfume during the time you have a sinus infection. Stay away from lotions or creams with fragrances, as these will also irritate your sinuses. Poor air quality has the same effect as cigarette smoke or perfumes. Stay inside and use an air purifier if the air quality is bad where you live.

We Are Experts in Treating Sinusitis at Texas ENT

Your specialists at Texas ENT in Houston have more than 20 years of experience helping patients suffering from sinusitis. At Texas ENT, we provide a team of highly trained, trusted experts who are dedicated to helping you improve your quality of life and resolve sinusitis. Expect caring, professional treatments that are customized specifically for you. Please call today to schedule a consultation about sinusitis treatments at Texas ENT.


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