Understanding sinus congestion and some relief measures

Sinuses are highly vascular chambers that the breathed in air travels on its way to the lungs. It functions as a sentinel to the respiratory system. There two sinuses on either side of the nose – the maxillary sinuses, two in the temporal bone just above the eye brows close to the root of the nose and two inside in front of the base of the cranium. The walls of these chambers are ridged to increase the area of contact. The incoming air is humidified, warmed, and cleansed of all particulates and bacteria, viruses and allergens. When bacteria, viruses or allergens are encountered in numbers, then blood which is equipped with large numbers of leucocytes or white corpuscles rushes in to destroy these aliens. It is this that causes the congestion. The best thing to counter the congestion to is to help the body fight its war by taking rest so that all its energies are deployed at the war front and eat nutritious food. Stuffing a cold is an age-old ‘grandma’s’ prescription.

Drinking a lot of fluids helps to keep one hydrated and this is also a useful sinus congestion relief. Old grandma’s chicken soup is also highly recommended. Herbal teas such as ginger tea or mint tea also are effective for sinus congestion relief. These herbs have anti inflammatory properties. These are very useful for sinus treatment.

Steam inhalation is another time-tested sinus treatment remedy. There are special kettles called inhalers, and these are safe. Of course, one can boil water in a wide mouthed vessel and place the face a safe way up and cover with a tent made of a thick towel and breathe the steam in deep. One can put a few grains of menthol, camphor or a few drops of eucalyptus oil. These are good vasoconstrictors and help reduce the congestion.

If the congestion persists for more than the current ten days or the symptoms worsen or the nasal discharge turns yellow, it is time to call a doctor. The most important things to take as much rest one can and consume protein rich food.

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