A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, can cause a great deal of discomfort for sufferers. Many people are on the lookout for home remedies for sinus infection so that they can speed their healing and not have to spend a lot of time or money at the doctor's office. While it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor about a health concern, many home remedies for sinus infection are both inexpensive and effective at controlling symptoms. These remedies include inhaling steam, nasal irrigation, and the judicious use of over-the-counter medications.
Sinus infection often follows a cold or upper respiratory infection, though sometimes nasal allergies or a fungus infestation are to blame. These conditions can cause the sinuses to become irritated and swollen. The swelling inhibits normal draining of sinus bacteria, which results in an infection. Symptoms of sinus infection include a foul-smelling, yellow-green discharge from the nose, as well as headache, facial pressure, and bad breath or fever. As a sinus infection is often caused by a virus, many doctors will not prescribe antibiotics. Instead, they may prescribe steroidal nose sprays or suggest home remedies that work to open the sinuses so that bacteria and fluid can drain.
Many people who suffer from sinus problems swear by steam inhalation and nasal irrigation as both an effective treatment for sinus infections as well as a great way to alleviate sinus infection pain. Many drug stores sell small facial steamers. Alternatively, a heat-safe bowl can be filled with very hot water so that the steam can be inhaled. Sitting or standing in a hot, steamy shower can also help open the sinuses. Another popular option is the use of a neti pot, a small ceramic pot with a long, thin spout. The neti pot is filled with a solution of warm water and salt, and the spout is inserted into a nostril. The solution is allowed to run into the nasal cavity, helping to flush out bacteria.
While these home remedies for sinus infection help many people, particularly those who are suffering from sinus infection during pregnancy and need to avoid drugs, they may not work for everyone. Some sinus infection sufferers may choose to combine the standard home remedies for sinus infection with over-the-counter medications. Pain killers such as as aspirin or ibuprofen can help with headache pain, while decongestants and expectorants can help clear the sinus cavities. While most sinus infections will eventually resolve themselves, a long-standing sinus infection that does not respond to home remedies should be checked out by a doctor to prevent the spread of infection.