The best home remedy for sinus infection

The best home remedy for sinus infection

Which home treatments are best for easing the pain of sinusitis?

Treatment for sinusitis depends on the underlying cause. The main goals of treatment for sinus infections are to relieve the painful symptoms and to prevent recurrence.

The treatment of sinusitis usually includes over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers to ease headache, pain, and fever if needed, and corticosteroids that you inhale into your nose via a pump or spray.

If symptoms don’t resolve in 7 to 10 days, are severe, or get worse after 10 days, your health care provider might prescribe antibiotics.


But most of the time, you’ll be able to manage the symptoms of sinusitis and sinus infections on your own. There are several practical measures you can take at home to relieve pain, reduce fever, and minimize congestion.

Nasal Irrigation

Cleansing the nasal cavity with a saline solution or salt water has been used for many years to treat chronic sinus and nasal disorders.

Rinsing the nose and sinuses with salt water keeps your nasal passages moist, flushes out thick secretions like mucus, reduces swelling in the nasal passages, and gets rid of infectious debris and allergens.

There are different devices to deliver nasal rinses, including saline sprays (such as Ocean Nasal Spray), douches (Sterimar, Sinus Rinse), drops (with a bulb syringe), or neti pots. The American Academy of of Otolarynology-Head and Neck Surgery recommends using drops or gentle spray for children.

Neti pots are available at most pharmacies and health food stores. You can use one to rinse your nasal passages 2 to 4 times a day. Make sure your neti pot is clean before each use by scrubbing it with soap and water.

Saline Solutions for Sinus Infections

You can buy concentrated saline solution (hypertonic) at pharmacies to use with a neti pot or bulb syringe. Use a concentration of 2 to 3.5 percent hypertonic saline, 0.05 percent sodium hypochlorite, or Xylitol in water. You can also make salt water at home with the following recipe:

Mix 3 heaped teaspoons of iodine-free pickling or canning salt with 1 rounded teaspoon of baking soda.
Store the mixture for ongoing use.
Each time you need to rinse your sinuses, add 1 teaspoon of the mixture to 1 cup (8 ounces) of lukewarm distilled, boiled, or filtered water. For children, use ½ teaspoon in 4 ounces of water.
If you are using a bulb syringe and drops, draw the salt water into the syringe. Tilt your head down and to the left over a sink or in the shower. Squeeze 4 ounces of solution into the top (right) nostril and breathe through your mouth. The solution will drip out from your left nostril. Tilt your head to the right and repeat in the other nostril.

In order to rinse with a neti pot, lie on your back on a bed or couch and put the spout of the pot in the upper nostril. Hang your head over the side of the bed to help the saline move further into your nasal passages and out the other nostril. Repeat on the other side.

Regardless of which method you use, to avoid reinfection, don’t touch your nose with the dropper or spout.

Other Home Treatments for Sinusitis

Nasal irrigation is just one step you can take at home to relieve the symptoms of sinusitis and prevent sinus infections.

Drink plenty of fluids to thin out mucus.
Apply moist heat to your sinus areas by placing warm, wet towels, or gel packs against your face. Do this several times a day for 5 to 10 minutes.
Take a hot shower and breathe in the steam to keep mucus loose and the nasal and sinus passages open. This can help relieve pressure. Or fill a sink or bowl with hot water, place a towel over your head to trap the steam, and breathe it in.
Use a humidifier to keep dry air in your home more humid. (But not too humid, since moist air can also grow bacteria and fungi.)
Avoid alcohol, smoke, and dry air. These conditions can dry out your sinuses and nasal passages and increase mucus membrane irritation.

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