If you are scheduled for a sinus surgery to remove polyps or to repair a deviated septum, then you should know that your aftercare is extremely important. This care helps to reduce infection concerns and it minimizes bleeding risks as well. You will need to make sure that your sinuses are as clean as possible to reduce complications. This may seem like a difficult task, because the nasal passages typically contain a great deal of bacteria. Follow the tips below to make sure that cleaning is completed the right way.
Moisten Your Nose
Gauze will likely be secured inside your nose after a sinus surgery, and it may not seem wise to wet this gauze. Moisture is required though, because the packing material stuck in your nose may attach to the sides of your sinuses. This means that the gauze will rip the scabs from your nose when the packing is removed. This can cause excessive bleeding and you may need to go through a cauterization procedure if the bleeding cannot be stopped. In some cases, this can cause scar tissue to build in your nose.
Moisture is also able to keep your scabs moist so they do not crack and break open when you move your nose, sneeze, or breath deeply. These scabs are important, because they keep bacteria from entering the wounds in your nasal passage.
Water can keep your nose clean as well by helping your nasal mucous drain. The mucous inside your nose traps bacteria and the dead microorganisms are then transported out of your body when the mucous flows out your nose. When you mix this water with salt, you are also creating an environment in your nose that will not allow bacteria to multiply. The salt can also dehydrate the microorganisms so that some of the bacteria are killed off. This means that a saline rinse is best to keep your nose clean.
Create a Rinse
Your doctor will tell you to use a saline solution two or three times a day to keep your nose clean. You can buy a rinse at your local pharmacy, or you can make your own at home. You will need to purchase a sinus rinsing bottle if you decide to do this. You need to be careful though, or you may inadvertently introduce bacteria to your nasal passages. You can stop this from occurring by washing your bottle with hot water and soap after every use. Also, if you use tap water to create your rinse, then boil the water first to kill the bacteria that may have made their way into your town's water supply.
Allow your water to cool after you boil it, and fill up your sinus rinse bottle. Add about two teaspoons of salt to the water and shake the bottle until the salt dissolves. Place the spigot of the device into the right nostril once the solution is mixed and gently squirt the fluid up your nose. Allow the water to drip out your nostril and then rinse your left nostril. Do not blow your nose afterwards, because this may dislodge the scabs in your nose. Hold a tissue up to your nostrils instead until your nose stops dripping.
Clean Your Mouth
Brush Your Teeth
It may seem odd to clean your mouth to keep your nostrils bacteria free, but your sinus cavities actually open up towards the back of your throat. This means that the bacteria from your mouth can work their way up your sinuses and an infection can then occur.
The easiest way to keep your mouth clean is to simply brush your teeth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal and snack while your sinuses are healing to kill off as much bacteria as possible. When you brush your teeth, make sure to use a toothpaste with triclosan. Triclosan is an antibiotic that will kill the bacteria as you wipe the microorganisms from the teeth.
Once you use a toothpaste that will kill the bacteria that thrive in the mouth, make sure to use a rinse that will help control new bacterial growth. Purchase a product that says that it is antiseptic. These mouthwashes will stop bacteria from forming and they will also help to control plaque and tartar that act as food sources for the bacteria.
Mouthwashes can dry out the mouth, so only use them once or twice a day. If you find mouthwash to be bothersome, then consider eating garlic or drinking cranberry juice throughout the day. Both of these food items can control bacterial activity in the mouth in a similar manner as the mouthwash.
If you need to have a sinus surgery, then you need to make sure that your sinuses stay clean after the operation. This is best to reduce infection risks. Using sinus rinses and good oral hygiene techniques are two good ways to keep the sinuses free of bacteria. For information about head and neck surgery after care, follow the link.