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    Whether it's a cold in winter or allergies in spring and fall, nasal congestion and sinus pressure and pain are common complaints. But if you know the causes and can find the right treatments, you can breathe freely again.

    1. Find Out What Causes Your Problems

    Some people are just more prone to sinus problems than others. You may have narrow sinus passages or a deviated septum. Nasal polyps can also grow in your passages and block drainage.

    Whatever the cause, it's important to keep those pathways open so they can drain properly.

    2. Make It Humid

    A dry climate and heated indoor air will both dry out the membranes in your nose. And when the mucus up in there dries, it gets thicker and is more likely to clog your sinuses. The result? Pain and pressure.

    The best solution: Get a room humidifier for your bedroom and use it while you’re running the heat.

    3.Clean out the Gunk

    Use a saline solution to remove allergens, irritants, and excess mucus. You can use a drugstore saline spray. Or make your own solution at home and use a nasal irrigation system like a Neti pot, a gadget that looks like a teapot. You can get one at the drugstore.

    To make your own saline mixture, combine about 16 ounces (1 pint) of lukewarm water (distilled, sterile, or previously boiled) with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to buffer the solution -- that’ll make it a little gentler on your nose.

    Put the mixture into a clean Neti pot. Tilt your head over your sink at a 45-degree angle. Place the spout into your top nostril and gently pour the solution in. The saline water will flow through your nasal cavity into the other nostril and out. Blow your nose to get rid of remaining water. Repeat the steps on your other nostril.


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