Both allergies and colds can cause mucus to accumulate in the sinuses. It can cause pain and even lead to infections. When you have a mucus buildup in your nasal cavity, blowing your nose is not going to prove very effective. Even if you feel better, the relief will last for a short time only. Some people use decongestants to treat their condition, but end up dealing with drowsiness and many other side effects. Nasal irrigation is an effective and chemical-free way to clear your sinuses and improve breathing. Let's find out how to do it properly.
A Detailed Guide to Clean Your Sinuses with Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation works amazingly well to remove dust, pollen, dirt, etc., in a quick and effective way. If you do it properly, it may also reduce the severity and frequency of sinus infections. Here is how to clean your sinuses using nasal irrigation.
Prepare Before the Procedure
You need to do some preparations before you start flushing your sinuses. Here are a few things to consider:
- Select a right irrigation device. You can find many types of irrigation devices at naturopathic stores, pharmacies, and online. They are available in different sizes and shapes, but the most common ones are bulb syringes, neti pots, and squeeze bottles. Select what suits you the most.
- Prepare a saline solution. You get OTC saline solutions to make it on your own by mixing a teaspoon of kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of baking soda in a pint of lukewarm water. Do not use salt with anti-caking agents or iodine and only use distilled water.
- Take sanitary precautions. You should practice special care when using, cleaning, and storing your irrigation device. Wash your hands before handling the device. You should also wash the device before and after every use with sterile or distilled water. Let it air dry first and then use a disposable paper towel to wipe the inside dry.
Flush the Sinuses
Here are the steps to follow to learn how to clean your sinuses using an irrigation device.
- Fill the device: You need to fill your neti pot, syringe bulb or whatever irrigation device you are going to use. Ensure it is clean and dry. You can use your homemade saline solution for this purpose.
- Get into position: It is better to lean over a sink before you start flushing the sinuses. Tilt your head– you can tilt it at a 45-degree angle to ensure the best flow of water. Keep the sprout of your irrigation device close to your nostril and press it gently – never shove the sprout inside your nose.
- Irrigate the sinuses: Once the sprout is close to your upper nostril, you can start irrigating the sinuses. Be very careful if you are doing this for the first time. To avoid any problem, move slowly and breathe through your mouth only. Never try to breathe through your nose or it will send water to your lungs and cause complications. Be sure to raise the handle of your irrigation device slowly to help water go into your nostril.
- Change sides: Once you have irrigated one side, you should switch sides. Repeat the same procedure for your other nostril. Just do it slowly and in a controlled manner to avoid any problem.
- Clear your sinuses: After you have irrigated your sinuses, you should not inhale straight away. It is better to exhale through your nostrils first and then breathe in through your nose. It is also okay to blow your nose after the procedure to get rid of any excess solution.
Have a look at the following video to get a better understanding of how to clean your sinuses:
Clean Your Sinuses with Pressure
It is possible to clear your sinuses in a rather quick way. You can do it with pressure. Here are the steps to follow:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your body and head on a 45-degree angle. Now, slowly turn your head sideways and massage your sternocleidomastoid muscle downward 4-5 times. The muscle is located beneath your ear and goes to your collarbone. Massage the area on both sides of your neck before going any further.
- Use your index fingers to find the boney part of your nose. Now, slowly move downwards to locate the point where the bone ends. Now, massage this area for about 20 seconds. You should be using circular motions and apply as much pressure as you can. After this, massage the muscles on the side of your nose that move towards your cheekbones. This helps relax them as well.
Now, look for a notch in the inside orbit bone that is right above your eyes with the help of your index fingers. You can find it above the center of your eye. Now, rub this area with as much pressure as you can apply. Run your fingers in circular motions for about 20 seconds only. Once done, massage your forehead gently using your hands. Be sure to massage the center of your forehead first and then move towards your temples.