A sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinus tissue as the result of a blockage in the sinuses and nasal passages. Millions of Americans spend over $1 billion each year looking for sinus infection relief. While some of those remedies can be extremely effective, the symptoms of sinusitis can also be treated with more natural products. Here’s a look at sinus infection remedies you can get over the counter or make at home.
Maintain Healthy Habits
One of the best sinus infection cures is getting plenty of rest. This will not only ensure your body is strong and able to fight the infection, but it may help reduce swelling too. Prop your pillows up so that you are slightly upright while sleeping to help your sinuses drain rather than allowing mucus to pool in your nasal passages.
Make sure to eat healthy so your body has all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Avoid dehydration to keep the mucus and other fluids in your nose from getting thick. Drink plenty of water and real fruit juice, and avoid caffeine and alcohol because they dehydrate your body. The Mayo Clinic reports that alcohol can also increase the inflammation that occurs during a sinus infection.
Manage the Pain
Sinusitis can be a literal headache and can cause soreness all over your face as well. Since a sinus infection is the result of inflammation in the sinuses, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) may do a world of good if you are suffering from a sinus headache or facial pain. However, they can have serious side effects and should not be taken long term.
For a completely chemical-less alternative, take a hot shower. The steam can help loosen up mucus, making it easier to breathe. For a quicker alternative, get a bowl of hot water and breath in the steam. A warm compress may also help with inflammation and make any pain resulting from your sinus infection easier to deal with.
Clear Your Sinuses
Products like Afrin and Mucinex may clear out a stuffy nose in a hurry but they can also be addictive and expensive — and they don’t do anything for the root cause of a sinus infection. Many people find neti pots, also called sinus rinses, extremely effective in this regard.
The specially designed canisters look much like a small tea pot and are designed specifically for clearing out the sinuses. While many of these products come with their own ingredients to include, you can simply use water. Make sure to use sterilized water, and keep the pot clean as well so that you don’t add germs to your sinuses.
Know Your Body
While many of these things can bring relief, it is important to note that sinus infections are frequently caused by a bacterial infection. This means an antibiotic is necessary to get rid of it, and while home remedies may be soothing, they are no replacement for a visit to the doctor. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, make an appointment with your family physician as soon as possible.
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