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What is a sinus drainage?

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Quick Answer

The sinuses continually produce mucus that drains to keep the nose moist and filter the air a person breathes, but sinusitis causes thick mucus to drain into the nose and back of the throat. This drainage causes irritation, resulting in a stuffy nose and sore throat, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Acute sinusitis interferes with the normal drainage of the sinuses. The swollen tissues cause retention of fluids in these cavities that lead to increased pressure and sinus headaches. The common cold is the cause of most cases of sinusitis, but Mayo Clinic indicates that allergies and infections are other common causes.

In the United States, 37 million people suffer from sinus problems annually, reports WebMD. Creating a sinus friendly environment helps to reduce sinus drainage and pain. Rooms should be cool enough that occupants need a sweater to stay warm. Ideally, the humidity in the home should remain below the 50 percent level, which prevents the growth of mold, but it should maintain a high enough level to ensure that the sinuses remain moisturized. Additionally, keeping HVAC filters changed reduces the amount of dust in the air.

Sinus irritants, such as cigarette smoke and strong odors, cause sinusitis and sinus drainage to increase. A saline solution helps to thin sinus drainage and reduce the pain that it causes, according to WebMD.

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