Out of every seven people, one will develop a sinus infection, called sinusitis, each year. While some doctors recommend antibiotics, steroids and surgery for extreme or chronic cases, most sinus infections do not necessarily need medical attention. In fact, it's estimated that up to 90 percent of sinus infections are caused by a virus or something else that doesn't require antibiotic treatment or medical intervention.
If you have a sinus infection, you don't have to run to the doctor right away. You can relieve your symptoms at home with over-the-counter medications along with one or more of the following home remedies. However, if your symptoms do not get better after two days, seek medical attention.
Steam and Heat Therapy
Steam and heat therapy opens up the sinuses and alleviates dryness, which makes it easier and less painful for you to breathe. There are several ways to perform heat and steam therapy. If you have a humidifier, you can use that to introduce steam into the air. If you don't, you can place a pan of water on the stove to boil.
You may also wish to boil water, place it in a bowl, and inhale the steam a few times a day. This works best if you place a towel over your head to trap the steam and direct it toward your nasal passages. If nothing else, placing a hot moist rag over your mouth and nose while breathing will help.
Saline and Water Therapy
If you can stand the sensation of water trickling out of your nostrils, saline and water therapy might be an option for you. To perform this therapy, mix salt with sterile or distilled water to create a saline solution. Irrigate your nostrils and sinuses with a syringe or irrigation system. Nasal saline sprays may also be an option as they keep your passages moist, which reduces pain.
Sleep and Hydration Therapy
As with any illness, you need to get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water when you have a sinus infection. While both approaches will help you build up your immune system, drinking plenty of water also helps thin the mucus that's blocking your sinus passages.
There's no doubt that sinus infections are extremely painful and miserable. However, you can lessen your symptoms with a few easy and inexpensive home treatments. Try several methods until you find the ones that work for you. For more tips, contact a clinic like Sinus Center-Idaho.