Reducing Your Risk
The following actions may help to reduce your risk of sinusitis:
Smoking interferes with the normal defenses in your respiratory tract that protect against infection. If you stop smoking , your respiratory tract will slowly heal itself. Ask your doctor about programs and nicotine replacement systems that can help you stop smoking.
Furthermore, exposure to both second-hand smoke and air pollution can make you more prone to sinusitis. Avoid both types of exposures to improve your respiratory health.
Although there is no evidence that you can avoid getting sinus infections, here are some basic steps that may help you avoid infections in general:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Do not have close contact with people who are ill.
- Avoid exposure to toxic or damaging fumes.
- Eat a healthful diet .
- Manage stress .
- Begin a safe exercise program with the advice of your doctor.
Filter and Humidify the Air
Keeping your air humidified may help prevent your sinuses and respiratory tract from becoming overly dry. This may help reduce your chance of developing sinusitis. Furthermore, you may wish to use an air purifier to keep the air you breathe as clean as possible. These measures may improve your respiratory health.
Treat Your Allergies
If you suspect that you have allergies , get tested and talk to your doctor about treatment. Keeping your allergy symptoms to a minimum can help you decrease your susceptibility to respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis.
Discuss Sinus Surgery
Corrective surgery for deviated septum or surgical removal of the blockage in your sinus will prevent future episodes of chronic or recurrent sinusitis.
Use Nasal Decongestant Spray
If you’ve had trouble with sinusitis after flying, talk to your doctor about using a nasal decongestant spray 15 minutes before takeoff and landing. If possible, avoid flying when you have a cold .
Rakel RE, Bope ET.
Conn’s Current Therapy.54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002.
Sinus infection (sinusitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at:
. Accessed September 12, 2008.
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