When Your Cold Just Won’t Go Away
By AWHONN Editorial Staff
Think you’ve survived the fall so far with little more than a lingering cold? Your still stuffy nose may actually be sinusitis—a chronic inflammation or infection of your sinus and nose passages with thick mucus.

With leaves falling off the trees, you could continue to feel stuffy and tired unless you learn to prevent sinusitis, say experts at Harvard University.

Follow these 5 simple steps and you can stop sinusitis in its tracks:

1. Stay hydrated. This means more than 8 glasses each day. Women actually need 72 ounces of water or noncaffeinated beverages a day to stay fully hydrated. Tip: Add sugar-free flavor packs to a water bottle to keep you drinking throughout the day.

2. Rinse your sinuses. Use a small saline squeeze bottle available at your pharmacy to rinse your sinuses daily. This clears you of excess mucus and moistens your membranes. Add a mucus thinner, like Mucinexvoid decongestants and antihistamines, unless prescribed for allergies. Tip: Warm herbal tea with honey is as effective as non-prescription decongestants at clearing mucus.

3. Steam your sinuses. Deeply breathe in the steam several times through your nose while in the shower. Tip: keep your sinus rinse bottle in the shower to combine the rinse with the shower steam.

4. Use 2 pillows when you sleep. Elevating your head helps your sinuses drain; they have a tendency to pool fluid while you sleep. Tip: Roll a small towel as a wedge under your pillow for less elevation.

5. Use a humidifier in your house and near your bed or desk. This is especially important if you live in a dry area. Tip: Install a whole house humidification system for an optimal environment

If you’re practicing these and you still get a nasty sinus infection, see your healthcare provider, who may recommend an antibiotic to clear any infection and check to see if your symptoms are caused by polyps or a deviated septum.
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