Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Summer Sinus Problems

Six Ways to Avoid the Misery
By David Freeman
WebMD Feature

If you’re among the 37 million Americans who suffer from sinus problems, you know just how miserable the symptoms can make you feel. The congestion. The facial pain. The postnasal drip-drip-drip.

Summer often brings a bit of a respite, as the cold viruses that trigger most cases of sinusitis are less active in warm weather. And, experts say the sinus problems that do crop up in summer can often be avoided -- if you take these six precautions:

Recommended Related to Allergies

Gardening With Allergies

Putzing in the garden is nothing less than therapy. It's even good exercise, if you exert enough effort. But the sneezing and stuffy-headed feeling that lingers afterwards -- that's the downside of gardening with allergies.

Read the Gardening With Allergies article > >

1. Watch out for pollen.

In most parts of the country, the air outdoors is filled with pollen in summer months. Pollen is harmless to most people. But for some, breathing pollen-laden air can cause symptoms ranging from sneezing and itchy, watery eyes to nasal congestion -- which, in turn, can bring sinus trouble.

There’s no way to avoid pollen entirely. “It’s blowing all over the place,” says James Stankiewicz, MD, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “You can’t put yourself in a bubble, and surgical masks don’t filter everything out.”

But, it helps to stay indoors in the morning hours, when pollen levels peak, he says. When indoors or in your car, keep the windows up and the air conditioner on.

A HEPA air filter and vacuum cleaner can be helpful, especially if your home is carpeted. And, if you have a dog that spends time outside, bathing it regularly during the summer months will help keep it from tracking pollen throughout your house.

Hay fever sufferers who are planning a summer getaway may want to check pollen levels at their destination before finalizing an itinerary. A week at the beach (where pollen levels tend to be low) might make more sense than a week of camping.

2. Stock up on nasal spray.

Because sinus infections typically start off as colds, steps you take to ward off cold-causing rhinoviruses also help safeguard your sinuses.

One of the most important precautions is to keep your nasal passages moist. You can do this with the help of an over-the-counter salt water (saline) spray. Keep a bottle handy, and give each nostril a blast several times a day.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?

blowing nose
woman with sore throat
lone star tick
Woman blowing nose

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Allergy prick test
Man sneezing into tissue
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching