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How to Relieve Sinus Pain continued...

Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve), may help ease the pain caused by sinus pressure. When taking over-the-counter medications, be sure to read and follow the directions on the label and don't take more than the recommended dose.

Humidify the air. To help you breathe easier, turn on a vaporizer while you sleep, or just stand in a steamy shower for a few minutes. The steam will help loosen tight mucus. You can even hold a warm, wet washcloth to your nose or breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water to get a similar effect (just don't burn yourself in the process).

Saline sprays. Spraying a saline solution into your nose or pouring it into each nostril using a Neti pot can help clear out the mucus and other gunk that's clogging your nasal passages. The salt water not only helps loosen up thick mucus, it also flushes out some of the germs that made you sick in the first place. If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution. It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry.

Other home remedies. Try these other easy tips to help relieve sinus pain and pressure:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially warm fluids like hot tea and chicken soup. The liquid can help loosen the mucus that's backed up in your sinuses.
  • Sniffling and snorting through the night because of clogged sinuses won't make for a restful night's sleep -- and you really need to rest when you're sick. Try propping up your pillow to elevate your head and help you breathe, and use a vaporizer to humidify the air so your nose doesn't dry out.

If your symptoms aren't getting better after about seven days or they get worse after about five days, call your doctor.

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