Home Remedies for a Sinus Infection
True misery is the pain and swelling caused by sinus inflammation. The bones around the nose, the eyes and the cheeks are lined with membranes that produce mucus, which function to warm and moisten inhaled air, plus to filter out any germs. When congested and unable to drain properly, the mucus continues to accumulate, stagnate and become infected. There are a number of causes for chronic and even acute sinus infections.
Causes for Chronic and Acute Sinus Infections
- Excessive dairy consumption (cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt)
- Environmental allergies
- Tobacco and pollution irritation
- Food allergies
- Dental infection
- Fungal infection in the sinus cavity
- Systemic Candida albicans (overgrowth of yeast)
- Colds and flu symptoms
The Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
- Facial congestion/fullness
- A nasal obstruction/blockage
- Pus in the nasal cavity
- Nasal discharge/discolored postnasal drainage
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
These Symptoms can last up to 8 weeks or more!
There are different types of sinusitis, including:
- Acute sinusitis: A sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as runny, stuffy nose and facial pain that does not go away after 10 to 14 days. Acute sinusitis typically lasts 4 weeks or less.
- Sub acute sinusitis: An inflammation lasting 4 to 8 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: A condition characterized by sinus inflammation symptoms lasting 8 weeks or longer.
- Recurrent sinusitis: Several attacks within a year.
About 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of sinusitis each year. People who have the following conditions have a higher risk of sinusitis:
- Nasal mucous membrane swelling as from a common cold
- Blockage of drainage ducts
- Structural differences that narrow the drainage ducts
- Nasal polyps
- Conditions that result in an increased risk of infection such as immune deficiencies or taking medications that suppress the immune system.
In children, common environmental factors that contribute to sinusitis include allergies, illness from other children at day care or school, pacifiers, bottle drinking while lying on one’s back, and smoke in the environment. In adults, the contributing factors are most frequently infections and smoking. Whether it’s acute or chronic, sinusitis is painful and wearying. It’s common too: every year, it affects 37 million people in the U.S. and costs us $5.7 billion. But despite its pervasiveness, it’s also widely misunderstood. Many people with sinusitis wind up with the wrong diagnosis or use treatments that aren’t likely to help.
Some of the Primary Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis
- Facial pain/pressure
- Nasal stuffiness
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of smell
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
Acute sinusitis may be diagnosed when a person has two or more symptoms and/or the presence of thick, green or even yellow nasal discharge. The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are similar. The good news is that, regardless of the type of sinusitis, treatments can help. The key is to figure out what’s really causing the underlying problem. For instance, if your case of sinusitis is caused by allergies, decongestants alone will probably not help much. If you have sinusitis symptoms for more than a couple of days, check in with your doctor. With a good exam — and sometimes imaging tests, like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs — you may be able to figure out exactly what’s causing the problem. Often, the best sinusitis treatment is a combination of different approaches — typically medication combined with self-care. Home care can help open the sinuses and alleviate their dryness. Here are some great and effective Home Remedies to help sooth or even cure your sinus infection. You choose which ones best suits you and if you have any of your own, please share with us! Thank you and hope you feel better soon.
1. Spice It Up
We are going to start off with one of the best Home Remedies for a Sinus Infection. To dissolve excess mucus spicy foods such as cayenne pepper or horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. Try a few times to break up that mucus!
2. Grapefruit Seed Extract
This citrus extract is a powerful natural antibiotic and is used to inhibit microbes, parasites, bacteria, viruses and 30 types of fungi including Candida yeast. GSE helps to clear out mucus and may prevent other microbial contaminants from taking root in weakened and inflamed sinus tissues. For sinus infections you can purchase Grapefruit Seed Extract as a nasal spray and use it as an adjunct to your treatment protocol.
3. Steam Inhalation
Break up thick mucus with a few drops of Eucalyptus or Peppermint oil in hot water. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam. Do this at least two to four times per day. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can also be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways. A Great Remedy to help break up that mucus!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
At the first sign of infection take two or three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and add it to a cup of hot water or tea, doing this three times daily will help thin out excessive mucus relieving congestion an sinus pressure. Mix with lemon and honey or Stevia to taste. Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with a huge array of health benefits.
5. Vitamin C to help boost your Immune System
Available as caplets, liquid, chewables (as well as some other forms), Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular over-the-counter immune booster. Studies have shown us that Vitamin C helps the body to resist immune system deficiencies and improves overall health. Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster, and can help to fend off sinus infections. Try taking up to 1000 mg of vitamin C 1-3 times daily.
Dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in 2 cups of warm water. Standing over a sink fill the neti pot with one cup of water and place the tip of the spout into one nostril. Tilt your head to the side and allow the water to run out through the opposite nostril. Careful not to tilt your head back and up or the water will reroute down your throat. Refill the neti pot and repeat with the other nostril.
7. Turmeric / Ginger Root
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in Indian and some Middle eastern dishes. Not only does Turmeric contain the natural anti-inflammatory cur cumin, this spice is also an anti-oxidant. When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed for hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, alleviate sinus pressure, and make you feel better all around. Ginger root also has the added bonus of calming an upset stomach – a frequent side-effect of excessive nighttime sinus drainage.
8. Get Plenty of Fluids
Drink plenty of water, no sugar added juices, clear broth, and hot tea. These fluids will help to thin out mucus and help to drain it from irritated sinuses. Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, and sugary beverages, as well as from smoking. All of these substances will dehydrate your system causing mucus to thicken and clog already inflamed airways. Drinking water regularly can keep a person away from any forms of nasal and sinus infection. Water can wash up mucus on the throat. It carries away any forms of bacteria and fungal build-ups. You can also avoid this infection by checking the food that he eats.
9. Add some Heat
Apply warm compresses to your face multiple times daily for 5 minutes each. Taking nice hot showers and even bathes to help you relax can be beneficial.
10. Sleep it Off
It’s always important to get plenty of rest, but be sure to always get plenty of rest when sick. Take you a nap if possible. Sleeping it off will help you recover faster and elevate your head while sleeping.
11. Oregano Oil
While it may not be the most accessible of the home remedies for a sinus infection, oregano oil can be an effective sinus infection treatment. Not only could you simply ingest the oregano oil, but the oil can also be steamed and inhaled over a stove (with eyes closed). In addition to being a potential treatment for sinus infection, oregano oil benefits may also help to improve digestion, aid in fighting infections, and improve biological function – especially in the liver and colon.
Herbs like garlic, cayenne pepper, horseradish and onion have to be included in meals, as this helps in elimination of mucus.
13. Watch your Diet
The afflicted person must stick to a moderate diet that includes beans, whole grains, lentils, cold-pressed oils and lightly-cooked vegetables. Foods such as chocolate, egg and dairy products, to cite a few, have to be avoided. Also, lot of water has to be taken.