Sinus infections can be nasty to deal with and cause significant discomfort. Mild sinus infections may cause nasal congestion and mild headaches while severe infections can cause severe pain, polyps, and complications such as abscesses.
Fortunately, sinus infection symptoms can be alleviated using home remedies. While these home remedies won’t cure the sinus infection, they will make the recovery process faster and more tolerable. Read on to find out how to treat symptoms of a sinus infection with home remedies.
What Is A Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection is also known as sinusitis. The condition occurs when the nasal cavities become inflamed and blocked. The sinus cavities can be blocked by bacteria, viruses, and other gunk that can cause nasal congestion. Common causes of sinus infections include bacteria, fungi, respiratory tract infections, and hay fever. Bacterial sinus infections tend to be worse and last longer than those caused by viruses.
Acute sinusitis is usually a short-term illness that clears up in just over a week. Chronic sinusitis is a recurrent sinus infection or multiple infections that can be difficult to treat without understanding the underlying cause.
Symptoms of A Sinus Infection
Sinus infection symptoms include a stuffy nose, a yellow nasal discharge, and post-nasal drip. Other sinus symptoms include sinus pain, facial pain, headaches, fatigue, and fever. Some people experience ear pain from the pressure buildup in the sinuses. Severe sinus infections may also cause nasal polyps, tooth pain, and nasal excretions. Sinus infections caused by viruses or the common cold may also feature a sore throat and other side effects.
6 Home Remedies For A Sinus Infection
1. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is a technique where a saline solution or a medicated solution is used to clear the nasal passages. The most common tool is known as a neti pot. This tool is shaped like a little teapot and makes it simple to complete nasal irrigation. Alternatively, you can use specially-formulated bottles or plastic syringes to loosen nasal congestion.
Simply fill the tool with warm distilled water or sterile water. Do not use tap water as it may cause bacterial infections depending on the cleanliness of the local water. Turn your head to one side and place the tool at the opening of the opposite nostril. Squeeze gently and let the warm salt water flow in one nostril and out the other. Repeat use as needed during the day.
2. Nasal Spray
Like nasal irrigation, nasal sprays are designed to thin out a stuffy nose. Some nasal sprays contain medications while others are simply a mixture of salt and water. You can make your own saline nasal spray or purchase one in the healthcare section at your local grocery store. Relieving nasal congestion can also help to relieve sinus pressure that causes headaches and searing pain.
Medicated nasal sprays contain medications that help to decrease inflammation and ease congestion. The anti-inflammatory properties of nasal sprays work to decrease inflammation and improve blood flow. This can help expel mucus, relieving pressure and sinus pain.
3. Take Pain Medication
Sinus infections are often accompanied by piercing headaches and pain along the forehead and between the eyes. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as ibuprofen or Tylenol can help to ease the pain.
4. Use A Warm Compress
Warm compresses can help to ease congestion in the sinus cavities while also helping to decrease symptoms of pain. Get a towel slightly damp and heat it up for 5 to 10 seconds in the microwave.
Test the warm compress on the inside of your forearm to make sure it is not too hot. Apply the compress directly to your forehead and nose or anywhere you feel sinus pressure. Reheat as needed.
Alternatively, you can use a cold compress or a hot water bottle as a warm compress. It’s best to lie down and try to relax when using a compress.
5. Take A Hot Shower or Bath
The steam from a hot soak can help to open up airways and decrease sinus congestion. Bring the water to a hot, but not scalding temperature and focus on inhaling the steam deeply.
You can add essential oils to the hot water to help maximize the decongestant effects. Essential oils such as eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil are great choices. Essential oils may help to fight off a bacterial infection thanks to natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
6. Boost Your Immune System
Having a strong immune system can help your body fight off bacteria and viruses that cause sinus infections. Research shows that high doses of vitamin C at the first sign of the common cold can help to decrease the severity and duration of the illness (1).
Eating healthy is another way you can boost your immunity. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of vegetables, protein, and good fats. Chicken soup is a great choice to stay hydrated and soothe a sore throat that accompanies a sinus infection. Other foods to try include ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and fruits that are good sources of vitamin C.
Feel Better Fast
Seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional if you suffer from severe sinus infections. Symptoms of minor to moderate sinus infections can be alleviated by using natural remedies at home.
If you’re suffering from mild sinusitis symptoms, try these natural remedies to get rid of uncomfortable sinus infection symptoms and feel better fast. With enough rest, relaxation, and self-care you should start to see improvement in your sinus problems in just a few days.