Sinus infection is a condition which can happen to anybody. Therefore, it affects more than 37 million people in the US each year. When you suffer from it, the sinuses get swollen. Sinuses are tiny holes that may be found in the bones near the nose. In a typical situation, you can find air inside the sinuses. In the case of a cold, for example, mucus and secretions are forming inside your nose, and the sinuses will be blocked. This way a proper environment for the growth of bacteria is created. It is how a sinus infection starts.
Causes & Symptoms
There are multiple causes for this ailment. Very often, it starts with a common cold which is a trigger for this type of infection. If you suffer from hay fever, it is possible to face a sinus infection. It’s the same situation when you have a non-allergic rhinitis, and nobody knows what caused it. Nasal polyps are another source of sinusitis. In conclusion, anything that is blocking the nasal passages may lead to infection, even a deviated septum.
Sometimes the symptoms of a cold coincide with the signs that indicate a sinusitis. You may face:
- A constant pressure between your eyes and behind the cheekbones
- A terrible headache which gets worse every day
- The drainage from your nose gets yellow or even green – this is a clear sign of infection
- Difficulty in breathing due to your runny nose for more than seven days
- Halitosis – due to the infection your breath may have a nasty smell
- Fever may appear sometimes
- Fatigue and low levels of energy
- Reduced sense of smell
How to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection Naturally Using Next Remedies
If you present these signs, it is most probably you have your sinuses infected. It is always best to go to a specialist for an accurate diagnosis, but you don’t need to rush to over-the-counter-drugs. You may find a lot of natural remedies for a sinus infection which don’t have any side effects. Below you have a list of the most used ones:
1. Neti Pot
Since sinusitis are most often caused by the buildup of mucus inside the nasal passages, it is quite logic that it needs to be removed. The best way to do this is to use a saline solution and a particular container to wash your nose. Neti pot resembles a small teapot only this time you use it to flush away the mucus instead of serving tea.
To use a neti pot as a home remedy for sinus infection, you must follow several steps. First of all, it needs to be perfectly clean. Since it has a humid environment inside, it is very likely that some bacteria will develop in there. You don’t want that bacteria in your nose, therefore, you must wash the neti pot with clean water and soap. Specialists recommend using sterile, distilled or boiled and chilled water to avoid any micro-organisms that may be found in tap water.
How to prepare a Nati Pot for Sinus Infection
To prepare the saline solution, you will need one teaspoon of salt which doesn’t contain iodine and two cups of warm water. You need to watch carefully the temperature of the liquid: it needs to be similar to the one of your body, so the irrigation won’t be irritating. Also, the salt is used for the same purpose: to prevent irritation. Only one teaspoon of salt will make the liquid have similar sodium concentration with the one from our bodies and the solution will be easier accepted by the organism and won’t cause any soreness or discomfort. You may even add some baking soda, a cushioning agent who will keep irritation away. Stir well, so even the tiniest particles will dissolve.
- Once you pour the saline solution in the sterilized neti pot, bend over the sink and lean your head to the right. You should have the chin and forehead on the same line, so you don’t get liquid into your mouth.
- Open your mouth because you won’t be able to breathe through your nose in the next minutes.
- Pour the solution in your left nostril. It should wash the nasal cavity and get out through the right nostril.
- Blow the nose to remove any remaining liquid.
- Use half of the solution for this side and do the same while leaning your head on the left side.
In some climates and especially in cold seasons the air inside our house tends to dry. This will also dry out the mucus in your nose, and you won’t be able to remove it as you should. It will lead to congestion and pain. It is important to keep moisture in your room especially if you suffer from sinusitis.
There are many types of humidifiers and vaporizers to choose from. Pay attention the following aspects when you use a humidifier as sinus infection home remedy:
- Always check the humidity inside the house and let it reach 50% most. Otherwise, you create a humid habitat proper for different kind of bacteria and fungi (such as dust mites) that may develop and do you more harm than good. Use the humidifier only when it is necessary and follow the instructions to set the correct moisture.
- Keep the devices that use steam out of the reach of children to avoid accidental burns.
- Manufacturers recommend using distilled water to prevent the minerals from tap water dispersing into the air.
- Thoroughly clean the humidifier also for stopping the formation of bacteria which can spread into the air inside your home.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
As you probably know, ACV is an excellent remedy for a lot of condition including sinus infection. The acetic acid has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and it can wipe out the bacteria that’s causing the inflammation. Naturopaths recommend taking ACV orally because it can dissolve the mucus and clear out the nasal passages. Vitamins and minerals in this remedy boost the immune system and also lessen the allergy symptoms.
- Start by adding small amounts of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Begin with one teaspoon and increase the quantity until you reach to two tablespoons.
- Enjoy this drink two times each day so that you will get best results.
Hot liquids can moisture the airways and help you breathe better. You may choose some herbal teas for which also have healing properties such as chamomile or thyme. Another option than to drink tea in case of sinus infection is to inhale the vapors after you prepare the infusion. Lean your head over the teapot making sure you don’t stay too close because the steam may burn your face. Place a thick towel over your head and breath through your nose and mouth until the liquid gets cold.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Well-known for its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil can successfully fight against the bacteria which is causing sinusitis especially due to the compound Terpinen 4-ol. The anti-inflammatory effect will help in reducing the swelling thus decreasing the pain. It can alleviate some of the symptoms which characterize this condition: since the use of tea tree oil breaks down the mucus, it will take away the pressure and pain, minimize a cough and soothe a headache.
To get rid of sinus infection using tea tree oil, just drip a few drops on a cotton cloth. Smell it throughout the day to inhale the beneficial vapors.
6. Oregano Oil
Filled with antioxidants, oregano oil has a long history in treating respiratory problems. In fact, research says that it contain 42 times more antioxidants than apples thus brings a great relief for a sinus infection. Oregano oil is subject to a holistic approach to this ailment because it not only treats the symptoms but also the cause removing any unwanted bacteria and reducing allergies symptoms. A noticeable decrease in swelling is another consequence of using oregano oil. The method that will loosen the mucus best letting it flow through the nasal passages is inhalation. Heat a pot of water and add two or three drops of oil. Cover your head with a thick cloth and tilt carefully over the hot water. Inhale the vapors until the water gets cold. Repeat this procedure daily, and the results will show up.
- Heat a pot of water and add two or three drops of oil.
- Cover your head with a thick cloth and tilt carefully over the hot water.
- Inhale the vapors until the water gets cold.
- Repeat this procedure daily, and the results will show up.
7. Thieves Oil
Thieves oil is another antiseptic agent who can bring sinus infection relief. Its healing properties work best when combined with other natural remedies. As stated before, in the case of nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing hot liquids work wonders. But you don’t necessarily need to inhale vapors; a warm bath will work as well.
You will need:
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 3 drops each of thieves, frankincense, and cedarwood essential oils
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- Mix together the salt, baking soda, and oils.
- Fill the bathtub with water (as warm as you can handle) and add the mixture. Stir to dissolve the salt.
- Enjoy your relaxing bath for 20-30 minutes until the water gets colder.
- Repeat every day to get rid of your nasty sinusitis.
8. Olive Oil
Oil pulling with olive has proven health benefits including cleansing the sinuses and reducing the inflammation. This procedure improves oral health by removing a lot of bacteria from the mouth. The micro-organisms won’t be able to migrate up to your nose, and your condition will improve. To use oil pulling as a sinus infection treatment, you will need a tablespoon of olive oil. Place it in your mouth and move it around for 15-20 minutes. Do not keep it inside for a longer period as the oil will be filled with toxins which will begin to get back to the bloodstream after twenty minutes.
9. Vicks Vapor Rub
Vicks Vapor Rub is a cream designed for topical application which contains eucalyptol, camphor, menthol, cedar leaf oil, thymol, nutmeg oil, and turpentine oil. It is a powerful combination which loosens the mucus and clears the airways. It is not recommended to place any cream inside the nostrils. Instead, rub your nose, you will feel the same decongestant effect.
How to Prevent Sinusitis
Keep in mind that an acute sinus infection may turn into a chronic sinusitis if it is not treated correctly and it lasts more than twelve weeks. There are several things you may do to prevent an infection from occurring:
- Whenever you catch a cold, treat it rapidly and don’t let the secretions that form inside your nose get infected.
- In case you have some allergies, try to avoid the triggering agent. Follow a holistic treatment for this condition, so you will be able to heal the cause and not only the symptoms.
- Don’t get in touch with people who have respiratory infections, colds or flu. If you can’t-do this, wash your hands with antibacterial soap as often as you can especially if you came in direct contact with sick individuals.
- Keep a clean environment inside the house and the place you work because cigarette smoke can also lead the inflammation of the membranes inside your nose, blocking the proper air flow.
In case you use the above home remedies for a sinus infection for more than two weeks, and you don’t notice any improvement, contact your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.