Catarrh is a mucus discharge, which may be thick or thin and can become infected. Catarrh is a symptom of a disease or infection. If the catarrh is chronic it may be a symptom of an allergy. The best way to get rid of catarrh is to understand its underlying cause.
The conventional drug treatment is decongestants which should only be used for the short term. There are non-drug catarrh remedies that are safer for adults and children. These include homeopathic, home and natural remedies. They can be helpful in easing the symptoms of runny nose, stuffy nose or swollen sinuses.
The air can be very dry in the winter. Be sure to increase the humidity level at home or in the office. This will help to keep the mucus thin so that it can drain from the nasal passageways, thus preventing sinus headaches. A small humidifier works well when you don’t have a full house humidifier. Alternatively, boil some water to add humidity into the air. If the bout of catarrh is particularly bad, try running the hot water in the bathroom and sit in the steam in with bathroom door closed. This may provide immediate relief.
Using saline drops or spray can effectively help ease the symptoms of catarrh by hydrating the nasal passages. Another method to keep the mucous membranes clear is to use nasal irrigation. Similar to saline drops, nasal irrigation uses a warm saline solution poured into the nasal cavities to rinse them and provide hydration. Regular cleansing helps keep the sinuses and nasal passages clear.
When the catarrh is particularly thick and is blocking the nasal passages or causing pain, a warm compress may be applied to the face. Heat a wet cloth and place onto the face, over the nose and cheeks. Apply as often as needed. This will help loosen the thick phlegm that is stuck in the passageways. Alternatively, use a facial steamer or steam inhaler. The steam warms up the air in the nasal passageways, thus loosening the mucus and preventing inflammation.
If the catarrh is caused by allergies such as dust, pollen, mould, smoke or animal dander, a room-sized air cleaner can help filter the air. This will eliminate the irritant and help clear the catarrh more quickly.
Drink plenty of water to keep the mucus loose and the membranes moist. Avoid caffeinated beverages, as caffeine tends to further restrict the membranes.
Try to avoid medicated nasal sprays, as these may cause over drying. The sprays only provide temporary relief and they can become habit forming. There may be long term adverse effects in using medications to dry the sinuses. Once the medication wears off, the sinuses can become too dry or swollen.
If you suffer from chronic catarrh, you should seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause. Left untreated, catarrh can lead to more serious problems.