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    4. Open Things Up

    Apply a warm, moist washcloth to your face several times a day. This can help open up spaces in your sinuses.

    To keep them moist, inhale steam two to four times a day. One simple way to get it done: Sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running.

    Drink plenty of fluids, too. That’ll thin out your mucus and help you get rid of it.

    5. Clear the Air

    Things in the air around you -- like pollution, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, hair spray, and any other material that gives off fumes -- can make your problems worse.

    If you smoke, it’s time to quit. Stay away from other smokers, or ask them to take it outside. Also, stay inside on high air-pollution days if you can.

    Should you get a HEPA air filter for your bedroom or office? That depends on what irritates your sinuses. These filters are good at removing airborne particles related to dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. But those don't just stay in the air. They settle in your carpets, upholstery, and other areas. If allergies cause your sinus problems, ask your doctor if a HEPA air filter makes sense for you.

    6. Treat the Problem

    Medications can help.

    Decongestants reduce the swelling in your nose and can ease stuffiness and sinus pressure, too. You can get them in more than one form. Here’s what to look for on the ingredients list:

    A word of caution: Don’t use a nasal decongestant spray for more than 3 days, and don't use a decongestant you take by mouth for more than 7 days.

    Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicine available at supermarkets and drugstores can help ease the pain caused by sinus pressure. Always read and follow the label and dosing instructions carefully. If you have to use them more than 7 days in a row, it’s time to call the doctor.

    Antihistamine allergy medicines may help if your sinus problems are related to allergies. Over-the-counter products include cetirizine, diphenhydramine, fexofenadine, and loratadine. If your problems don’t go away, talk to your doctor about getting an allergy skin test.


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