- Treat your allergies
I made this number 1 for a reason! “Putting up with” allergy symptoms means that your nose and sinuses are busy fighting off pollen molecules and are slacking on simple housekeeping chores. A chronically inflamed and internally swollen nose is much more likely to get infected and/or trigger headaches.
- Wash your nose
Saline irrigation is an age-old practice. It can be done with a Neti pot or the more modern (easier) “squirt bottle” type kits. Salt water washes out mucous, bacteria and allergens and doesn’t just feel good; it reduces symptoms and the chance of infections.
- Decongest during a cold
At the peak of a viral upper respiratory infection, having your sinuses drained not only helps you to feel better but can prevent secondary sinusitis. If you cannot tolerate the oral decongestants (because of side effects or high blood pressure) then consider 1-2 days of a topical decongestant spray.
- Treat the “crusties”
Don’t tell that little kid you know, but green “boogers” are not normal! If you have a dry, crusty, irritated even bloody nose, you could be carrying an excessive bacterial load in your nose. Topical therapy (sometimes even prescription therapy) can reduce this and prevent a deeper infection in the future.
- Consult an ENT Specialist
Recurrent sinus infections are often caused by abnormally tight anatomy of the sinonasal tract. Not to worry. It can be easily corrected with surgery, resulting in fewer and less severe sinus infections.