Sinusitis (Sinus Infection) is a condition that affects millions of people each year. If you have suffered from sinus infections then you know how much they can impact daily life. Painful sinusitis symptoms can cause loss of productivity at work or school, loss of interest in hobbies, or even cause a lack of motivation to do anything. People suffering from sinusitis may experience:
- Sleep disruption
- Nasal congestion
- Post nasal drip
- Trouble breathing
- Headache/Facial pain
- Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
The best treatment will vary from person to person but home remedies for sinus infections may work to relieve some pain while you are waiting to go to the doctor. At MidState ENT we can work with you to create a unique treatment plan that will rid you of your sinus pain.
What is Sinusitis?
Before learning about why some home remedies for sinus infections actually work it is important to know a little bit about the sinus cavities and sinusitis. The sinus cavities are four main spaces that surround the nose and eyes. These cavities play a huge role when it comes to breathing as well as keeping you from getting sick. They keep you from getting sick by trapping bacteria and viruses in mucus and then draining the mucus out of your body so that you do not get an infection. Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, occurs when the cavities become inflamed due to the viruses or bacteria.
Because the cavities become inflamed and swollen the mucus cannot drain properly and this can lead to further infection. This can cause harsher symptoms and you may begin to look for relief in the form of medication or antibiotics. These medicines may provide some relief but can also lead to side effects including:
- Elevated blood pressure
- And other complications
If you are not constantly dealing with recurring sinus infections and you want to avoid these side effects, then natural sinusitis home remedies may be for you. If you are dealing with chronic or recurring sinus infections, then MidState ENT can help. Find out about a long-term solution for chronic sinus pain here.
Natural Home Remedies for Sinus Infection
Natural home remedies are good for anyone who wants relief while avoiding the side effects that medications can cause. Natural home remedies are especially good if you are only suffering from a mild infection. If you suffer from recurring or chronic infections then it would be best to visit MidState ENT for a comprehensive treatment plan.
Most of the following natural remedies for sinus infections will involve water or water vapor and that is because water is the most effective natural solution. It can penetrate blockages, break them up, and allow mucus to flow freely again. This will help sinus infections to clear up and heal.
H2O as a Natural Solvent
Pure water is one of the best solvents on the planet. Water is used as a thinner, cleaner, and diluter. When using water to treat a sinus infection it can thin out mucus, clear the sinus cavities, and help to penetrate blockages. Some natural remedies that utilize water include:
One of the most effective ways to utilize water when treating a sinus infection is to use it in the form of steam or vapor. As warm water vapor rises, it can break through blocked nasal passages and enter the sinus cavities. This allows the vapor to break up the blockages so that mucus can flow freely. It may also relieve some of the pain from inflammation. There are several ways to utilize vapor for sinus relief:
- Take a warm shower or bath - taking a hot shower or bath will create water vapor. Take a few extra minutes breathing deeply through the nose to take in the steam. This may help the healing process to begin naturally.
- Steam Pot - fill a pot or bowl with warm water and place it on a solid surface. Place a towel over your head so you can capture the steam and then lean over the bowl. Take several deep breaths through the nose to allow the steam to enter the nasal cavities and begin the healing process.
- Steam Machine (Warm Mist Humidifier) - A steam machine or warm mist humidifier will work the same way that the steam pot works except it is just more convenient. It is also less dangerous because it does not require you to transport hot liquids.
Liquid Water (Sinus Rinse)
A sinus rinse is also an effective tool when using natural remedies to treat your sinus infections. This involves introducing saline (salt) water into the nasal passages. This allows the water solution to break up any blockages that are keeping the mucus from draining. Sinus rinses can come in the form of sprays or pouring water into the nasal passages. While sinus rinses are safe, it is important to pay attention to the instructions. The instructions are there to help you avoid injury or further infection. Instructions may include, but are not limited to:
- Water Type: It is important to use only sterile water when using a sinus rinse. Other types of water such as tap, bottled, filtered, and spring are not safe to introduce to the sinus cavities. This is because they may contain small amounts of organic matter that could make the infection worse.
- Water Temperature: Do not use hot water when doing a sinus rinse. This can cause internal burns.
- Water Purity: Always clean and sanitize your sinus rinse container to avoid bacterial growth.
Mist (Cool Mist Humidifier)
Cool mist humidifiers are a form of technology that produces mist without using heat. It is a safe alternative for children and the elderly to use when treating sinus infections naturally.
Other Home Remedies for Sinus infections:
The following solutions are other natural home remedies for sinus infections that do not include using sinus rinses or water vapor but are still highly effective solutions.
- Elevated Sleep Position - You can naturally promote mucus drainage by keeping your head elevated at night while sleeping.
- Stay Hydrated - Because the body is more than 50% water, it helps the body to operate correctly when you stay hydrated. Continue to drink plenty of water even if your sinus symptoms make it difficult to do so.
- Use Warm and Cool Compresses - Alternating between warm and cool compresses can help to relieve inflammation so that mucus can drain naturally again. They may also help to reduce sinus pain and headaches. It is important to avoid using a compress that is too hot and avoid direct skin contact. Limit the time of each compress to 15-20 minutes.
Will Natural Remedies Work For Me?
Natural home remedies for sinus infections are effective at soothing sinus pain and can help the body begin the healing process. They are inexpensive and do not have side effects like medication might. They are especially effective for people who are suffering from mild sinus infections. For those who suffer from chronic sinus infections, natural remedies might not get to the root of the problem. At MidState ENT we can help you get to the root of the problem with balloon sinuplasty.