Sinusitis is a menace. This troublemaker brings me back to memories of living in Grenada, the hidden gem of the Caribbean (and tenth smallest country in the world). Just after relocating to this charming little island, I noticed a sensation of pressure in my sinuses, and a feeling of fullness in my ears. Apparently when your sinuses swell, it is possible to also experience pressure and fullness in your ears.
In case you are wondering what exactly the sinuses are:
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces in the skull and the face bones around your nose. Although the role of the sinuses is debated, they are understood to lighten the weight of the skull, improve the sound of your voice, and humidify and heat inhaled air, among other functions. The Sinuses are generally filled with air but can become blocked and filled with fluid, causing increased pressure.
Anyway, there I was, with a constant feeling of pressure behind my eyes, forehead, and cheeks, and a sense of fullness in my ears--which made me feel like I was submerged in water. I literally felt like a human submarine. (So much for a “warm welcome.”)
Thankfully though, the natives of the island were incredibly welcoming and friendly, which made up for this kink as I was getting settled in.
Sinus discomfort can be caused by a number of things, including sinus inflammation due to seasonal allergies and viruses such as respiratory tract infections—most commonly colds—which can cause inflammation and congestion of the sinuses. Flying on an airplane can also put more pressure on the sinuses, especially if you already have blocked sinuses or a sinus infection.
For those of you who are currently sighing from sinus discomfort, here are some home remedies for you:
Turn up the heat
Eating spicy foods such as hot peppers can help clear out the sinuses.
You can also try my favorite sinus buster and immune-boosting recipe:
Juice 1 ginger root and 1 turmeric root. Then, squeeze ½ a lemon into the concoction, with a generous dash of cayenne pepper. Drink up! Experience the relief.
I have intuitively discovered that crying helps clear out the sinuses. If you are a deeply emotional being, you can enjoy the therapeutic release of tears, and the side perk of clearing out your sinuses. However, if you’re not naturally much of a cry baby, then chopping up some onions can also do the trick.
Turn on the shower and run very warm water, allowing the bathroom to get steamy. Inhaling the vapors can help alleviate sinus congestion.
Humidifiers work too!