Consumer
Sleep apnea

Coping with chronic sinusitis        

 

By Gina Roberts-Grey

 

Sinus trouble can hamper breathing, making it tough to sleep. And if you have chronic sinusitis, a common condition the Mayo Clinic says inflames and swells the cavities around your sinuses, you could find yourself tossing and turning all night long.

 

Inflamed sinuses interfere with drainage, which can cause mucus to build up and make it difficult to breathe through your nose. And when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, the air isn’t warmed, filtered and moistened, which can disrupt your sleep.

 

Sinusitis also can make the area around your eyes and face feel swollen, or trigger a throbbing headache or face pain.

 

Your doctor may prescribe prescription and/or over-the-counter remedies to alleviate inflammation in your sinuses. However, there are plenty of little things you can do at home to create a breathe-better bedroom that’s sinus-friendly. Try out these changes today and start sleeping better tonight:

 

  • Change your bedsheets weekly. Wash and dry all linens (including the blankets) on your appliances’ hottest temperature setting to get rid of dust and other allergens that may trigger sinus trouble, said Dr. Kevin Ronneberg, associate medical director at Target Corp.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows. Allergy-proof covers made of tightly woven, breathable fabric on the box spring, mattress and all pillows can keep allergens from upsetting your sinuses while you sleep.
  • Don’t dust at night. It can take two hours or more for dust to settle down after being stirred up by cleaning. Save dusting for during the day—especially in the bedroom—to avoid triggering sinus symptoms before you’re trying to get to sleep. And when you do clean, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter at least once a week.
  • Get rid of fluff. Dust and dust mites can trigger inflammation in your sinuses. Clear your bedroom of extra pillows, linens, stuffed animal collections and dust-collecting knickknacks.
  • Check the humidity. Humidity can be soothing to dry sinuses. However, if dust mites and mold bother you more, too much humidity can be problematic as they thrive in moist environments. If your furnace has a humidifier, make sure it’s set at 50 percent humidity or lower. If you use a room or table humidifier, use a hygrometer (available at home supply stores) to monitor the humidity in your bedroom.
  • Sleep with your head elevated. Lying flat allows mucus to build up in your sinuses and clog your nose. If you’re unable to breathe through your nose, try propping yourself up with some pillows to help open up your nasal passages.
  • Drink water in the evening. Staying hydrated can thin out your nasal mucus, which helps it drain and reduce nighttime stuffiness.

 

 

 

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