Ask Avera: How to treat sinus pressure

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It’s a question many of you are asking – how to treat sinus pressure.

Dr. Jason Knuston is one of our Ask Avera experts. He’s a family medicine physician. He says there a lot of treatments, but first you must decide what’s causing it and if you want to go to the doctor of not.

“We like to think about time. So if you have sinus pressure, we know you have mucus in your sinuses. So that's the perfect time to start your treatment. That's probably not the perfect time to go to the doctor. You can save your money if you go buy one of these. It's a sinus rinse,” said Dr. Knuston.

Dr. Knuston says sinus rinses like the NeilMed Sinus Rinse work really well. He says it works whether it’s something viral, bacterial or allergic.

“It works better than any antibiotic will, most of the time. It's easy to use and you can use it over and over again. You go get the sinus rinse, you get distilled water as well. You pour the distilled water in and you also put a little powder packet inside of it. The powder dissolves quickly. You put this (the cap) back on. And then you've got clean water in here, you've got a powder in here to help open things up a little bit. And the interesting thing is you have to put your head down. Put your head down and you put it straight over the sink like this, and your bottle goes — it's got a little hole in it and the bottle goes up your nostril,” said Dr. Knutson.

You gently squeeze the mixture into your nostrils. It goes up into the sinuses, it splashes around and it drains all that mucus that’s waiting to grow bacteria in there out your other nostril.

Dr. Knuston says it is important to keep your head down when you are using the nasal rinse. If your head is up, it may cause you to cough and gag.

“It really helps. And it keeps you away from the doctor, it saves your money and you can use this so many different times. You want to wash it obviously after every use. But you do the same thing on one side, other half of the bottle goes to the other side. It just resets the clock, treats sinus infections and it prevents them from happening,” said Dr. Knuston.

If you have a question for one of our Ask Avera experts, you can e-mail tess.hedrick@ksfy.com.