Sinus Infection Remedy
Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is one of the most common illnesses in America, affecting nearly 31 million adults every year. The idea of getting on another round of antibiotics may not seem appealing if you’re sick with a sinus infection, particularly if you suffer from them frequently. Thankfully, a number of natural remedies for sinus infections are out there to help you heal without the possible negative side effects of antibiotics or conventional treatments.
In fact, most cases of sinusitis are viral, and therefore untreatable by antibiotics. That being said, if your infection hasn’t started to improve within 10 days, or if it has gotten worse, then you mostly likely have a bacterial sinus infection requiring antibiotic treatment. Contact your doctor for advice on treatment options or antibiotics for sinus infections, as allowing your infection to linger too long could lead to complications.
Before digging through your medicine cabinet, let’s take a look at sinusitis symptoms.
Signs of Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are usually viral and may follow the common cold. While a cold doesn’t directly cause a sinus infection, it makes you more vulnerable to infection. When sick, your nasal passages aren’t draining properly, thereby allowing bacteria to linger in your nasal cavities. Additionally, as most people touch their nose more often with a cold or runny nose, this introduces more bacteria from your hands to your nasal cavities.
Sinus infections share symptoms with the common cold, such as congestion and post-nasal drip, but may be more severe or prolonged. For example, a fever or intense pressure in your face lingering past a week is less likely to occur with the common cold. In general, if your cold hasn’t improved in several days, or has gotten worse, this could also be a sign of a sinus infection.
How to Remedy a Sinus Infection
Home remedies for sinus infections are plentiful, and many of them may be laying around your kitchen. Here are a few home remedies to try when you have a sinus infection:
Raw Garlic. Garlic certainly isn’t the new kid on the block when it comes to home remedies. For centuries, cultures around the world have turned to garlic when ill. Since most sinus infections are viral, it makes sense to up your intake of this antiviral food staple.
Garlic’s most famous infection-fighting compound is called allicin. Allicin is not present in cooked garlic, however. The best way to release this compound is by crushing raw garlic and allowing it to sit out a few minutes before consumption. If you find it too hard to stomach, try swallowing a few finely minced cloves with a spoonful of honey.
Humidity, humidity, humidity! Moisture facilitates the passage of mucus through your nasal passages. If your nasal cavities are dry, mucus has a harder time passing through, causing bacteria to remain stuck in your nasal cavities leading to pain, congestion and inflammation.
Some ways to moisten your nasal passages are by sleeping with a humidifier in your room or taking a hot, steamy shower before bed. Any time of day, you could also inhale steam from a steaming pot of water for about 15 minutes.
Essential oils. Quality essential oils are not cheap, but if you suffer from recurring sinusitis, they could be worth the investment for their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Pharmaceutical companies are not new to the idea of essential oils — eucalyptus oil is an active ingredient in the classic, over-the-counter Vicks VapoRub. A few essential oils for sinusitis to add to your medicine cabinet include:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
- Oregano oil
Consuming these directly may be a bit risky if you don’t have top quality, food grade essential oils. Not only are essential oils extremely strong, but those of a lower quality may contain pesticides. If you do want to ingest essential oils, stick to one drop at a time, diluted with water.
The safest way to use essential oils is to combine them with other at home treatments such as steaming, sinus irrigation or DIY vapor rubs. Add a few drops of oil to a humidifier and/or pot of steaming water to inhale the healing properties of essential oils that way. If steaming doesn’t appeal to you, try mixing a few drops of these oils into a base, such as coconut oil or vaseline. Massage the vapor rub mixture onto your neck to break up congestion.
Last, but not least, stay hydrated! As a general rule of thumb, your urine should be mostly clear when you use the bathroom.
If you’re suffering from a sinus infection and haven’t seen improvements from home remedies or over-the-counter treatment, you may want to contact a doctor to discuss your symptoms and other forms of treatment, such as antibiotics. PlushCare doctors are available for appointments online or by phone every 15 minutes, any hour of the day. After a short appointment, your doctor will send any necessary prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice. Book online or by phone at (800) 221-5140.