Preventing Sinusitis

Hands over sink washing in running water.

Colds, flu, and allergies make it more likely for you to get sinusitis. Do your best to prevent sinusitis by preventing these problems. Do what you can to avoid getting colds and other infections. Stay away from things that cause allergies (allergens). Keep your sinuses as moist as you can.

Tips for air travel

When traveling on an airplane, use saline nasal spray to keep your sinuses moist. Drink plenty of fluids. You may also want to take a decongestant before you get on the plane.

Prevent colds

Do what you can to avoid being exposed to colds and flu. When possible, take more time to rest when you feel something “coming on.”

  • Wash your hands often. This is especially important during cold and flu season. Try not to touch your face.

  • As much as possible, stay away from infected people.

  • Follow these standbys for staying healthy: Eat balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.

Stay away from allergens

First find out what things you’re allergic to. Then take steps to stay away from allergens or irritants in the air such as dust, pollution, and pollen.

  • Wear a mask when you clean. Or consider hiring a housecleaner to help you stay away from dust.

  • Sit in the nonsmoking sections of restaurants.

  • Don't go outdoors during peak pollution hours such as rush hour.

  • Keep an air conditioner on during allergy season. Clean its filter regularly.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about a referral to have an allergy evaluation. Or ask for a referral to see an allergy specialist.

Boost moisture

Keeping your sinuses moist makes your mucus thinner. This allows your sinuses to drain better. And this helps prevent infection. Ask your doctor about these suggestions:

  • Use a humidifier. Clean it often to remove any mold or mildew.

  • Drink several glasses of water a day.

  • Stay away from drying beverages such as alcohol and coffee.

  • Stay away from all types of smoke, which dries out sinus linings. This includes tobacco smoke and chemical smoke in workplace settings.

  • Use saltwater rinses.