6 At-Home Tools for Relieving Nasal Polyp Symptoms
- Nasal Polyps Natural TreatmentNasal polyps are growths in the lining of the sinuses or nasal passages usually caused by chronic sinusitis, hay fever, or asthma. They generate many of the same symptoms as the common cold. You can attack the symptoms in a similar way. Staying hydrated, inhaling steam, and using a saline nasal rinse can all help. Learn ways to ease your discomfort, but keep in mind there will likely come a time when treatment for the underlying cause is in order.
- 1. Drink plenty of water.Keeping your body hydrated can help keep the mucus in your nose and sinuses thin and loose so it drains better. You may need more or less than eight glasses a day, depending on how much you exercise, the heat and humidity of the climate you live in, and your general health. You can tell if you’re hydrated by keeping tabs on the color of your urine. If you’re hydrated, it should be light yellow or clear.
- 2. Steam it up.Like staying hydrated, inhaling steam can thin out your mucus for better drainage. It can also ease sinus swelling and nasal irritation. Some people like a hot shower, and others prefer to inhale steam from a pot of boiling water. In either case, be cautious of burns. You don’t want to add a second problem as you’re dealing with the first. Adding moisture to the air in your home, especially your bedroom, can also help, so consider purchasing an air humidifier.
- 3. Keep your head up—at night.Prop up your head up with pillows to help gravity drain your sinuses while you sleep. Otherwise, mucus can accumulate in your sinuses and make congestion worse. Many people who have nasal polyps have trouble getting good quality sleep. If you have trouble breathing during the night, you may have developed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which requires its own treatment plan. Tell your doctor if you’re experiencing excessive fatigue, snore heavily, or you wake up gasping for air.
- 4. Consider a nasal rinse.One of the first treatments doctors generally suggest for nasal polyps is a daily nasal saline (salt) rinse, also called nasal irrigation. You may be familiar with the popular neti pot variety. Saline rinses flush irritants out of the nasal passages and loosen nasal mucus so it doesn’t clog them. If you use a nasal rinse at home, be sure to keep your tools clean. Rinse them with sanitized water after you use them, every time.
- 5. Get advice on antihistamines and decongestants.It’s important to know whether your nasal polyps are caused by allergies. If they are, antihistamines may be appropriate. If they’re not, antihistamines can make symptoms worse by thickening nasal mucus. Decongestants reduce swelling in the nasal passages and open them up, but they also come with pros and cons. Decongestants taken by mouth can raise blood pressure. Decongestant nasal sprays can backfire if you use them for more than a couple of days; they can reduce swelling at first but then increase it.
- 6. Know when it’s time to call in the pros.Don’t go it alone treating your nasal polyps symptoms at home for too long. If your efforts haven’t paid off after 10 days, it’s time to talk with your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing a loss of smell or taste. Treatment with corticosteroids, orally or through a nasal spray, is usually the next step and tends to be highly effective. Treatment with injections can also help treat the root of the problem. Seek immediate emergency medical care if you have extreme trouble breathing, vision problems, or severe headache with a high fever.