Acute sinusitis, which is also called acute rhinosinusitis, is an inflammation or infection of the sinuses that could last up to 4 weeks. Your sinuses are hollow cavities or air spaces around the nasal passages.
The inflammation of the sinuses obstructs normal mucus drainage, thus, causing an accumulation of mucus. This then causes difficulty in breathing through the nose.
Acute sinusitis is quite common. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, acute sinusitis affects 37 million Americans annually.
Acute sinusitis often starts out as a cold but later degenerates into a bacterial infection. Furthermore, allergies, nasal problems, and certain diseases could also cause acute sinusitis.
The following risk factors could increase the likelihood of developing acute sinusitis or a sinus infection; cystic fibrosis, hay fever, weakened immune system especially from HIV or chemotherapy, changes in altitude, and nasal passage defects.
Symptoms of sinusitis include; a cough, congestion, fever, fatigue, weakness, postnasal drip, headache, bad breath or loss of smell, sore throat, and tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with acute sinusitis and sinus infection;
- Get an adequate amount of rest and sleep to help hasten the recovery process.
- You could keep the indoor atmosphere moist with the help of a humidifier.
- Avoid mucus-forming foods such as dairy products, processed foods, fried foods, chocolate, eggs, and sugar.
- Ensure you maintain a well-balanced diet that is especially rich in light-soups, cold-pressed oils, lentils, and beans.
- Avoid tobacco smoke and other air irritants to avoid exacerbating your symptoms.
- You could also opt for acupressure or acupuncture therapy to help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infections.
- You could apply a moist compress to your face to help keep your nasal passage moist.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol as they tend to dehydrate the body which exacerbates symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infection.
Below are home remedies for acute sinusitis and sinus infections;
One of the best, easiest and fastest treatment of acute sinusitis and sinus infection is inhaling steam. Steam not only clears the congestion instantly but also provides lubrication to the respiratory tract, reducing the irritation to a great extent.
Fill hot water in a small tub and add a little amount of peppermint oil to it. Inhale the steam by covering your head with a towel. Do this several times in a day to alleviate the condition. You may also run a hot water shower and inhale the steam coming out of it for 7-10 minutes. Avoid this remedy if you are pregnant or have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or disorders of the central nervous system. Steam is also not recommended for small children.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Being a rich source of various nutrients, ACV helps in thinning out the mucus and draining it to relieve the sinusitis. ACV also boosts the immune system to fight the infection-causing microorganisms in an effective manner. To a glassful of water, add about 1-2 teaspoons of ACV. Add some honey and mix well. Drink this solution three times every day for faster results.
3. Keep Your Head Elevated
Placing your head on an elevated surface will help in relieving the discomfort associated with acute sinusitis and sinus infection. It would prevent the respiratory tract from blocking and will ease breathing. An elevated head would also help in draining the fluid out in a natural and easy way. So, avoid sleeping with your head on a flat surface, instead, place it on a pillow so that it is at an elevated angle. If you do not feel comfortable with pillows, simply raise a side of your bed to create a comfortable elevation for your head. You may also sleep on a chair in a semi-upright position.
4. Saline Solution
If you want a fast relief from a sinus infection, use this remedy. A saline solution is one of the most effective ways to clear out the blockage. It helps in thinning the mucus and draining it out to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with acute sinusitis. Furthermore, saline water also moisturizes the dry nasal passages to relieve the discomfort.
For this remedy, boil two cups of water and let it cool until it becomes warm. You may also use warm distilled water or warm water that has been boiled previously. Add a teaspoon of sea salt to it and stir until it gets dissolved. Pour it in a neti pot. Stand over a sink and put the tip of the pot in one nostril by tilting your head towards your shoulder. Let the water from the neti pot flow to the nostril and run out of the other nostril. This would clear the mucus and keep the nasal passages hydrated. Do this remedy 1-2 times every day.
Garlic is another readily available ingredient that may help in thinning out the mucus and relieving the symptoms of sinusitis or a sinus infection. Garlic facilitates easy draining of the fluid. The antioxidants, present in garlic, boosts the immunity and promotes healing. Furthermore, the antibiotic nature of garlic helps in treating the infection.
Finely chop 2-3 garlic cloves and add it to a pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam by covering your head with a towel. Do this several times in a day to reap the benefits. Alternatively, you may also chew 2-3 garlic cloves every day to completely get rid of the condition. A daily garlic supplement of 250-500 mg may prove to be effective however, it is important to consult your doctor before you use any supplement.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is capable of inhibiting infection-causing bacteria as well as relieving acute sinusitis and sinus infection. Take some leaves of lemon balm (dried) and boil it in water for 10 minutes. Strain the solution and use it to gargle. It will promote a faster healing as well as relieve the symptoms of acute sinusitis.
7. Wash Your Hands
Keeping your hands clean plays an important role in stopping the spread of the infection. This does not only prevent a sinus infection from occurring in the first place but also prevents the condition from worsening. The infection-causing microorganisms are easily transmitted through unclean hands when you unknowingly touch various infected surfaces.
Unclean hands also, inadvertently, spread the infection from you to other people. The best way to deal with this issue is to wash your hands properly numerous times during the day. Don’t forget to wash it after using a bathroom and every time before eating your food.
8. Get Rid Of Indoor Airborne Irritants
Indoor air pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and smoke can aggravate your condition and increase your discomfort. It is essential to evaluate the levels of these pollutants in your home and get them removed to make the air clean. The best way to do so is to install an indoor air purifier for your room or house. Keep it on through the night and at all times you stay at home in order to keep the air clean and reduce the sinus irritants.
9. Hot Soup
A bowl of hot soup is all that is needed to provide relief from a sinus infection. Inhale the steam coming from the soup to instantly open up the air passages. Besides, the ingredients used in a soup have healing properties and anti-inflammatory effects.
10. Fenugreek Seeds
The anti-inflammatory properties offered by fenugreek is potent for reducing inflammation of the nasal passage and providing relief from sinusitis and other sinus infections. Fenugreek also soothes and clears off mucous membranes. This helps the sinus to drain the excess fluids that may cause a blockage. Take a glass of water and add 2 teaspoons of the seeds to it. Let it boil until the whole quantity reduces to half. Filter the solution and drink it slowly. Consume 2-3 cups of this healing tea every day. Avoid using fenugreek during pregnancy.
Horseradish is a beneficial herb that can relieve acute sinusitis. The antibiotic effect of this herb is useful in strengthening the immune system naturally. This, in turn, helps in fighting the infection in an effective way.
Take 1 horseradish (large) and grate it. Put it in a jar and add juice extracted from 1 lemon. Also, add about 1 tablespoon of raw honey to it and mix well. Then, cover the jar tightly and put it aside to set for 24 hours. After this time has elapsed, take 1 tablespoon of the mixture a couple of times during the day. It will ease the flow of mucus and relieve the condition.
You may also grate some horseradish and place a pinch of it in your mouth until it loses its flavor. After that, you can swallow it. Do this several times in a day until you get complete relief.
12. Warm And Cold Compress
Applying, alternatingly, warm and cold compress may also relieve a sinusitis condition effectively. It would relieve the pressure and ease pain instantly. Take a warm compress and apply it to the nasal passage. Then, wait for some minutes and apply a cold compress. Repeat this process a few times in one session to ease the discomfort associated with an infected sinus.
13. Avoid Alcohol
If you have acute sinusitis and sinus infection, it is important to stay away from alcohol, especially beer. Alcohol may have an inflammatory action on the body which may aggravate the condition. If you frequently drink alcohol, it may increase your pain and discomfort severely. The nasal membranes are known to swell with the over-consumption of alcohol. Therefore, to prevent the condition from worsening, you should keep away from drinking alcohol.
14. Avoid Outdoor Irritants
Some outdoor air contains a huge amount of smoke, vehicle exhaust, and smog that may increase your sinus problem. These pollutants may irritate your nasal passage and cause discomfort and pain. The best way to deal with this issue is to stay away from such airborne irritants as much as possible. This would prevent the condition from aggravating and ease the symptoms.
Turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin that is beneficial in treating a sinus infection. Curcumin relieves the swelling of the nasal passages and minimizes discomfort and irritation. Turmeric not only cleanses the air passages but also promotes healing in a unique way. For this remedy, make a hot tea by brewing turmeric with a piece of ginger root. It will help in thinning the mucus and draining it out. This would help release the sinus pressure and unclog the nasal passage.
16. Try Humming
Humming is a simple yet effective way to relieve some symptoms of sinus infection. It helps in increasing the flow of air through the sinus. Humming is also known to elevate the nitric oxide levels in your sinus which helps in reducing the risk of a fungal-induced sinus infection.
17. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in strengthening your immune system and reduces your chances of developing an infection. Since vitamins C increases your ability to fight numerous infections effectively, it is extremely useful in reducing acute sinusitis. You may obtain vitamin C from foods and fruits rich in vitamin C or take a daily supplement of 1000mg of vitamin C. Ensure you consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
18. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, an active compound present in cayenne pepper, works well in reducing the pain associated with a sinus infection. Capsaicin also helps in getting rid of the congestion too. For this remedy, take a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and mix it with an equal amount of honey. Consume this mixture a few times in a day until you get some relief. Alternatively, take a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and add it to a cup of hot water. Consume it thrice every day.
Pressure points located on several parts of your body may greatly help in alleviating symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infection effectively. Pressing these points several times may induce a healing effect, but make sure you perform acupressure only under the supervision of a trained professional. However, massaging your face can be easily done by anyone to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with sinusitis.
20. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can aggravate your condition, thus, increasing your discomfort. Smoke is known to irritate the nasal passages and make the drainage of the mucus difficult. Therefore, staying away from it helps in better healing of the sinusitis and sinus infection.
21. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Using a nasal spray, containing grapefruit seed extract, is another effective way to clear out the nasal passage. Grapefruit seed has antibiotic properties which prove to be helpful in dealing with the infection. Use a nasal spray with this ingredient on a regular basis to keep your nasal passage free form mucus.
22. Avoid Food Allergens
Certain food items that may contain gluten and sugar may worsen the sinus infection, thus, increasing your discomfort. Dairy is also known to increase the mucus and aggravate the sinus infection. Therefore, avoiding these foods completely when you have a sinus infection may prove to be beneficial.
23. Breathing Techniques
Deep breathing techniques combined with yoga may help in strengthening the mind’s ability to cope with the pain and irritation caused by a sinus infection. Such techniques are often used to treat chronic pain caused by sinusitis. Practice yoga on a regular basis along with deep breathing to reduce the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infection as well as improve your overall health.
24. Oregano Oil
The antimicrobial properties of the oil of oregano have a positive impact in treating sinus infections. Oregano oil inhibits the symptoms and helps in healing sinusitis effectively. It also combats inflammation thereby reducing pain in an incredible way. For this remedy, put some drops of the oil under your tongue twice daily until the problem subsides. Alternatively, mix some drops of the oil in a glassful of water and drink it 1-2 times in a day.
25. Get Rid Of The Mucus
The main cause of discomfort is the release of excess mucus in your nasal passage which causes pain. This can be relieved if you get rid of the mucus by clearing it. One of the best ways to clear it is to make a mucus dissolving solution by mixing together apple cider vinegar, horseradish, and cayenne pepper with water and drinking it. This would help loosen the mucus and drain it out.
A nutritional diet is essential to maintain a healthy body and keep infection-causing microorganisms in check. A diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, would not only provide antioxidants for a faster healing but would also strengthen your immune system to fight the sinus infection more effectively.
If your indoor air is too dry, it may irritate your nasal passage aggravating the sinus infection. A humidifier may help in maintaining adequate moisture in the room and soothe your airways.
28. Black Seeds
Black seed, or its oil, has been used for numerous years to relieve sinus infection. Its antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effect helps in treating the condition effectively. Take some drops of the oil in a handkerchief and inhale it to promote the flow of mucus. You may also consume a mixture of crushed roasted black seeds with honey 2-3 times in a day to treat the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infections.
Exercise helps in maintaining healthy sinuses. So, if you don’t like to move around often, it’s time for some exercise. A regular exercising routine not only treats sinus problems but also boost your overall health while reducing numerous other health risks.
30. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
High in omega-3 fatty acids, fermented cod liver oil may help in healing acute sinusitis and the infection effectively. It also contains vitamin A and D which is beneficial in treating the condition. The oil is obtained through fermentation which ensures that the nutrients are not destroyed, thus, making it more effective.
The enzyme bromelain, found in pineapples, is known to have an anti-inflammatory action on the body. It works by minimizing the swelling of the nasal passage and reducing the pain associated with acute sinusitis and sinus infections. You may obtain this enzyme by including pineapples in your daily diet. A bromelain supplement of 500-2000 mg is known to show beneficial results. Make sure you talk with your doctor before taking any supplements.
32. Avoid Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are kept clean by using numerous chemicals, including chlorine, which may irritate the nasal passage and aggravate the sinus infection. Therefore, staying out of the pool until you get better is useful in keeping the infection under check.
33. Stay Hydrated
To prevent dehydration, people suffering from sinusitis must drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking a lot of water, throughout the day, not only keeps your body hydrated but also helps in lubricating the mucous membranes and reduces irritation caused by excessive dryness.
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