When I try to lay down/sleep, my sinuses instantly clog up, and I can't breath through my nose. Are there any techniques or remedies to stop this? All I know is to sit straight up. Please help.
By Will from New York City, NY
I would try using a Neti pot to irrigate/cleanse your sinuses before you lay down. It is a simple, inexpensive thing to do, uses no drugs, and can be your first line of defense against sinus troubles. You can also use saline sprays, but they're more expensive.
If the sinus clogging is from being ill, a nasal spray like Afrin or Dristan (look at the ingredients and buy the store brand equivalent to save money) can be used for a couple of days (NOT longer, or you can run into more problems).
If the sinus clogging is from allergies, ask your doctor about daily-use nasal sprays that help stop the inflammation, or for a safe antihistamine to use to prevent you from "making" so much drainage material.
In either case, you may also benefit from an oral decongestant to help clear out your head. Talk to your doctor, or the store pharmacist before you start mixing medicines, though!
Good luck! Clogged sinuses are no fun.
Thank you so much! The neti pot worked well.
Oh, that's great news! I love mine; have not gotten my semi-annual sinus infection since I learned to use one! And I like that it is drug-free and can be used as often as I need it!
I was advised to give up drinking milk, eating ice cream (love both) and it took about 3-4 weeks to notice a big change, no more sinus congestion after lying down by the end of 2 months. Haven't had a problem since and that was 1.5 yrs ago. It was the dairy products that created post-nasal sinus drip.
There is also a product used on the outside of the nose called Breathe Right strips. They use a mild adhesive to stick to the outside of the nose and pull open your nasal openings. There are also cheaper generic alternatives. They really help.
Take a hot shower. Steam is the most natural way to open up your sinuses. You can hang a few sprigs of Eucalyptus in the shower with you as well. Get a humidifier for your room. Use vicks menthol rub, a dab right under your nose will clear it right up also. Try to back off the nasal sprays. They are ok for short term use, but can actually do damage if used on a regular basis. Someone mentioned milk. My son has this same allergy to milk; I couldn't believe it at first lol.
Neti pots are great - I use half the amount of buffered salt in the individual package. I used regular salt and it burned (and I do mean burned) the inside of my nose when I had a bad cold. Don't even think of doing that!
The only thing you want to look out for is if you have a sore in your nose! ow!
Afrin and Dristan sprays when used more than a day or two can result in rebound nasal congestion when you stop using them. The spray that I use is more expensive, but works wonderfully well. It is Nasal Crom, and it $7-$14, depending on the size. It contains chromolin sodium, and can be used every 4 hours.
Sometimes though, when I have it too bad, I just have to resort to sleeping in the recliner for a few nites!