Sinus Infection Help

Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage may be an annoying problem. But when you have chronic sinus drainage, it could mean that a sinus infection is the cause.

Chronic Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage to some extent is a natural part of life. The cells that line the sinuses normally make mucus and fluid in order to protect it from drying out. The mucus and fluid pass through holes in the sinuses and end up in the back of the throat and in the nose. Most of the time, we swallow the mucus and it is no problem.

If, however, the sinus drainage becomes severe and chronic, it can build up or drain out of the nose or back down the throat and can become irritating. There are several things that can cause sinus drainage to build up or become excessive:

  • Sinus infection
  • Bacterial infections
  • Allergies
  • Viral infections
  • Fumes that are irritating

You can get an increase in sinus drainage by eating spicy foods or by taking in an irritating smell through your nose. The glands in the nose that react to irritating chemicals increase the production of watery fluid that is a lot like saliva in terms of its texture. These glands do this in order to try and wash away the irritant chemical so inflammation doesn’t occur. You feel this fluid run down the back of the throat or pass through the nose. When the irritant is not present anymore, the drainage stops.

Your Sinuses

There are two major types of sinuses that can cause sinus drainage. These include the ethmoid sinuses and the maxillary sinuses.The ethmoid sinuses are located in the area above and between your eyes and drain into the upper nasal passages. The maxillary sinuses are located in the cheeks on either side of the nose.

They drain into the middle and back of the nose and drain into the back of the throat or through the front of the nose, depending on your positioning and the amount of sinus drainage.

The maxillary sinuses are much bigger than the ethmoid sinuses and you feel pain in your cheeks if they become irritated.

If any one of the ethmoid sinus becomes inflamed, you experience pain between your eyes and just above your eyes.

Bacterial or Viral Infections

Other causes of sinus drainage that is excessive are bacterial infections or viral infections, such as when you have the cold, flu or bacteria in the sinuses. The sinus drainage in these cases can be thick and may not drain properly. The drainage might become infected with bacteria and will stagnate in the sinuses or in the nasal passages. If a bacterium is the cause of the infection, there will be a bad odor to the nasal drainage and it will be yellow or green in color. It can drain into the back of the throat and can get into the lungs, causing pneumonia or tracheitis. Tracheitis is an infection of the trachea or wind pipe.

Allergic Reactions that cause Sinus Drainage

Allergens, including those like pollens or dust particles, can cause abnormal drainage from the sinuses. The nasal passages become inflamed or just irritated because of the allergic substance. It is a natural response of the body to an allergen to make the irritation occur. The throat can swell in certain circumstances. If the throat swells, the drainage has no place to go and it comes out of the nose or is spit out of the mouth. It can contribute to blockage of the airways and death. Excessive mucus production can contribute to a sinus headache, sneezing and drainage from the nose, which is usually clear.

Sinus Drainage Treatment

There are several medications available for excessive sinus drainage. What you use depends on the type of sinus drainage you have. If you have allergies as a cause of sinus drainage, you can try taking an antihistamine like Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl. These slow down the allergic process and prevent you from making mucus in response to the allergen. You can also take guaifenesin.

This is a mucolytic agent that thins the mucus in the sinuses so you drain the drainage from your sinuses easier. Decongestants are used to dry up the nasal mucus. One of the problems with taking decongestants is that it can just thicken the nasal congestion or sinus congestion, making it harder to drain out the mucus. Bacterial infections can take over when the nasal congestion is stagnant. It could backfire on you.Pain relievers like Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen can take care of the pain associated with sinus backup and sinus drainage.

Home Remedies for Sinus Drainage

You can also use a Neti Pot, which uses saline solution to drain the nasal passages and sinuses of nasal and sinus drainage. It is used by tipping the solution from the pot into one nostril and tipping the head so natural sinus drainage flows out of the other nostril. The solution thins the mucus and allows it to drain nicely from the nasal passages.