General Question

kenmc's avatar

What are some good ways to clear out my sinuses when they're stuffed because of allegies?

Asked by kenmc (11773points) June 7th, 2009

I have absolutely no use of my nose right now.

I have a cough drop in my mouth as I type because I thought that the menthol could possibly help.

I’ve been taking allergy meds with limited success.

What are some ways outside of what’s above that I can clear out my sinuses?

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26 Answers

tb1570's avatar

The spiciest food you can handle. And swimming also seems to work for me at times.

chelseababyy's avatar

Use Mucinex. It works WONDERS. It’s never not worked for me.

augustlan's avatar

A hot shower might help loosen up all the ick. I’ve also been trying a saline flush thing, but have had limited success with it.

Edited to add: Also, ‘massage’ your sinuses with your fingers… rolling, pushing, etc on the sinus area sometimes helps me.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

A lot of people get relief from Afrin. My mom swears by it. I’ve only used it once, it definitely cleared my nose, but it made me feel a little woozy at the same time.

Jeruba's avatar

The problem with a lot of things that promise to help is that you have to be able to inhale to use them, and dammit, if you could inhale you wouldn’t need them. Here is something that works. I discovered this as a youngster and still do it when I am completely clogged up. Take a little Vicks Vapo-Rub and rub it on the outside of your nose, over your sinuses. If that doesn’t work, you probably need a drill.

Oh, an accidental mouthful of horse radish will do it too.

essieness's avatar

My ex husband had horrible allergies and was always stopped up. He would drip salt water into his nostrils and tilt his head back to let it ooze down in there. It seemed to work. He also used SinuCleanse which is basically the same thing.

shilolo's avatar

Allergy meds (like benadryl or other antihistamines) are bad for congestion, and are probably making the situation worse as their mechanism of action leads to drying of the nose.

I strongly recommend using an over-the-counter decongestant like pseudoephedrine along with a room humidifier (± long hot showers). You can also take mucinex as has been suggested above to make the mucous less viscous.

Aethelwine's avatar

room humidifier What @shilolo said.

cookieman's avatar

Hot and Sour Soup works for me.

And I’ve also had good luck with Mucinex.

bythebay's avatar

My daughter is suffering with allergies for the first time ever. The congestion isn’t bothering her as much as the post nasal drip induced cough. Do you/can you take mucinex with an antihistamine? For example, mucinex with zyrtek?

Omgbutteredtoast's avatar

Saline flush. Works better than any drugs. You actually barf mucus from yer brain. I did it I know.

bythebay's avatar

“barf mucus from yer brain” – how exactly is that possible?

cookieman's avatar

@bythebay: I don’t know about zyrtek, but I have taken Mucinex with Benedrill with no problems. Just space them out.

filmfann's avatar

Hot and Sour soup works. So does the saline flush. The easiest is a boiling pot of salted water with a dab of Vics Vapo Rub, with your head over it, under a towel. Breathe deep for 10 minutes. It burns, but it works wonders.

Lupin's avatar

I used NeilMed Sinus rinse in a refillable squeeze bottle. It has to rank as one of the more disgusting things you can do to yourself. But it did clear out wads of crud holed up in my sinuses.
I’m sure I lost parts of Second grade during one of those flushes.

ubersiren's avatar

Breath in some vapors from boiling water and peppermint or eucalyptus oils (or both). Peppermint extract may work, too. Of course this is only temporary and you can’t do it all day while you’re working.

Warpstone's avatar

Use a Neti Pot. Search You Tube to see them in action. It uses the natural pressure inside you sinuses to siphon water and allergens out your opposite nostril.

It’s a basically the same as the above mentioned sinus flushing devices, and you don’t need to buy any special fluid for it: just sea salt and warm water. It is a bit disorienting at first, but regular use (i.e. daily during allergy season, weekly otherwise) does an amazing job of preventing sinus irritation, colds and infections.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Eat a couple of jalapenos. That is a sure way to loosen up the impacted sinuses. Horseradish works by the tablespoonful as well. And the endorphin rush is an added bonus. An all natural brain drug.

SLinSL's avatar

take a steam! then aferwards drink something like tea…you can use a neti pot too.

LC_Beta's avatar

I use generic brand claritin and a long hot bath.

cak's avatar

I use—but wouldn’t say I like- a Neti Pot. I have problems with a lot of medications, so I avoid a lot of them, for something like this – I really try to not over medicate. I’m always afraid of having yet another, allergic reaction.

Darwin's avatar

My daughter swears by the NetPot. I generally opt for pseudoephedrine plus a very hot bath with a washcloth applying heat to my sinuses as well as guiding hot, humid air up into my nose. However, something else that I have found works if you are in a position to do it is sex.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I use a method similar to the Neti Pot. However I don’t want to buy the “device”.
This is not fun and sounds quite nasty but it does work wonders.

1. You just mix 1/4 teaspoon salt with 1/2 cup lukewarm water.
2. Plug one nostril.
3. Sniff the salt water through the other nostril.
4. Spit out your mouth.
5. Switch nostrils.
6. Continue until the water is gone.

This has been recommended to me by several doctors. I use it faithfully and it not only helps with allergies and sinuses. It also helps when you are getting sick.

Lupin's avatar

When I pump that mix into my nostril, it does not come out my mouth. It exits via the other nostril. Do it over the sink so you can at see all the junk you’ve been carrying around in there. “Oh! There’s that old parking ticket I lost!”
Few things are more disgusting.
I did this after having sinus surgery about 6 months ago. Now I can sniff paint right off the wall !

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Lupin That’s one way to do it. And it is very nasty to come out your mouth. But it is also very effective. Anyhow I’ve received the same “instruction” sheet from about 4–5 doctors with those instructions (out the mouth). I’m sure the “other nostril” strategy works well too.

gooch's avatar

I am a Nettipot user also it is instant relief with out drugs.

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