Sneaky causes of sinus trouble

It’s a widespread problem that doesn’t get much attention. But about 37 million Americans are suffering each year. 

And this time of year, with a lot of flowers and trees in bloom, that could include you.

I’m talking about sinus misery. 

Now, once you understand how things work up there, it may seem pretty obvious what’s happening.

The teeny, tiny holes in your nose – moist cavities beneath your eyes, nose and cheekbones – get plugged up. 

The mucus that’s supposed to flow freely, keeping things slippery, to move viruses, fungus, bacteria and allergens through and out fast… gets stuck.

Reminds me of  that ship that cost billions by wedging itself in the Suez Canal. If your snot gets sideways, the flow of traffic stops. 

There’s no tugboat coming to pull it out either.

And the result is pain, stuffiness, pressure and more. 

Ok, so we know what’s happening. But it’s sometimes hard to know exactly why.

Especially when there are “sneaky” things that you might not think to blame at first.

Like swimming. 

Chlorine from a pool can irritate your nose, and your sinuses. Especially if you dive headfirst into the water, which can really inflame sensitive nasal tissues. 

Or lack of moisture.

If you live in a dry climate, mucus can get thicker from lack of water. The thicker it gets, the more likely it is to get gummy and clog you up.

So drink lots of water, consider a humidifier, and even saline sprays can be effective. 

Or perfume. 

Yes, it’s supposed to smell great. And I can’t imagine trying to tell Karen that her signature scent is bad for my sinuses. But strong odors can lead to irritation and inflammation, increasing your risk of sinus concerns. 

Or flying.

When you experience a change in air pressure, it can block sinuses and aggravate symptoms. This is especially true during takeoff and landing. 

If you’re already suffering and have to fly, I recommend starting a natural regimen well beforehand. 

I rarely suggest a decongestant, because over time they’re the opposite of what sinuses really need. But in a pinch, you could consider one before getting on a plane. 

Anything to avoid that blocked up, cotton head feeling. 

That’s one part of flying I do not miss.

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