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What are the Best Home Remedies for Sinus Infection?

Lainie Petersen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By Animandel — On Feb 01, 2014

Drentel - Depending on how often your sinus infections occur, how severe they are and how long they last you may want to consider speaking to a doctor. Surgery might be a viable option for your situation. The symptoms associated with these infections can be uncomfortable and limiting.

By Drentel — On Jan 31, 2014

I don't like taking a lot of antibiotics, especially since I have chronic sinus infections and the antibiotics seem to become less effective with each infection. Instead, I use garlic pills and other natural remedies for sinus infection. These don't work overnight, but they are as effective as the antibiotics. Also, the antibiotics are much more expensive.

I have also used the neti pot with water and salt and I find this helpful as well. Vigorous exercise, like running or playing basketball or any sport that keeps you moving and breathing at a good rate can be helpful in clearing out some of the congestion.

By Sporkasia — On Jan 30, 2014

I have used many of the home remedies for sinus congestion mentioned in the article with varying outcomes. For me, I have found that it is best to attack the infections from all angles, so I administer multiple remedies at the same time.

One remedy that really helps drain my sinuses is 30 minutes in the steam room. This works great for me. I feel so much better, less congested after a long steam. Once I can get my sinuses unblocked, getting rid of the infection is simply a matter of time.

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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