A variety of treatments offer relief for sinus congestion. Prescription and non-prescription medications are readily available. Also, there are many things one can do at home to clear the sinuses. A combination of medication and home remedies usually works the best. If sinus congestion last for more than two weeks, one most likely has a sinus infection or allergies; seeing a doctor is advised.
Cetirizine is one of the most popular over-the-counter antihistamines available. Antihistamines like cetirizine inhibit the body's response to pollen and other allergens. An individual who suffers from headaches, runny nose and sneezing experiences these symptoms to a much lesser degree if he or she takes a daily dose of an antihistamine. Yet for some, over-the-counter medication does not provide enough relief for sinus congestion.
Most prescription medications for sinus congestion are corticosteroids. Administered by nasal spray, corticosteroids act as an anti-inflammatory on the sinuses. Simply put, corticosteroids provide relief for sinus congestion through a different route than antihistamines. This difference is important as individuals who cannot find relief for sinus congestion with antihistamines generally show improvement after beginning a course of corticosteroids.
Besides medications, many home remedies exist to treat sinus congestion. A rule to remember is that moisture provides relief for sinus congestion. One of the most common methods is using a humidifier in the winter months. If this option is too expensive, breathing through a cloth soaked in hot water provides the same effect, though one might have to do it many times a day. Most importantly, keeping hydrated and avoiding alcohol reduces the likelihood of congestion.
As the causes of sinus congestion are so varied, an individual may have to try a combination of treatments and medication before he or she finds relief. One must remember that it is never safe to mix non-prescription medication and that one must wait 24 hours before switching to a new non-prescription mediation. It is safe, though, to try as many home remedies as one pleases in the course of a day.
If sinus congestion lasts more than two weeks, it is a clear sign that one has either a sinus infection or severe allergies. If a bacterial infection is present, a doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics. Diagnosing a specific allergy requires either a blood or skin prick test. Though many allergies are treatable, a doctor may advise certain lifestyle changes so one has less expose to the irritant.