Natural Remedies For Sinus Congestion
When you’re feeling stuffed up and miserable, getting to the drugstore seems almost impossible. Fortunately for you, there are a number of home remedies for sinus congestion relief, here’s three:
1. Humidity:Keeping your nasal passages moist when you’re experiencing sinus congestion may help to relieve that “stuffy” feeling. To do this, apply a warm, wet towel against your face or run hot water in the shower to unblock the sinuses. You could also use a humidifier for the same purpose.
2. Neti pot: A neti pot looks like a miniature teapot with a long spout. With the help of saline or a saltwater solution, these tiny nasal irrigation devices are used to treat congested sinuses, allergies, and the common cold. You can purchase a neti pot online or at your nearest health food or drugstore. Note of caution: Tap water isn’t safe to use as it’s not filtered or treated and may contain material that could cause infection or irritation.
3. Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses essential oils to reduce pain or improve sleep. While there’s still research that needs to be done, some studies suggest specific essential oils may relieve symptoms of sinus congestion. According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy , 1,8 cineole, the main component of eucalyptus oil, has been proven to clear airways of mucus and is a natural cough suppressant.
Cleaning Inside Your Nose
You can clean the inside of your nose using either a home-made salt water solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.
To make the solution at home, mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water that has been left to cool. To rinse your nose:
- wash and dry your hands
- stand over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
- sniff the water into one nostril at a time
Repeat these steps until your nose feels more comfortable . You should make a fresh solution each day. Don’t re-use a solution made the day before.
Special devices you can use instead of your hand are also available for pharmacies. If you choose to use one of these, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions about using and cleaning it.
When Do We Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infection
Antibiotics are not needed for many sinus infections, but your doctor can decide if you need an antibiotic. You doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
Most sinus infections usually get better on their own without antibiotics. When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from minor issues, like a rash, to very serious health problems, such as antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.
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Watchful Waiting Treatment Approach
Antibiotics work best in children who have symptoms that suggest their middle ear infection is caused by . If a child doesnt have these symptoms, there are good reasons to not give them right away, and instead only use them if the earache doesnt improve or even gets worse after two or three days. Sometimes doctors write a prescription for antibiotics after making the , and ask the parents of the sick child to wait before picking the antibiotics up from a pharmacy. In the meantime, the child is given painkillers and, if necessary, something to reduce fever.
This watchful waiting approach avoids the possible side effects of and doesnt have any long-term disadvantages. Studies have looked into whether this kind of approach leads to more complications or recurrences of middle ear infections. But this was not found to be the case.
If this approach is taken, it is important to carefully monitor the childs symptoms and stay in contact with the doctor. That way you can react appropriately if the infection doesnt get better or if it gets worse.
Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses
When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.
Other home remedies for sinus infections include:
- Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
- Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
- Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
- Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
- Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.
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When To Seek Medical Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis
When it comes to getting over a sinus infection or bronchitis, patience and time are usually the best remedies. Because most infections are viral, prescription antibiotics arent always an effective treatment option and taking them can be dangerous and lead to problems related to antibiotic resistance. In most cases, infections related to sinusitis and bronchitis will resolve on their own.
Within a week of getting sick, symptoms related to sinusitis or bronchitis should start to improve. If you dont start feeling better or feel worse, its a good idea to reach out to a medical provider who can provide guidance about managing symptoms and also about your treatment options.
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What To Look For When Buying Otc Sinus Decongestants
When youre figuring out which decongestant to buy, youll need to determine whats causing your congestion.
If its allergies, youll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine. Antihistamines target your bodys immune response to allergens like pollen. Antihistamines usually make the person taking them a bit drowsy, so keep in mind taking them at any time other than bedtime may have you needing a nap.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. These ingredients work by shrinking your blood vessels, which can help you breathe more easily and reduce the symptoms of a sinus headache or a stuffy nose.
However, both of these ingredients can cause you to feel restless and can make it difficult to fall asleep. These types of drugs can also make you nauseous. Generally, phenylephrine may have fewer serious side effects than pseudoephedrine. You should always consult a doctor before taking these meds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. Its best to treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you dont have.
Treating your congestion with OTC products doesnt always provide relief. You should seek professional medical care if you experience any of the following:
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What Are The Different Types Of Sinuses Near The Nose And Eyes
The paranasal sinuses are located in your head near your nose and eyes. They are named after the bones that provide their structure.
- The ethmoidal sinuses are located between your eyes.
- The maxillary sinuses are located below your eyes.
- The sphenoidal sinuses are located behind your eyes.
- The frontal sinuses are located above your eyes.
The biggest sinus cavity is the maxillary cavity, and it is one of the cavities that most often becomes infected.
There are different types of sinusitis:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: This term refers to a sudden onset of cold symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and facial pain that does not go away after 10 days, or symptoms that seem to improve but then return and are worse than the initial symptoms . It responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.
- Chronic sinusitis: This term refers to a condition defined by nasal congestion, drainage, facial pain/pressure, and decreased sense of smell for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms last four to twelve weeks.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: This term is used when the symptoms come back four or more times in one year and last less than two weeks each time.
What Can I Do To Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics or any other medicines, be sure to follow the directions. Otherwise, sinusitis can last a long time or happen again. Even if you feel better, keep taking the antibiotics until you have finished them as prescribed. This helps to kill all the bacteria causing the infection.
Also be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids so that your immune system can work along with the antibiotics to fight and cure the infection.
If you have sinusitis, chances are the type you have is not severe. But it’s important to see a doctor, especially if your symptoms last or get worse. If you have a bacterial infection, quick treatment can help prevent it from getting worse or spreading. It also will help you get and feel better faster.
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Treatment For Colds And Sinus Infections
All colds and most sinus infections are caused by viruses, and clear up on their own without treatment. Know that antibiotics do not work against viruses. Cold and sinus infection treatment involves relieving symptoms. Home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help you feel better, but they do not shorten the length of the illness. Getting plenty of rest, drinking enough water, applying a warm compress to your sinus area and using a humidifier can make you more comfortable.
Over-the-counter medications can also help alleviate cold and sinus symptoms. Read labels closely when choosing a medication. Note that combination medicines contain more than one active ingredient. For example, Alka Seltzer Plus contains several active ingredients, including acetaminophen . In this case, youd have to be careful to not also take a separate dose of acetaminophen. You also should not take medications for symptoms you dont have. Your pharmacist can help you find an OTC product to treat your specific symptoms:
There are no prescription medications for colds, but there are prescription medications for symptom management. One of these is ipratropium bromide , which is available as a nasal spray or as an inhaler. This nasal spray can ease a runny nose, postnasal drip and a sore throat, and the inhaler relaxes airways and prevents secretion of mucus in the nose.
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Amoxicillin/potassium Clavulanate Cefdinir Or Cephalexin
How it Works: is another combination drug that belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. and belong to a different class of antibiotics thats closely related to penicillins.
All three antibiotics kill bacteria by destroying one of its most important components: the cell wall, which normally keeps bacteria structurally intact.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate: 500 twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cefdinir: 300 mg twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cephalexin: 250 mg to 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days
Notable side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash are common side effects of these antibiotics. In rare cases, all three have the potential to cause the dangerous skin reactions, SJS and TEN.
If you have a penicillin allergy, your healthcare provider wont prescribe amoxicillin/clavulanate. They may or may not prescribe cefdinir or cephalexin since there is a small chance that a person with a penicillin allergy may also be allergic to these two.
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Things To Take Into Consideration
As you compare and contrast your options, it is clear that sinus pressure medicines can be vastly different from each other: this is because different people react differently to certain formulations, so pharmaceutical companies have developed various options to address each persons experience effectively.
Depending on your own bodys needs, as well as your personal preferences, it may be ideal to choose one option over another. Choose the best medicine for sinus pressure by remembering these main considerations when you step into the store.
- Treatment Form. Sinus pressure is the result of an accumulation of mucus, which commonly occurs as a cause of a viral or bacterial infection. Most of the treatments you will find for sinus pressure are geared towards resolving the symptom only and dont actually address the infection that initially caused the problem. Regardless, these products are highly effective at providing temporary relief of sinus congestion discomfort.
Most commonly, sinus pressure remedies come in three forms:
- Pills. Ideal for people on the go, capsules, and tablets are the slowest acting remedy. Despite this, however, they offer the longest-lasting results. Some pills target more than just sinus congestion, making them an effective remedy for holistic relief. Whats more, pills are also a convenient option for people on the go as theyre fairly easy to take.
The Right Way To Treat A Sinus Infection
5 min Read Time
Your head is throbbing, especially around your eyes. You cant stop coughing, and for some reason, your breath is terrible. Blowing your nose is a mess.
Bad news: You could have a sinus infection. Most frequently triggered by the common cold, over 30 million American adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.
So, what exactly are sinus infections? How can you tell if you have one? And holy cow how can you feel better as quickly as possible?
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Best Medicine For Sinus Infection And Cold
As the best medicine for a sinus infection or cold may vary depending on the individuals symptoms and the severity of their condition. However, some common treatments for sinus infections and colds include decongestants, antihistamines, and pain relievers. In more severe cases, antibiotics may also be necessary.
Dehydration Can Make Your Sinus Infection Worse
It may surprise you to know that when your body is producing more mucus, as it does when its in the throes of a viral infection, you need to drink more water to stay hydrated. Thats because it takes fluids to make mucus and viral infections will lead to dehydration. Not drinking enough water when you have a sinus infection can make headaches and sinus pressure worse it can also lead to thicker mucus thats harder to expel. On the other hand, drinking enough fluids can help thin your mucus, which makes it easier to get rid of. Ice-cold drinks can soothe a sore throat, while hot drinks will help loosen mucus.
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Sinus Headache Medicine In A Pinch
The best sinus headache medicine is of course plenty of fluids and a bit of TLC. There are many treatments that will help ease your pain naturally however, if you need some instant relief, you should consider over-the-counter medication.
That being said, if you are taking these medications regularly for ten days in a row, you should consult your physician to find a more permanent solution.
When Should I Use A Nasal Decongestant
If you have mild congestion caused by cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, you may want to consider an OTC nasal decongestant. This can help clear up your nasal passages and help you breathe more easily.
You dont have to take a decongestant as part of your at-home treatment regimen. Once your infection clears away or your allergies arent triggered, the congestion will clear up on its own.
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How To Use Cough Medicine Safely
Norman H. Edelman, MD, chief medical officer, American Lung Association professor of medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Donald R. Rollins, MD, associate professor, pulmonary division, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colo.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Withdrawal of Cold Medicines: Addressing Parent Concerns.
FamilyDoctor.org: Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options.
Schroeder, K. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, October 2004.
Bosler, D. Chest, January 2006.
Medline Plus: Guaifenesin.
What Can I Do
While you wait for your infection to run its course, you can take steps at home to feel better.
Look into nasal sprays. Store-bought saline nasal spray loosens up mucus, temporarily clearing it from your nasal passages. A steroid nasal spray like fluticasone may help tame inflammation, especially if you have underlying allergies. Unsure about using a steroid? Follow package directions and go to your HCP with questions.
Be wary of decongestant nasal sprays, like oxymetazoline . Using them for longer than three days could cause rebound symptoms persistent stuffiness eased only by the spray itself. Dryness and addiction are also possibilities.
Embrace sinus rinses like the neti pot. Many sinus infection veterans swear by nasal irrigation systems, such as plastic squeeze bottles or teakettle-shaped neti pots. These devices are filled with a sterile saline solution and used to flush snot from your sinuses.
Neti pots and their ilk are widely available and typically safe, as long as you handle them properly. Dont use water directly from your tap. Instead use distilled water, a sterile saline solution or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
Try over-the-counter medicines. Experts recommend analgesics including acetaminophen , ibuprofen and aspirin to ease pain, as well as decongestants like pseudoephedrine to alleviate the pressure of congestion.
Finally, you may want to avoid flying or scuba diving, since either can aggravate sinus pain.
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