Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a common medical condition in which the air cavities within the nose’s passages are inflamed. This inflammation is called sinus infection in medical terms. It can be caused by infections, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses. Sinus infection can be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, and chronic sinus infection.
The treatment of sinus infection is largely determined by the type and severity of the condition. If it is in its initial stage, you can use certain home remedies to improve the symptoms as well as treat the condition. However, if home remedies don’t prove to be effective, you can choose medication or surgery for a sinus infection after consulting with an expert ENT specialist at Pristyn Care.
Following are the home remedies for sinus infection:-
Drink Adequate Amount Of Water
You should drink an adequate amount of water as it helps in flushing out the virus from your system. It’s important for you to keep yourself hydrated all the time. Try to drink at least one glass of water every half an hour.
Eat Foods With Antibacterial Properties
Antibacterial foods like garlic, ginger, and onions fight the virus significantly. To fight the virus, you should add these foods to your diet. You can also drink ginger tea and add raw honey to boost the immune system. Honey is rich in antioxidants, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Keep Your Sinuses Hydrated
By keeping your sinuses hydrated, you can improve the symptoms caused by a sinus infection. Following are a few tips that you can use to keep your sinuses hydrated:-
Use a humidifier in your bedroom while sleeping at night as it helps relieve nighttime nasal blockage.
Use natural saline nasal sprays during the day and before bed. You can use these several times a day to break up the congestion. However, you should avoid sprays that contain oxymetazoline because you can become dependent on this.
Expose Your Sinuses To Steam
Expose your sinuses to steam. To do that, you should take a hot shower regularly and breathe in the damp air. You can also lean for 5-10 minutes over a bowl filled with boiling water. Cover your head and bowl with a thick towel or bed sheet and keep your nose just 10 inches above the water while exposing your sinuses to steam. This is considered one of the best home remedies in relieving the symptoms and treating sinus infections.
You can place a warm, damp towel around your cheeks, nose, and eyes to ease the facial pain. Doing so regularly also helps in clearing the nasal passages from the outside. Applying moist and warm compression offers relief from facial pain caused by a sinus infection.
In case you have a sinus infection, you should take a rest as much as possible. Taking rest helps the body recover quickly and allows it to spend its energy fighting the infection. Staying at home and taking rest can also help in preventing the spreading of the infection to other people.
This can also help you get rid of a sinus infection. A 2016 study found that people who used nasal irrigation had fewer headaches and were less likely to need over-the-counter medicines than those who didn’t.
For nasal irrigation, you can use a neti pot, which is a small container with a spout. You shouldn’t use water straight from the tap in a neti pot. The tap water is safe to drink because the stomach acid kills the bacteria or parasites present in the water. But the nose environment can’t kill these types of germs. Therefore, you shouldn’t use tap water in a neti pot as it may potentially cause infection or aggravate the infection.
Either you should boil the water for a few minutes and let it cool or you can buy distilled water to use in the neti pot. However, it’s quite easy to make an irrigation solution to use with a neti pot. Following are the steps to make an irrigation solution:-
- Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda with non-iodized salt in the same amount
- Blend the mixture into sterile water (2 cups)
- Now use a small neti pot to apply the solution
- Repeat for both the nostrils
- Clean the neti pot after using sterile water and dry it thoroughly
Also, if you don’t want to make this solution at home, you can buy a nasal irrigation solution from a pharmacy or online as well.
Apart from the home remedies, you can also try certain over-the-counter remedies to treat your problem. This may include the following:-
- Mucus thinner
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Over-the-counter fever relievers
- Over-the-counter decongestants
Home remedies are effective ways of improving the symptoms and treating sinus infection in its initial stage. But when sinus infection turns into a chronic sinus infection, home remedies tend to be ineffective.
In such a case, you should visit an ENT specialist, who prescribes medications or surgery based on the severity of your condition.
What To Do When Home Remedies Fail To Provide Relief
If home remedies or over-the-counter remedies don’t work, your doctor may recommend the following treatment options:-
- Nasal corticosteroids and sprays
- Nasal antihistamine sprays
- Oral or injected corticosteroids
- Sinus surgery
Among all the above-mentioned treatment options, sinus surgery – medically known as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is the most preferred treatment for sinus infection. This advanced procedure is also considered the best and permanent solution to sinusitis.
FESS surgery is performed by a highly experienced and reliable ENT surgeon. During this procedure, the surgeon inserts an endoscope through the nostril to observe the nasal cavity. After evaluating the severity of the condition, the surgeon removes or repositions the abnormality with the help of other medical instruments along with the endoscope.
Following are the benefits of FESS:-
- Painless and bloodless procedure
- Long-lasting and satisfying results
- Less removal of nasal tissue
- Fewer chances of complications
- Quick and comfortable recovery
- Minimally invasive surgical procedure