Medically, a sinus infection is known as sinusitis. It is caused when there is swelling in the sinuses present in the nasal passage. These sinuses are small, air-filled cavities in the bones of the nasal passage and its surrounding area. There are three different types of sinus infection: acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis, and recurring sinusitis. The treatment for sinus infection is continued for a prolonged period of time in chronic sinusitis cases while acute sinusitis requires just a few weeks of treatment.
Sinus Infection Causes and Symptoms
In most cases, it has been found that the virus that causes cold and flu and the upper respiratory infection spread the infection to the sinus cavities as well. There are many other bacteria and fungi that cause a sinus infection. Sometimes, dental infections cause inflammation in the sinus cavities. Allergic reactions, nasal polyp formation (abnormal tissue growth in the nasal cavity), presence of foreign objects (like beads) inside the nose, traumatic injury to the face are the other sinus infection causes.
Sinus infection symptoms are extremely bothersome. They include a runny nose with nasal discharge, breathing problems because of nasal congestion, loss of sensation of smell, cough, sore throat, etc. Sinus headache is another characteristic of this infection where pain and tenderness are felt in the forehead, nose, and the area circling the eyes. Besides these sinus infection signs, fatigue, toothache, bad breath, snoring are common complaints of these patients.
Sinus Infection Treatment
A sinus infection treatment is being conducted by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (or ENT specialists). They first check out the severity of the sinus infection symptoms and treatment is carried out accordingly. For instant relief from the nasal congestion caused by postnasal drip, nasal decongestants that are available in the form of sprays are used. It reduces the inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nasal passage and alleviates breathing problems.
For treating bacterial infections, antibiotics are administered as they can destroy the harmful microbes. Sinus infection antibiotics should be taken as per the instructions provided by the doctor and should not be stopped on your own as you get relief from the symptoms. When it is caused by allergies then it is often treated with antihistamine medicines. In serious allergic reactions, the inflammation in the sinus cavities has to be controlled with the help of steroids. Mucolytic agents or expectorants are used for the purpose of thinning the viscosity of mucous. Thus the nasal passage is cleared up through easier drainage. In worst cases of chronic sinus infection that refuses to go with medicines, surgery may be required where the opening of the cavities are enlarged to facilitate sinus drainage.
Sinus Infection Home Remedies
People suffering from chronic sinusitis or recurring sinusitis prefer natural remedies over medicinal treatment for sinus infection. This is because most of the medicines that are used for treating sinusitis have adverse side effects when used for a long period of time. Here are a few of them:
Steam Inhalation: This is considered the best sinus infection home remedy. Even doctors recommend it along with medicinal treatment. Take a large bowl or pan and pour some boiling water into it. Then add some eucalyptus oil drops into the hot water. Now, inhale the steam coming out by placing your face near the pan. Now the next step is to cover your head with a towel or any other cloth so that vapor couldn’t move outside.
Nasal Saline Irrigation: Take a neti pot, pour lukewarm water and half a teaspoon of salt into it. Now, you have to use this saline water to treat the congested nasal passage. Tilt your head on one side and pour the water from the pot gradually into one nostril through the spout. Once the drained out solution reaches the mouth, spit it out. This treatment when done regularly can reduce the chances of recurrence of sinus infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it two to three times in a day for best results. This is a natural way of thinning the mucus. Daily consumption of this mixture can bring relief to nasal congestion within a few days.
To obtain the best results from treatment for sinus infection, you must keep your body in a hydrated condition all the time. For this, you have to drink eight glasses of water every day. It should be accompanied by a daily intake of green tea and fruit juices.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.