Sinus pain and sinus pressure are common among people, especially during allergy season and winter, cold months. Pain and pressure are the result of a sinus infection, and in most cases, people reach for medications to treat their pain.
I am here to tell you that there are effective home remedies for sinus infection that are healthier, and easier to use.
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Signs and Symptoms of infection
Both acute and chronic cases of sinusitis manifest mainly the same symptoms. No matter whether your infection is acute or chronic, you are likely to experience the following symptoms:
- Thick, yellow, and foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Blockage in your nose
- Sinus pressure around the face and eyes
- Sinus pain around the face and eyes
- Sinus headache, a headache in the forehead area
- Cold that doesn’t go away or gets worse
As you can notice, most of these symptoms can also occur with the common cold. The best way to determine whether you suffer from a common cold infection or a sinus infection is to look at the longevity of symptoms.
For example, if they persist for more than 7 days, it is likely a sinus infection. Also, look whether you have thick green or yellow nasal discharge accompanied by two or more symptoms.
If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis, you will experience the above-mentioned symptoms for more than 12 weeks, and some other symptoms as well:
- Pus in the nasal cavity
- Tooth pain
- Bad breath
- Feeling of congestion or fullness in the face
- Runny nose
- Discolored postnasal drainage
- Feeling tired often
Causes and risk factors
Any health condition that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can result in a sinus infection. These conditions include:
- Hay fever
- Exposure to allergens such as dry air, pollutants, and cigarette smoke
- Respiratory infections
- Non-allergic rhinitis
- Changes in air pressure
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
- Physical injury to the sinuses
Risk factors include:
- Suffering from asthma
- Frequent swimming or diving
- Overuse of nasal decongestants
- Nasal polyps
- Exposure to air pollution
- Climbing or flying to high altitudes
What is the conventional treatment?
The conventional treatment for sinus infection includes antibiotics. A certified physician will prescribe you antibiotics if your symptoms persist for more than 10 days, or if the sinus infection is deemed to be bacterial.
If you are suffering from viral sinus infection, antibiotics are ineffective and unnecessary.
Doctors also recommend nasal corticosteroids for severe infections, as well as decongestants, pain medications, antihistamines, fever reducers, and other drugs.
With that in mind, we always prefer natural and home remedies because they carry no side effects.
Home Remedies for Sinus Infection
1. Flushing Nasal Passages
One of the most common remedies for sinus infection is flushing the nasal passages. The saline spray has proven to be the indisputable first choice here.
Saline wash will help you flush out mucus from your nasal passages. Due to the effectiveness, the saline wash has become the first line of defense against sinus infections.
When you are suffering from a sinus infection, I recommend a daily use of the saline solution.
2. Turmeric or Ginger Root
Both turmeric and ginger roots offer excellent health benefits and act as natural anti-inflammatory remedies. Both turmeric and ginger contain high doses of curcumin, a compound rich in antioxidants and carrying tons of anti-inflammatory properties.
You can brew tea from ginger root, or turmeric, and both will loosen mucus from your clogged passages.
3. Spice it Up
Speaking of spices, turmeric and ginger are not the only ones that help. Almost any other hot spice and spicy food will help.
For example, mustard, curry, and hot peppers are also known to relieve pain and help with sinus infections. Hot spices open up your nasal passages, flushing the mucus out.
4. Chicken broth with vegetables
If you’ve watched any movie or TV show where a character is sick, you’ve seen a scene of friends giving him chicken broth. This is one of the most popular and common traditional remedies for sinus infections and the common cold. The remedy of bone broth helps soothe nasal cavities and respiratory system. In the same time, it provides vitamins and minerals that allow your body to fight off the infection. And most importantly, it keeps you well hydrated.
If you have ever accidentally eaten too much horseradish, you will know how it feels. The potent ability of this plant to clear nasal passages is just through the roof. If you want to make it easier for you to stomach, try mixing horseradish and lemon. This will make it easier to consume, but also more potent.
6. Oil of oregano
Oregano oil contains two very powerful and potent compounds, carvacrol and thymol, both of which have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Consuming 500 milligrams of oregano oil four times per day will help with any sinus infection. Alternatively, you can add few drops of oregano oil to a large bowl of recently boiled water, and inhale the steam. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
7. Garlic and onions
These two vegetables might not provide immediate relief, but they will work to help you treat and prevent future and recurring sinus infections. Garlic and onions contain compounds that vastly boost your immune system. In a way, they allow your body to fight off the infection on its own. Some studies show that garlic is even more potent than antibiotics.
This herb can help your body fight off viruses and bacteria. Echinacea has been used in alternative medicine for years to treat sinus infections. Add in the fact that in the last several years some studies have shown Echinacea contains active substances that have antiviral properties and boost the immune system, and you have a great remedy. Take an Echinacea supplement at the first sign and symptom of sinus infection. The best dosage is 1,000 milligrams two or three times per day.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Next on the list of effective home remedies for sinus infections is apple cider vinegar. Just two tablespoons of ACV are enough to relieve your excessive mucus and pain due to a sinus infection.
Add the vinegar to a cup of hot water or tea and take it three times per day. You can add some lemon or honey for a better taste.
The goal here is to breathe in steam vapors. You can run the shower, or sit in the bathroom, it doesn’t matter as long as you breathe in the steam vapor. Or you can do it the old fashioned way, boiling some water and breathing the steam.
For a maximum effect and potency, add some menthol or eucalyptus drops to your boiled water, shower or bathroom.
11. Stay Hydrated
Drinking a lot of water will help you relieve the pain and pressure from sinus infections. You want to keep your sinuses moist, and drinking water through the day is the only way to do so.
Consider increasing your water consumption when you are suffering from sinus infections. If you are already following the 8 ounces per day general rule, you can always add a glass or two of water.
12. Warm Compress
Another way to keep your nasal tissues and sinuses moist is to apply warm compresses. Apply warm compresses on your external nose, and then follow it up with a cold compress that will relieve sinus pain.
Prevent Sinus Infections
I always like to tell people how to prevent problems from happening altogether. When it comes to sinus infections, I like to offer you not only my home remedies for sinus infections, but also ways to prevent it.
There are two aspects that you must pay attention to if you want to prevent sinus infections. You are helpless once you are outside of your home (covering your nose is the only way you can help yourself).
However while in your home, you can take some actions. For starters, allergy-proof your home. Get rid of dust mites, use beddings with allergen-barriers, install an air-filter system, keep pets out of the bedroom and follow other recommendations by the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
The second aspect you should pay attention to is purchasing a humidifier. This device will keep your air most, and it will be an investment that will pay for itself.
However, make sure to keep the device clean, since a dirty humidifier will breed mold and do more harm than good. Also, make sure to use a humidifier during dry months, not humid months.
As a general rule of thumb, you want a room with humidity between 35% and 50%.