The sinuses are a crucial part of not just your head but your entire body! They help keep your airways moist and protect you from from foreign invaders by producing mucus.
When they get infected, they can cause unwanted headaches or feelings of pressure in your face due to excessive mucus production.
If your sinuses easily become infected, try avoiding these three habits:
1. Plucking your Nose Hairs
Although they may irritate you, the short little lashes poking out of your nostrils are there for a reason. Without nose hairs (1), we’d fall victim to the adverse effects of dirt, bacteria, toxins and viruses very often. Findings from Hacettepe University School of Medicine suggest that patients with just a sprinkling of nose hairs are nearly three times as likely to have asthma as hairier patients.
Note that your nose hairs aren’t your only mechanism for processing waste. You also have little strands in your nose called cilia. These fine hairs sweet up the debris of your environment and guide it towards your throat, at which point you either blow it out by breathing or sneezing or you swallow it. You might think that this defeats their purpose, but that’s actually not the case—most of the waste can be destroyed by your stomach.
So if you weren’t aware of the remarkable machinery that exists within your nostrils, now you know! If you really can’t stand the way your nose hairs look, try trimming rather than plucking if you want to help keep out external waste. This method also happens to be much safer and far less painful.
2. Exposing Yourself to Irritants
There are many ways to keep your sinuses free of irritation (2). Basic hygienic process like keeping yourself out of bacteria’s way are always good, but there are environmental sources of sinus irritation to watch out for too. These include cigarette smoke, air fresheners, hair spray and outdoor pollution. Essentially, any product that emits fumes is likely to be bad for your overall sinus health.
Even dust mites in the air can irritate your sinuses. If this is a problem, consider getting an air filter for your office or bedroom. Keep in mind, though, that filters only work to remove irritants from the air and don’t target what’s embedded in your furniture.
3. Drying Them Out
Before you do anything else, if you’re concerned about the health of your sinuses (3), load up on fluids. You’ve probably been told to drink lots of tea and water when you’re sick, and that’s no old wives’ tale.
You’ll want to avoid drinking alcohol and dairy products if you’re sick. Both can cause congestion and unnecessary sinus pressure. At least six glasses of water per day is a good goal to keep in mind if you want to flush out an infection quickly.
You can also keep your sinuses moist from the outside, with the use of a humidifier. If that’s too much of a hassle, even luxuriating in a hot shower is great for your sinuses. Consider achieving the same effect by inhaling steam from a pot of boiling water—it’s a fast and cheap way to make sure that you’re taking in the moisture your sinuses need.
Your sinuses help your body flush out toxins, and can also make you feel really down when they’re clogged—so it’s essential that you take care of them. Just remember: keep your hairs, avoid those toxins, and drink that glass of water.
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