There is no denying that parenthood can oftentimes feel like a full-time job. However, no amount of stress in the office can be compared to the stress and worry a parent might feel when something seems wrong with their youngling, such as when your baby can’t fall asleep. Most of the time, the little cub is just restless or maybe she’s hungry, but that doesn’t mean that you’re any less worried. And the same can be said when your baby gets the sniffles.
Worry not, a runny or stuffy nose is rarely a cause for any major concern. While it’s always a good idea to give your doctor a call, there are also many things you can do yourself that will help your kids (and yourself as well) to deal with sinus congestion. Here’s everything you need to consider.
Stuffy nose or sinus congestion?
First things first, and this goes for all family members and not just your little bundle of joy, you need to identify if it’s a stuffy nose or if the sinuses are congested. Here is a quick and easy checklist to make sure that it’s really a sinus congestion or even an infection:
- Pressure spreading behind the eyes and the cheekbones
- A progressive headache
- A fever, worsening cough, and bad breath
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Reduced sense of smell
- A runny and stuffy nose that lasts more than a week
Now that you have the assessed the symptoms, you can determine whether the problem is localized to the nasal passages, or if it travels deeper into the sinuses. This will help you make the decision whether or not you need to visit your doctor.
When to seek medical attention
Without a doubt, it’s always ok to call your doctor immediately after spotting the symptoms. However, there is rarely any need to panic, nor is there always a need to seek medical treatment. You or your child might simply be experiencing irritation, you might also have a cold, or maybe your living environment is causing allergies and sinus flare-ups.
Talk to your doctor and be sure to convey all of the details about the symptoms and your living environment. They will then either invite you to the office or they will prescribe some holistic home remedies. What can’t hurt, though, is for you to create a healthier living environment for your family, starting with the air that you breathe on a daily basis.
Purify the air in your home
One of the biggest and healthiest changes you can make in your home is to improve the air quality in every room. Boosting airflow by airing the rooms regularly and letting plenty of natural light permeate the setting can help you hinder the growth of mold, and might even help you air out the allergens causing the congestion and inflammation. However, airing is not enough to fully protect you and your family.
You need to banish all airborne pathogens and toxins from your living environment, and opening the windows might very well help you achieve the exact opposite. That’s why it’s important to research the best air purifiers out there that eliminate allergens and airborne pollutants in order to cleanse every room in your home, especially the areas that look directly on to the street or are not getting sufficient sunlight during the day. Air purifiers will also balance out the humidity and the dryness of the air, which will help you alleviate the symptoms.
Identify the cause of the problem
Dry air, too much humidity and not enough sunlight, allergens, viruses, all of these and more could be the culprits behind your child’s congested sinuses. With a bit of research and testing, you can identify the cause of the problem yourself, and figure out whether this is a chronic condition or an acute phenomenon caused by a one-time trigger – such as a passing virus.
If you’re unsure or if you’re suspecting an allergy, then head over to your doctor’s office for allergy testing. Always ask for a second opinion, though, as even medical professionals can mistakenly diagnose a virus when in fact your child might be allergic to pet hair or other common allergens.
Try other effective home remedies
And finally, you can always try some of these effective home remedies to alleviate the symptoms and perhaps even eliminate congestion. Keep in mind, though, you should always check for the root cause of the problem, because treating the symptoms might not be enough.
- Take long, warm showers.
- Breathe in warm water vapor.
- Use nasal saline to thin out the mucus.
- Relieve discomfort by placing a warm towel on the forehead.
- Elevate your or your child’s sleeping position. Elevating the head helps clear nasal passages and helps asthmatics breathe easier.
They say that one of the parents’ primary responsibilities is to worry. While you could not and should not be indifferent, you should never resort to panic, but rather take a step back to ascertain the situation. Then, use these tips to help identify the cause of the problem and implement the solution that will eliminate congestion and inflammation in their entirety.