Sinus Infection Home Remedies Recommended By A Doctor
Philip Scolaro, MD
You probably dont give too much thought to your ability to breathe through your nose until you wake up with a sinus infection and that ability is gone!
Sinus infections, sometimes called acute sinusitis, can steal your joy pretty quickly.
A lot of viruses start with nasal symptoms. If you have a scratchy throat, congestion, and a runny nose, youve probably got a virus on your hands.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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Do These Things Work For Kids
Sinus infections make everyone miserable, children as well as adults!
Most of the tips above also work for kids, but antihistamines arent recommended for young children.
Young children cant blow their noses well, so helping them thin and clear the mucus from their nose is beneficial.
A nasal aspirator or a product like the Nose Frida can be a lifesaver in helping young children breathe through their nose.
A warm bath can help clear the sinuses and take a childs mind off their illness.
Kids are often fascinated by the condensation that forms on surfaces in a steamy room. To occupy them while a hot shower runs in the bathroom, try tracing pictures with them on the mirror!
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Natural Home Remedies For Sinus Infections
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from sinus infections, then you understand how the coughing, sore throat, headaches, and lack of sleep can make life truly difficult. These symptoms result in lost productivity at work, missed opportunities at home, and a significant decrease in your quality of life.
As a result, you may have found yourself seeking to alleviate your symptoms with over-the-counter medications to no avail. You may even feel stuck in an endless cycle of infection, medication, and frustration that leaves you desperately searching for real solutions. Even when OTC medications provide temporary relief from symptoms, they may result in any number of unwelcomed side effects such as:
Causes Of Sinus Trouble
Your sinus trouble can be caused by a number of things, including sinusitis and rhinitis.
Sinusitis is an infection that causes inflammation and swelling of your sinuses. The Infectious Diseases Society of America states that 90-98 percent of sinusitis cases are caused by viruses, which cant be treated with antibiotics. Sinus infections are one of the leading reasons antibiotics are prescribed, but theyre only effective in treating 2 to 10 percent of these infections.
If you have allergic rhinitis, your immune system triggers the release of histamines that irritate your nasal membranes. This leads to congestion and sneezing. Allergic rhinitis can lead to sinusitis.
Its time to see your doctor if you experience:
- symptoms that last longer than 10 days
- a fever of 102°F or higher
- symptoms that get worse, including a spike in your fever or increased greenish nasal discharge
- changes in vision
The Weird Causes Of Sinus Infections
Did you know that sinus inflammation is a common complication of allergies or any viral, fungal, or bacterial infections?
Even a pinched nerve in your back can cause systemic inflammation .
Technically, nasal congestion produces swelling in the sinus cavity, obstructing drainage and causing mucus to stagnate. A perfect breeding ground for infection.
To your health and happiness,
How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Some of the home remedies used to treat sinus infections symptoms may help prevent sinusitis. These include rinsing your nose out with salt water and using medications that your provider might suggest, such as allergy medications or steroid nasal sprays.
You should avoid things you are allergic to, like dust, pollen or smoke, and try to avoid sick people. Wash your hands to reduce your chance of getting a cold or flu.
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Getting Rid Of A Sinus Infection Without Antibiotics
How can I get rid of a sinus infection without antibiotics? Here are a few non-antibiotic treatment options you might consider:
If you find that these at-home sinus infections dont work, then it might be time to talk to a doctor for medical treatment.
When Should I Ask My Doctor About A Sinus Infection
As with any other medical condition, it is imperative that you see a doctor if certain worrisome symptoms begin to appear. This is especially true during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the first hint of sinus pain may not be a reason to head to the doctor, if you have been exposed to others who have tested positive or may be infected with the coronavirus, you should get tested if you begin feeling poorly. Similarly, a bit of nasal decongestion may not be cause for concern, but if you begin experiencing severe shortness of breath, get medical help immediately.
One of the reasons many people do not seek medical attention when they should is uncertainty about when they can get an appointment with their healthcare provider. At TrustCare, our many walk-in clinics are open every day of the week to make sure you can get the care you need without the hassle of making an appointment. If you are experiencing symptoms that seem like more than a bit of nasal congestion, visit one of our TrustCare locations today.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection Naturally
For those who want to limit their intake of all medications, including over-the-counter drugs, there are several natural home remedies that can provide relief from sinus pressure.
Many home remedies for sinus infections rely on hydration of the nasal passages. This can take the form of anything from holding a warm compress to your face, keeping your head over a bowl of hot water to breath in the steam, or even taking a hot shower. Increasing the amount of moisture in the nasal cavities can help flush irritants out of your nose, which will reduce your inflammation.
One of the most popular ways to treat a sinus infection at home is with the use of a neti pot. This treatment involves nasal irrigation where the sinuses are flushed with saline solution or distilled water either by pouring water from a neti pot or injecting it carefully into the sinuses with a bulb or syringe.
Just because nasal irrigation with a neti pot or small syringe is natural does not mean it is universally safe. It is vital that you use distilled water, as further infection can result from untreated tap water being placed in the sinus cavities. The infections caused by improper use of a neti pot have resulted in death, and for this reason some medical professionals are hesitant to recommend this treatment.
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
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When Should You Talk To An Ent About A Sinus Infection
You should schedule a consultation with an ear, nose, and throat doctor if you are experiencing these sinus infection symptoms:
- An infection that lasts longer than 10 days
- Chronic, recurring sinus infections
- Sinus pain and pressure that is disrupting your daily activities
- At-home remedies dont work to relieve your symptoms
- Increase in pain
Family doctors or primary care physicians can help with basic sinus infection treatment by prescribing antibiotics and prescription-strength decongestants. But recurring sinus infections or chronic issues should be addressed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist also known as an otolaryngologist. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might need a referral from your primary care physician before visiting an ENT.
How I Got Rid Of A Sinus Infection In 2 Days
First Id like to remind you that Im not a doctor, and this information should not replace communicating with your doctor, especially if you suffer from chronic sinus inflammation.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, which were not helpful for me and medication to help with your symptoms.
But, were here for the natural sinus relief.
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How You Can Treat Sinusitis Yourself
You can often treat mild sinusitis without seeing a GP by:
- getting plenty of rest
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- avoiding allergic triggers and not smoking
- cleaning your nose with a salt water solution to ease congestion
You do not need to use all of the solution, but make a fresh solution each time you clean your nose.
Untreated Sinus Infection Risks
Sinus infections often start to improve on their own after about 10 days. If your symptoms last longer without improving or if they worsen, a doctor may need to treat the underlying cause of the infection.
If a sinus infection affects a sinus cavity close to the brain, it can spread to the brain if left untreated. Though rare, an infection can also pass into the eye socket and cause vision changes or blindness. These types of infections are more common in kids.
While uncommon, a serious fungal sinus infection left untreated may pass into the bones.
Make an appointment with a doctor if you have severe symptoms, or if the following symptoms last longer than 10 days or keep coming back:
- facial pain
Because the cause of your sinus infection can affect your treatment options, its important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if youre looking for a doctor.
If you believe you have chronic or recurring sinusitis, consider asking for a referral to an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You may need imaging and other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
An ENT specialist can take a culture of nose drainage to better understand the cause of an infection. The ENT specialist can also examine the sinuses more closely and look for any problem in the structure of the nasal passages that could lead to chronic sinus problems.
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Treatments For Sinus Infections Other Than Antibiotics
#1: Saline Nasal Wash
Saline nasal wash can be a great way to thin out the mucous in the sinuses enough to clear out the blockage. I recommend starting this early on in the course of the illness to prevent the infection from worsening.
You can even make this at home using 2 cups of water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I would add a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda to prevent burning that can occur with use. There are also plenty of over the counter saline nasal sprays that you can purchase. You can use this 4-6 times per day.
Vaporizers are great because they can also thin out the mucous and make you feel a lot better. An easy home remedy, steam is probably the best way to use this treatment. Beware if you are an asthmatic as the steam could cause worsening of the asthma symptoms.
#3: Steroid Nasal Spray
Steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase have been my go to remedy recently and the great news is that they are now over the counter. The general recommendation is to use 1-2 sprays per nostril daily.
But I have found great relief using 2 sprays in each nostril twice daily. At these higher doses it is important to remember that you should use this short term, no more than 5-7 days.
These medications can significantly reduce inflammation allowing the congestion blockage to clear and significantly alleviate symptoms.
Guaifenesin such as Mucinex can certainly break up the mucous, allowing the congestion to clear more quickly.
How To Use Manuka Honey
Primary Uses: Skin or oral infections , general immune booster.
Manuka honey is primarily used topically .
But since its honey, you can also eat it to give your immune system a boost. Its the most delicious way to fight infection.
- Skin Infections: Take a small dab and lather the honey on the infected area. Cover with gauze or a band aid.
- Internal Immune Boost: If you notice people around you are getting sick or you recently caught a cold, you can take a tsp 1-2 times per day. This can help prevent you from getting sick in the first place or reduce the duration of your illness. I like to combine manuka honey with ginger and cinnamon to make it even more powerful.
I just wouldnt suggest eating it every day for long periods of time since it would get expensive. Manuka honey is more medicine than food. Treat it like something you would put in your medicine cabinet.
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When Should I See A Doctor
These home remedies for sinus infections are great for acute infections in the upper respiratory system.
But if five days or so pass and youre not seeing any improvement, or if things are getting worse, its probably time to see an ENT doctor.
If you feel a lot more pressure behind your cheekbones and eyes or your nasal drainage has changed to yellow or green-tinged, its likely your sinus cavity has gotten infected from the blockage.
If you have symptoms like a fever, body aches, chills, chest congestion, or a cough, something more serious could be going on. Especially in this era of COVID-19, its a good idea to get checked out just to be safe.
If youve tried these home remedies without luck, contact ENT Associates of Lubbock to see what your next steps should be.
What Causes A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is generally caused by a bacterial invasion, which comes with a respiratory virus-like a cold, and oftentimes by fungal or viral infections. Furthermore, sinus infections can sometimes occur in individuals that suffer from seasonal allergies.
Statistics reveal that over 37 million Americans are infected with sinusitis every year. However, people suffering from drainage ducts blockage, common cold, nasal polyps are more likely to develop a sinus infection.
When a sinus infection sets in, swelling blocks the openings of the sinus, which keeps mucus from draining and causes other sinusitis symptoms and facial pain, swelling of the eye and nose area, and headaches. Sinus infections mostly occur due to upper respiratory infections and colds, where the infection may become more complicated by a bacterial invasion that usually inhabits the throat and nose, and sinus cavity.
Irritation in the nasal passage from swimming, smoking, fatigue, allergies, and harsh sneezes with the mouth closed can cause a sinus infection.
During the winter months, we tend to stay indoors in the heat a perfect breeding ground for bacteria where fresh air doesnt circulate. It is important to go out and get sun exposure or supplement with a high absorbency quality Liquid Vitamin D3.
It is very rare to find a great vitamin D-3 supplement in an olive oil base as most of them especially the OTC ones are made in a soybean oil base. GMO Vitamin D-3 anyone?
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