Whether you’re traveling for a holiday, a birthday, business, or just to visit family and friends across the country, there are some healthy sinus practices while traveling. Especially in the later months, allergies and sinus infections can fester, causing miserable road trips and layovers. You’ll be tempted to do certain things on your trip, like drinking coffee, but to prevent a bad sinus infection, it’s best to follow these steps so you can enjoy your friends, your family, and even that business trip.
Healthy Sinus Practice #1: Avoid Certain Medications
Certain medications, like antihistamines, have a tendency to thicken mucus, which can potentially lead to things like a sinus infection. In some cases it’s been reported that antihistamines can actually dry up the sinuses too much. Yes, antihistamines are good for allergies, but if you know you’re susceptible to sinusitis, maybe find another method to take care of those allergies.
Conversely, using over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol can help alleviate symptoms like face pain and body aches. This is only if you have a sinus infection already, not as a preventative.
Healthy Sinus Practice #2: Drink Water While Traveling
One of the best healthy sinus practices while traveling is drinking water. That might seem like an obvious tip, but being on the road or even traveling by air, it’s tempting to stop by the coffee shop and grab a mocha or something. If it has dairy in it, avoid it at all costs, because that can thicken the mucus. Water will thin it out and make it easier to drain.
Drinks to avoid:
- Milk and dairy related products (that includes your pumpkin spice lattes)
- Excessively sugary drinks (I know this is the South, but sweet tea should be avoided)
- According to WebMD, alcohol can lead to sinus congestion (sorry, guys)
Healthy Sinus Practice #3: Nasal Flush
Okay, this one’s kinda gross, but if used regularly it keeps the sinuses flowing. You can go to a local drug store and pick up any irrigation tool, like the Neti Pot, that pushes water and saline through the sinuses. Just place the tip of the pot in one nostril then pump water out the other. Feels funny, but will save you the headaches and all the other sinusitis aches.
Healthy Sinus Practice #4: Eat Right While Traveling
It’s tempting, especially on road trips to eat at fast food restaurants right off the interstate or to grab a quick bite from a gas station. As much as this might help your time, it doesn’t help your immune system. Eating the right fruits (mostly Vitamin-C) and veggies can keep you well balanced. This also goes back to avoiding dairy as much as possible, as that can thicken that mucus.
Foods you should eat:
- Sweet Potatoes
Healthy Sinus Practice #5: An Allergy Test and Immunotherapy Before Traveling
If you know you have a trip coming up in the next few months, going to an ENT specialist to have an allergy test is a great way to know what you’re allergic to. It can also lead to allergy immunotherapy, which tackles the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms. This is more of a permanent, long-term solution, so if there’s no time for this one, make plans before the next trip.
Healthy Sinus Practice #6: Heat/Steam
Steam may not be as easy to come by while traveling, but using a warm towel or compress can have the same effect on your sinuses if placed correctly. This can also help alleviate any facial pain.
These are just a few of the healthy sinus practices while traveling that have been known to work. If you think you need an allergy test, the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute is always an option with same-day and Saturday appointments. Just call 770-740-1860.