Sinus infection otherwise called sinusitis is a serious health issue. More than 30 million people have a sinus infection in the United States alone which constitutes to 1 billion dollars of spending on ‘over-the-counter’ medicines, 150 million dollars on prescribed medications and more than 15 million visits to the doctor.
Sinus allergies and infections in the sinus can lead to pressure in the sinus tissues which is very uncomfortable. This can lead to swelling and pressure on the nose, eyes, and cheeks which feel tender and painful. Clearing a clogged nose brings down the symptoms.
Chemical medicines pose a lot of side effects like allergies, vomiting or diarrhea. However, there are other home remedies and natural ways of treating Sinus Infection which is very effective and does not pose any side effects. This article tells you the natural remedies, foods, essential oils and alternative ways of treating Sinus Infection very effectively at home.
CURE 1: Natural remedies for Sinus Infection
Sinus infection can be cured with natural home remedies. The common natural cures for sinus infection include the following:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar for Sinus Infection Treatment
Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in antioxidants and malic acid. It binds to pathogens and gets rid of them from the body very effectively.
How to use
- 1/4 cup ACV
- Add ¼ cup of Apple cider vinegar to the vaporizer
- Switch the vaporizer on and inhale the vapor
If you do not have a vaporizer, just add ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to half a liter of boiling water and inhale the vapors.
Apple cider vinegar clears airways by breaking mucus. Its antibacterial properties help get rid of the infection. In addition, having 2 tablespoons of ACV every day boosts the immune system.
2. Garlic for Sinus Infection Treatment
Garlic is considered to be a natural medicine for treating varied ailments, right at home because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Nasal congestion is one of the major symptoms of sinus that the affected person wants to get rid of, as fast as possible. Garlic can help you treat this symptom very effectively and the process is easy too.
How to Use
- A pot of distilled water
- 5 Garlic cloves
- A bath towel
- Boil the water in the pot
- Crush the garlic cloves
- Discard the peels
- Add the crushed garlic to the boiling water
- Turn off the heat
- Drape a towel over your head and the mouth of the pot
- See that no steam escapes
- Inhale and exhale the steam for 10 to 12 minutes
- How many times: You can repeat this procedure 2 times a day.
When crushed, garlic releases a curative component allicin that helps in thinning of the mucus, and thus helps the nasal passages. It also reduces inflammation and provides relief very effectively.
3. Saline Nasal Spray
Saline nasal sprays are a very effective remedy for treating sinus. These can be prepared at home very easily. You can clear a blocked nose using a saline nasal spray.
How to prepare
- 1 liter distilled or demineralized water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- A clean and dry spray bottle
- Add ¼ teaspoon salt to 1 liter distilled water.
- Add ¼ teaspoon baking soda to it.
- Stir well till the salt and baking soda get fully dissolve in water.
- Transfer this solution to a spray bottle.
Use the spray bottle to spray the solution into your nostrils.
How many times:
You can use the spray 2 to 3 times a day.
CURE 2: Probiotics for Sinus Infection Treatment
Probiotics are live microorganisms, and when ingested in proper amounts, yield health benefits in the host. These probiotics are actually part of gastrointestinal flora(1), which is used to boost the immune system of patients who suffer from seasonal and perennial rhinitis (Chronic Sinusitis).
Chronic rhinosinusitis is caused by many reasons like nasal anatomical variations, hypersensitivity, infection or R-Cell regulatory dysfunction. Regular use of probiotics results in considerably positive results where the immune system is boosted and ultimately decreases the use of chemical medicines.
Good bacteria is present in your body which protects every tissue. These bacteria can be found in your nasal passages, mouth, throat and even ears.
Sinus infection is caused due to the imbalance of good and bad bacteria where the development of bad bacteria is possibly high resulting in infection and mucus development.
Every night, before you go to bed, pop in a probiotic capsule, move it all over inside the mouth before swallowing it. Make sure that you do not drink water after doing this.
These probiotics which are in your mouth migrate all through your nasal passages when you are sleeping too. They guard the roots and make sure that bad pathogens do not take over.
CURE 3: Herbs for Sinus Infection Treatment
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)(2) has been used for decades to treat sinus infections. It is considered very effective for treating and bringing down symptoms of sinus infections. It is considered an anti-infection herb because it contains a compound named berberine which is immunostimulatory and antibacterial properties.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a culinary herb that is well known for its healing properties It has compounds like carvacrol and thymol which are antibacterial and antifungal and hence used in preparing expectorants that promote respiratory relaxant activities. Thyme is an excellent remedy for decreasing cough. It stimulates the immune system by fighting viruses and bacteria at the same time. Thyme increases the fluidity of phlegm and promotes its expulsion. It promotes expulsion of phlegm by loosening it.
CURE 4: Alternate Treatments for Sinus
1. Acupressure for Sinus Infection Treatment
Acupressure is an alternative therapy where manual pressure is applied on specific points to stimulate them along the body, which is otherwise called lines of energy. Likewise, there are some pressure points for sinus treatment in the human body, applying pressure on which provides relief from the ailment.
Bridge of the Nose
With both your thumbs, locate the bridge of the nose and press the whole area with them or one at a time for 5 to 7 minutes. This helps in proper mucus drainage.
Hollow at the back neck
With your fingers, find the hollow area at the back of your neck where the neck and the head join. Press this point for about 5 minutes with your middle finger. This point corresponds to your Sinus. Doing this not only brings down congestion and headache but also reduces your stress.
Edge of the Nostril
At the end of the nostrils, there is another acupressure point located. With your thumb or middle fingers, press this area for about 5 minutes. This helps in clearing nasal congestion and better breathing too.
The base of the Skull
By resting your head in your palms, search for the skull ‘s base. By going backward behind the ears, let your fingers trace the skull bone. Pressing this area gives you relief from nose blockage, headaches, and cold.
Upper outside Shin
The meeting point of the bone and the muscles just under the kneecap on the side of the shin is another pressure point. Massage this area for increased blood circulation to ensure proper blood flow to the sinus and the ears. This method provides great relief.
The hollow area below both the collar bones where it meets the breastbone, there is another stress point. Pressing this point provides you relief as it boosts the immune system. This is a great way to deal with acute sinusitis.
2. Yoga for Sinus Infection treatment
Yoga has been a remedy for treating many kinds of body ailments from centuries now. The results it yields certainly has long term benefits. Performing Yoga is mainly centered around concentrating on inhaling and exhaling, as it aims to provide good levels of oxygen to the body, thereby treating ailments. Perform the below-mentioned yoga poses and get rid of the symptoms of a sinus infection at home.
Halasana or The Plow Pose
Lie down on a mat facing the roof. Exhale the air completely. Bend your hips and lower your toes slowly above and beyond your head. Your torso should be perpendicular to the floor. Press your hands against the back of your torso. Hold your breath as long as you can. Then, come back to your normal lying position inhaling air very slowly,
Precautions: Women during their menstruation, pregnant women, people who have a neck injury or suffering from diarrhea should not perform this pose.
Benefits: Halasana calms the brain, stimulates the thyroid and abdominal organs, supplies optimum oxygen to the lungs and reduces fatigue and stress, thus gets rid of the symptoms of a sinus infection.
Sit cross-legged with your spine straight. Put the tip of your right index finger just between the eyebrows, on the center of your forehead. With your right thumb, close the right nostril and inhale deeply. Hold your breath as long as you can. Now, with your right ring finger, close the left nostril. Release the thumb from the right nostril and exhale the air very slowly. Inhale air again through the right nostril and with your right thumb, close the right nostril and releasing the ring finger exhale out through the left nostril.
Do this 10 to 15 times. For best results, do it outdoors, early in the morning, when the outside air is still fresh.
Benefits: Nasal congestions release instantly. Ample fresh oxygen is sent to the bloodstream and the brain. Releases mental tension and makes you physically very active.
CURE 5: Essential Oils for Sinus Infection
There are many ways to use essential oils for treating sinus infections. You can either add them to your warm bath or to a humidifier or a diffuser, or you can go for topical application. Below are some essential oils which work wonders for treating Sinus infection.
1. Tea Tree Oil for sinus infection treatment
Tea tree oil fights virus and bacteria which are the two potential causes of congestion caused by a sinus infection. Tea tree oil reduces inflammation and brings down sinus swelling too. Tea tree oil has a compound called alpha sabine which offers antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral effects.
How to use
- Tea Tree Oil
- Just add 3 to 4 drops of Tea tree oil to the diffuser
- Inhale as much aroma as you can
Tea tree oil acts as an immunostimulant owing to its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It gets rid of germs that cause infection in the sinus and also boosts the body’s immune system, thus preventing a recurrence.
Combining tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and applying directly on the chest, under the nose, and behind the ears can also help but be cautious about the amount of essential oil you use. This method too is very effective.
2. Lavender Oil for Sinus infection treatment
Using Lavender essential oil is another natural way of treating a sinus infection naturally and effectively. It has antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties which treat the symptoms of sinus infections and boosts your immune system too.
How to Use
- Lukewarm water in your bathtub
- Lavender essential oil
- Epsom salt
- Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water enough for a bath.
- Add 8 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil to it.
- Also, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of Epsom salt.
- Soak yourself in the bath for about 20 minutes.
- While bathing, breath in the aroma.
How many times:
Follow the above procedure every alternate day to relieve from the symptoms of sinus infection.
Lavender essential oil acts as a decongestant and helps in clearing the nasal passages and providing you relief from the symptoms of sinus infection. Moreover, its antimicrobial and analgesic properties act very strongly and break down mucus buildup, thus providing you better sleep.
3. Eucalyptus Oil For a Sinus Infection
Eucalyptus oil offers many benefits towards treating symptoms of sinus infection like stuffy nose and nasal congestion.
How To Use
- 4 to 5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
- 1 liter distilled water
- A clean towel
- A bowl to boil water
- Add 1 liter of distilled water to a bowl
- Heat the water till it boils
- Turn off the heat
- Add 4 to 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to it
- Mix well
- Cover the bowl with a clean towel with your head inside the towel
- Do not allow the steam to escape.
Inhale the aroma without touching the bowl.
How many times:
You can do this 1 to 2 times a day. Doing this just before going to bed promotes better sleep.
A significant amount of menthol present in the essential oil derived from eucalyptus helps clear congestion in the nose and sinus. The stuffiness in the nose may go away as the oil acts on receptors in the mucous membranes inside the nose.
4. Oregano Oil for Sinus Infection treatment
Oregano oil has proved to be an excellent remedy for sinus disorders and many other body ailments as it possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties.
How to Use
- 1 teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil
- 2 drops of Oregano Oil
- A small bowl
- Add 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil in a small bowl.
- Add 2 drops of oregano oil to it.
- Mix well.
- Massage this mixture on to the chest and nose.
How many times a day:
You can apply this mixture 2 times a day. Oregano oil works best at night where it breaks up phlegm and promotes rest and deep sleep.
Oregano has antibacterial properties that help in killing bacteria and clearing sinus cavities. Its anti-inflammatory properties relieve pressure on the swelling caused.
Cure 6: Foods for Sinus Infection Treatment
Pineapple is rich in antioxidants which protect the delicate mucous membranes from damage. The enzymes in pineapple also break down the junk that builds up in sinuses and reduces inflammation.
When it comes to sinus infection relief, humid air works wonders.
Inhaling Steam loosens the mucus, releases congestion, calms down inflammation and relaxes nasal passages which help you breathe with much ease.
How to use
- 2 liters of distilled water
- 8 – 10 drops of Eucalyptus oil (you can use fresh eucalyptus leaves too)
- A pot to heat the water
- A clean towel
- Add 2 liters of distilled water to a pot.
- Heat the water to an extent where steam begins to come out.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add 8-10 drops of Eucalyptus oil to it.
- Hold your face over the pot and cover the mouth of the pot with the towel with your head in it.
- Do not let the steam escape.
Close your eyes and inhale the aroma for about 5 to 7 minutes and get instant relief.
How many times:
You can do this 1 time a day just before going to bed.
The antifungal and antimicrobial properties of Eucalyptus oil along with the steam act on the pathogens, loosen the mucus and clear nasal passages, thus providing great relief almost immediately.
Precautions for Sinus Treatment
Frequent hand wash:
Washing hands frequently is very important when you have sinus, especially in cold temperatures as the virus live longer when the climate is cold. You might leave a virus on door handles and other places.
Yearly flu shot:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that by preventing flu, there is a high chance that you might prevent sinus too.
Balanced Diet and Exercise:
Eating a balanced diet provides the body with the necessary nutrients and regular exercising keeps you fit and going. This will ultimately lead to a strong immune system.
Quitting tobacco is what you should do if you have a sinus infection. Stop smoking as it irritates the sinus and causes great discomfort.
Use a humidifier:
Use a clean humidifier. Make sure that you use it while sleeping too. Add some essential oil to it and inhaling the aroma can provide you relief.
Keep your windows closed:
As the pollen count in the atmosphere is high between 5 am and 10 am, it is advised that you keep the windows of your house closed.
Tiny air-filled pockets in the nose, cheekbones, eyes, and forehead are susceptible areas of sinuses. Sinus infections are often triggered by colds and other respiratory infections. They can also be caused by seasonal changes and other nasal problems. You can alleviate the symptoms and get relief majorly by efficiently preventing mucus from thickening a draining
Eat a balanced diet containing lots of anti-inflammatory food and drink plenty of fluids to make your immune system strong enough to combat sinus infections.
Frequently asked questions
Are sinus infections contagious?
Sinus infections are certainly contagious if they are caused by viruses. The affected person first develops cold and this could later develop into a serious sinus infection. However, sinus infections are not always caused by a virus. Fungi and bacteria could also be the reasons for infection. This type of sinus caused by bacteria is not contagious.
How do you know if you have a sinus infection?
Sore throat, running nose, frequent sneezing, stuffy nose are the common symptoms of the common cold which go away in a weeks time. However, if these symptoms do not go away and hit you frequently, there is a high chance that you have a sinus problem.
Sinusitis, which is the inflammation of the sinuses, is caused by a bacteria or virus. Sometimes, the fungus can be the cause.
Acute sinusitis does not last longer than 8 weeks. If it does, you are sure to have chronic sinusitis. This can be diagnosed by a doctor and might require more personalized treatment.
Can a sinus infection make you dizzy and tired?
When the sinus is blocked, it cannot equalize the pressure in the ear and maintain body balance. These disturbances in the middle ear can cause dizziness in people suffering from sinus. The feeling of lightheadedness can be a symptom of allergy.
What are the risk factors of a sinus infection?
- sinus gets exposed to bacteria when you go swimming in polluted waters.
- You will get exposed to cold, bacterial and viral infections with frequent contact with children
- The tissues of the nose are thickened by smoking in itself and passive smoking. This slows down the mucus flow and leads to bacteria growth.
When is Sinus surgery necessary?
Usually, surgery isn’t necessary even for chronic sinusitis. Lifestyle modifications and medical treatment are very effective. If this approach does not work, surgery can be an option.
There are many factors to be considered before you think of the option of surgery. They might include the results of your CT scan, the severity of your symptoms and your general health.