- Fungal Sinus Infection
- [iii] Fungicidal activity of thymol and carvacrol by disrupting ergosterol biosynthesis and membrane integrity against Candida.
- 10 Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections
- Sinus Infection Treatment and Remedies
- Acute Sinus Infection Home Remedies
- Acute Sinus Infection Medications
- When to See a Doctor About Sinus Infection Symptoms
- Antibiotics for Bacterial Sinus Infections
- Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
- Fungal Sinusitis Treatment
- Sinus Infection Treatment in Children
- 7 Powerful Home Remedies For Sinus That Bring Relief Naturally
- Here are seven effective home remedies for sinus that can help you tackle the problem naturally
Fungal Sinus Infection
These are a chronic type of infection. These infections will cause sinus and facial pressure and drainage that is discolored most of the time. These infections are present for a long time, ranging from months to years. The symptoms of a fungal sinus infection are similar to that of a bacterial sinus infection: thick discolored mucous, fatigue, head pressure, coughing, frequent clearing of the throat, nasal congestion, bad breath, sore throat, chronic ear infections, and if you have asthma it will make your asthma more difficult to control.
The only way to make a diagnosis of a fungal infection is by doing a C-T scan of the sinuses or doing a direct culture, performed by an Ear Nose and Throat doctor (ENT). A fungal infection is difficult to treat and may take a long time to resolve. Unfortunately the diagnosis of a fungal sinus infection is made too often, and the infection is actually a bacterial sinus infection.
If you suffer with frequent sinus infections please visit our practice to help determine if there is a sinus infection and if there is an underlying cause for these infections. Many times a poor immune system is involved.
Nasal irrigations with anti-fungal medicine are generally the way to treat these types of infections. Sometimes oral steroids are needed and possible sinus surgery. Nasal rinses with antifungal medicine like Amphotericin® and Sporanox® are most often used. These rinses require a prescription and are used once or twice a day for an extended length of time. The rinses may be needed from one to three months. At times, a patient may use the rinses off and on. Oral antifungal medicines do not have a significant affect on fungal sinus infections. Some patients will require sinus surgery to clear the sinuses of the fungal infection.
If you suffer from sinus infections you should seek help from an allergist immunologist trained in treating frequent infections. We frequently treat individuals with recurrent sinus infections that have not been able to get a cure. We are experts in the difficult to treat sinus infections.
More About Sinusitis:
- Sinusitis Overview
- Bacterial Sinus Infection
- Fungal Sinus Infection
- Viral Sinus Infection
- Allergies & Sinusitis
- Vasomotor Rhinitis
- Gastro Esophageal Reflux, Heartburn & GERD
[iii] Fungicidal activity of thymol and carvacrol by disrupting ergosterol biosynthesis and membrane integrity against Candida.
If you guessed garlic, you’re correct! This herb has these properties, but the one additional herb you should add to your sinus arsenal and especially for candida overgrowth is…
The Healing Benefits of Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is an excellent choice for immunity, respiratory health, clear skin, and digestive health. There have also been numerous studies showing its benefit for cancer patients. But did you know it’s an effective natural antibiotic and antifungal agent?
Use as an Antibiotic Agent Over Antibiotics
Oregano oil has been used for centuries for its natural antibiotic properties. Now studies presented in PubMed and NIH confirm what those from Greece have known for generations – it’s effective for bacterial infections. The word oregano in Greek meaning “joy of the mountain.”
One specific study concluded, “The obtained outcomes will enable further investigations using oregano essential oil obtained from Origanum heracleoticum L. as alternative antibacterial remedies enhancing healing process in bacterial infections and as an effective means for the prevention of antibiotic-resistant strain development.”
Fungal Infections and Other Benefits of Oregano
Studies show that medicinal oregano oil is also an antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. Origanum oil possesses a broad spectrum of in vitro antimicrobial activities attributed to the high content of phenolic derivatives such as carvacrol and thymol.
These two natural phenols showed great antifungal activity in the lab against candida. In one study using 111 fluconazole-sensitive and resistant candida isolates (Fluconazole is a leading medication for yeast infections in women and fungal infections. Fluconazole has many negative side-effects and with repeated use candida and fungal strains mutate and become resistant to it, which means that many fungal strains become immune to this drug). Oregano oil, on the other hand, was proven effective. Their conclusion was that carvacrol and thymol show strong fungicidal effects against all the candida isolates.
In addition to the conclusions above, numerous other studies, over 700 of them in Pubmed alone, have shown that carvacrol and thymol have been shown to reduce or eliminate:
- Fungal Infections
- Candida Albicans (the cause of chronic sinusitis)
- Bacterial Infections
The top 6 areas highlighted above are great news to those with a sinus condition, chronic sinusitis, respiratory challenges, a sinus infection, allergies, and daily sinus congestion and pain.
Oregano oil isn’t the only answer to these challenges, but will be an effective addition to my protocol for each of these. Why? Many of these studies are performed in a lab where there are controlled conditions in a Petri dish or with mice. I just haven’t seen strong enough conclusions with people to say that oregano oil is the only answer. It is certainly a beneficial element, but when you have one of these conditions, you want to address it quickly and effectively and my past protocol already does that.
Fully Stabilized Allicin, the sulfuric reaction when garlic is crushed, captured, and stabilized, still remains my top choice over antibiotics. The physician’s strength Allimed at 450mg or AlliUltra at 360mg has proven the most effective with both controlled human studies and with my many patients over the last 8 years or so. This Allicin has proven to be an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent that minimizes the severity and the duration of sinusitis, colds, and has even been proven to be effective against MRSA, the flesh-eating bacteria.
Oregano oil is the perfect complement to the current Quick Fix program. See my recommendations further below for adding oregano oil to my protocol.
What’s Wrong with the Practice of Medicine (When it Comes to Sinusitis)?
Quite often those with chronic sinusitis or sinus infections have multiple contributors to their inflamed mucous membrane (sinuses). Most doctors couldn’t tell you the cause of the routine sinus infection, so they prescribe an antibiotic “in case the cause is bacterial,” and know that if it’s viral it will run its course. It’s not their fault, because there’s no quick way of to assess what’s the underlying cause of the infection.
The problem is that antibiotics just aren’t the answer for the sinus infection:
- The majority of sinus infections aren’t bacterial (which is what antibiotics address).
- The overuse of antibiotics is problematic, causing less effective results when you really need them. Essentially, “superbugs” grow resistant to antibiotics.
- Antibiotics kill off “healthy bacteria,” which protect your G.I. system and immunity.
I talk frequently about the studies that prove antibiotics are an ineffective treatment for the majority of respiratory conditions, including a sinus infection. One study showed that a placebo was more effective.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control), continues to warn doctors and the public of the dangers of over-prescribed antibiotics. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective.
Dr. Stuart Levy, president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics stated, “The number of bacteria resistant to many different antibiotics has increased, in many cases, tenfold or more. Even new drugs that have been approved are confronting resistance.”
To Summarize on Antibiotics: They don’t work for the majority of sinus infections and respiratory conditions because they don’t address the underlying causes, which are either viral or fungal in nature. In the small percentage of the time that an infection is bacterial, they are less effective or don’t work at all because we’ve become resistant to them. There is a much better solution that addresses ALL possible forms of infection AND the approach is natural AND builds the immunity where antibiotics kill-off beneficial flora populations exposing us to future fungal infections.
Oregano Oil Added to My Candida Elimination Program
As I discover additional proven approaches from my direct experience or from science and medical studies, I continue to update and reformulate our proven candida program in the Breakthrough Sinus Solution Program. While oregano oil alone won’t wipe out an aggressive candida overgrowth, which is one of 7 factors which plague the chronic sinusitis sufferer, I have updated the program to include this important antifungal.
I’ve read dozens of studies on oregano oil and other medicinal herbs that contain high amounts of phenolic derivatives, and there are hundreds more that come to similar conclusions. One example study found that Origanum oil at 0.25 mg/ml was found to completely inhibit the growth of C. albicans in culture.
My Recommendation for Use
On a good mouth-rinse for candida, I recommend buying a good medicinal oregano oil. I am impressed with the quality of the Pathway Oregano Oil. You need to make sure that it is medicinal, deriving from Mediterranean wild oregano, such as Pathway. There is a lot of poor quality oils in the marketplace, so make sure of the quality that you are purchasing.
Put 3 drops in a small glass of water and then gargle it for a minute or so. Then swallow it. Do this 2x a day for 10 days with a sinus infection. You can gradually increase the number of drops to 5 or 6 drops in water.
If you’re following a candida elimination program, add this to your program during the first 2 weeks. Then return back to using this after 90 days for an additional 2 weeks. I have found that the most effective treatment process for candida is to rotate the antifungals during the program. Although candida does not become resistant to oregano like it does with fluconozol or diflucan (the prescription approach that I rarely recommend) or even other antifungals, I like to hit candida from all sides during the program. Candida is an aggressive condition that takes an all-out assault to get under control.
Thrush – Taking this oil as a gargle and swallow is also very beneficial for Thrush. Thrush is a name for the candida fungal infection afflicting the mouth and back of the throat. The common signs of thrush include a whitish tongue, possible raised bumps on your tongue, roof of your mouth, gums, inner cheeks, or the back of your throat.
You could also buy oregano in a gel cap to take with your vitamins. Many people have a hard time taking oregano oil in water because it is very strong and leaves that oregano aftertaste. The Pathway Oregano Oil contains a full spectrum of naturally occurring compounds from Wild Mediterranean oregano oil from the Origanum vulgare species in a base of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. This oregano oil is standardized to 70% carvacrol, that we’ve already discussed has so many incredible benefits.
Why Oregano? Again, it’s antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial and it has anti-inflammatory properties – all needed for a candida elimination program. One other benefit I haven’t mentioned is that oregano oil promotes antihistamine properties for allergies. Most of my patients who have chronic sinusitis also have allergies, so this is another great benefit of using this product.
Cautions and Warnings:
Do not use this product if you are pregnant, only do so if you are instructed by your physician to take during pregnancy. I would also recommend using this product for short periods of time, for a few weeks while you have an infection, or with candida rotate it back in a few months later for another two-week duration.
Med Dosw Mikrobiol. 2012;64(4):297-307.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Dec;228(1-2):111-7.
Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans.
Manohar V1, Ingram C, Gray J, Talpur NA, Echard BW, Bagchi D, Preuss HG.
Ahmad A1, Khan A, Akhtar F, Yousuf S, Xess I, Khan LA, Manzoor N.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Dec;228(1-2):111-7.
Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans.
Manohar V1, Ingram C, Gray J, Talpur NA, Echard BW, Bagchi D, Preuss HG.
About 35 million Americans suffer from a sinus infection or sinusitis every year. (1) Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses that leads to an infection. It can result in mucus build-up and pain. If you’ve ever experienced a sinus infection, then you know just how unpleasant it can be — much worse than a stuffy nose. While in most cases, a sinus infection will simply leave you running to find a decongestant, in the worst cases, it can lead to surgery to remove an abscess that has developed or the obstruction of the sinuses.
In the United States, sinusitis is the fifth most common medical diagnosis for which antibiotics are prescribed these days. The management of acute and chronic sinusitis is also costing this country over $11 billion every year. That doesn’t even include the economic impact of lost work time due to illness. (2)
While antibiotics for sinus infection are a very common conventional treatment, the majority of sinus infections are actually the result of colds or viruses. They will get better as your nasal congestion improves.
Thankfully, there are a lot of natural ways to treat a sinus infection, including the foods you eat (and don’t eat), saline nasal sprays, essential oils and supplements scientifically proven to be an effective sinus infection home remedy.
What is a Sinus Infection?
The sinuses, or sinus cavities, are hollow spaces that air flows through within the bones surrounding the nose. A sinus infection or sinusitis occurs when your nasal cavities become swollen and inflamed. Normally, your sinuses are filled with air. When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection.
How long do sinus infections last? Well, that depends on what type of sinus infection you have. Acute sinusitis can last over two weeks even with appropriate treatment. If your sinus infection lasts longer than 10 to 14 days, then you’re more likely to have bacterial sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis lasts much longer — at least 12 weeks! Chronic sinusitis with polyps is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts 12 weeks or longer and is associated with having nasal polyps. Other forms of chronic sinusitis are associated with allergies or a deviated septum and also last 12 weeks or longer.
Is a sinus infection contagious? The answer to that question: it depends on what caused it in the first place. If a virus causes your sinus infection, then you can spread that virus. This means that a person who catches your sickness (the virus) will then likely get a cold, which could turn into a sinus infection, but also could just stay a cold. In some instances, the flu also triggers a sinus infection. If you have a virus-based sinus infection, you actually could have been contagious days before you got the actual sinus infection. Bacteria also can cause a sinus infection. That means your infection cannot be spread to others. However, a bacterial sinus infection is typically more intense and lasts longer than a viral sinus infection. (4)
How can you tell what type of sinus infection you have? Your doctor won’t be able to tell you if your sinus infection is bacterial or viral based on symptoms or an exam alone. The best way to tell the root of a sinus infection is symptom duration. If it’s a viral sinus infection, it should start to improve after five to seven days. On the other hand, a bacterial infection often lasts seven to 10 days or even longer and the infection can get worse after seven days. (5)
Signs & Symptoms
Many sinus infection symptoms are common to both acute and chronic cases of sinusitis.
Common symptoms of a sinus infection include: (6,7)
- Thick, yellow, foul-smelling discharge from your nose
- Blockage in your nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Sinus pressure or pain around your face and eyes
- Headache (generally in the forehead area and often referred to as a “sinus headache”)
- A cold that doesn’t go away or gets even worse
It’s important to note that these all symptoms that can occur with the common cold. It’s when these symptoms continue for longer than 10 days, that you may have a sinus infection. If you have two or more symptoms and/or you have thick, green, or yellow nasal discharge, then it may be acute sinusitis.
With chronic sinusitis, you continue to have these symptoms for 12 weeks or longer plus you may also experience the following: (8)
- A feeling of congestion or fullness in your face
- Pus in the nasal cavity
- Runny nose or discolored postnasal drainage
- Bad breath
- Tooth pain
- Feeling tired very often
Causes & Risk Factors
Any health situation that blocks off the vital drainage channels of your sinuses can cause a sinus infection including: (9, 10)
- Respiratory infections like the common cold
- Hay fever or exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke, dry air and pollutants
- Obstructions in the nasal or sinus cavities including nasal polyps, deviated septum, or nasal bone spur
- Non-allergic rhinitis (allergy-like symptoms that don’t have a known cause)
- Changes in air pressure (for example, from swimming or climbing high altitudes)
- Infections resulting from dental problems
- Physical injury to the sinuses
- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi
The five most common bacteria that can cause sinus infections are: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes. (11)
Risk factors (some of which overlap with causes) for sinus infections include: (12)
- Having asthma
- Overuse of nasal decongestants
- Frequent swimming or diving
- Climbing or flying to high altitudes
- Nasal polyps (small growths/swellings in the nasal passage), nasal bone spurs, or other abnormalities such as a deviated septum or cleft palate
- Dental infection
- Exposure to air pollution and cigarette smoke
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Being in the hospital, especially if the reason you are in the hospital is related to a head injury or you needed a tube inserted into your nose (for example, a nasogastric tube from your nose to your stomach)
For a sinus infection, many doctors will recommend antibiotics if your symptoms go on for more than 10 days or if the sinus infection is deemed to be bacterial. If your sinus infection has a viral origin then you absolutely do not require antibiotic treatment. Amoxicillin (Amoxil) is commonly prescribed for an uncomplicated acute sinus infection. Many doctors will also use amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) as their drug of choice for treatment of a suspected bacterial sinus infection because it is said typically to be effective against most of the species and strains of bacteria that cause bacterial sinus infections. (13)
Many doctors will also recommend nasal corticosteroids, decongestants, pain medications, fever reducers, antihistamines, mucolytics and other drugs. It’s important to read the side effects of any and all recommend drugs. It’s also crucial to know that many doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics for viral sinus infections and this is only furthering the problem of antibiotic resistance.
10 Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections
1. Top Foods & Beverages for Sinus Infections
- Water — Adequate hydration is the key to flushing out the virus from your system. Try to drink at least 8 ounces every 2 hours.
- Chicken broth with vegetables —This traditional remedy of bone broth helps soothe the nasal cavities and respiratory system, along with providing important minerals.
- Horseradish — Anyone who has accidentally eaten too much horseradish has experienced its potent ability to clear nasal passages. Mix some horseradish with lemon to make it even more potent.
- Ginger — Make a ginger tea and add raw honey to aid in recovery.
- Garlic and onions — Both of these vegetables help boost immune function.
- Vitamin C rich foods — Consuming foods high in vitamin C can boost the immune system and speed recovery from sinusitis.
2. Foods & Beverages to Avoid
- Sugar — Decreases white blood cells that help fight off infection.
- Fruit juices — Although orange juice contains some vitamin C, it is not as high in vitamin C as whole fruits or vegetables. If you want to drink juice, dilute it.
- Dairy products — Milk and other dairy products are mucus producing so it is best to avoid them.
- Refined flour and grains — All refined grains can cause more mucus production.
- Salt — Without adequate water intake, salt can be dehydrating and slow healing of the inflammation of the sinuses.
3. Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil contains two powerful compounds of carvacrol and thymol that have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. I recommend 500 milligrams of oregano oil four times per day. For sinus infections, you can also add few drops of oregano oil to a large bowl of recently boiled water. Being careful not to burn yourself, cover your head with a towel creating a tent to keep the steam in, close your eyes and put your face over the pot (a safe distance from the hot water) and inhale the fragrant steam for a few minutes. This will help to clear the nasal passages and can be repeated several times a day. (14)
4. Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract has potent antiviral properties. This is why it is included in many nasal and throat sprays. The main biological compounds in a grapefruit seed that are believed to be responsible for its ability to destroy infectious invaders are the polyphenols known as limonoids and naringenin. (15) I recommend using a grapefruit seed extract nasal spray four times per day.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential to proper function of the immune system, which is the system that protects your body from getting infections and also helps your body to fight infections once it has one. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps guard our cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are found in things that can commonly contribute to the development of sinus infections like air pollution and cigarette smoke. (16) I recommend 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C three times per day.
Garlic is one of nature’s best antibiotics. Since colds often lead to a sinus infection, garlic is an awesome way not only to naturally treat a sinus infection, but to prevent it in the first place. In one study, people took either garlic supplements or a placebo for 12 weeks during cold season (between November and February). The garlic takers were less likely to get a cold, and if they did get a cold, they recovered faster than the placebo group. Those who didn’t take garlic (placebo group) had a much greater likelihood of contracting more than one cold over the 12-week treatment period. The study attributes garlic’s ability to prevent the common cold virus to its star biologically active component component, allicin. (17)
For general health promotion for adults, the World Health Organization recommends a daily dose of two to five grams (about one clove) of fresh garlic, 0.4 to 1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, two to five milligrams of garlic oil, 300 to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, or other formulations that are equal to two to five milligrams of allicin. (18)
Echinacea is an herb that can help your body fight off viruses and bacteria. Professional herbalists will often recommend this herb for natural treatment of sinus infections. Scientific studies have shown that echinacea contains active substances that are antiviral and boost the immune system while also reduce pain and inflammation, which is a perfect combination of effects or a sinus infection. (19) It is best to take an echinacea supplement at the first sign of illness. I recommend 1,000 milligrams two to three times per day.
8. Neti Pot
Using a neti pot with a saline solution can also greatly improve sinus issues and clear the nasal passage ways. This process is called “nasal irrigation.” Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has even shown that neti pot usage can eliminate some symptoms of chronic sinusitis and maintain positive outcomes over a six month time span. According to Dr. Paul Little, lead author and a professor of medicine at the University of Southampton, “In addition to improving sinus symptoms, headaches were reduced, there was less use of over-the-counter remedies, and people also said they were less likely to contact the doctor again for a future attack of sinusitis.” (20)
9. Add Moisture
Whether it’s a humidifier, saline nasal spray, or sitting in a steam-filled bathroom, adding more moisture to the air and your nasal passages can really help to reduce congestion. (21) I highly recommend sleeping with a humidifier while you have a sinus infection. You can also purchase a natural saline nasal spray that you can use several times a day (following package instructions). Steam inhalation is especially good at reducing sinus headaches.
10. Essential Oils
To naturally clear the sinuses, using eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil can be highly effective. These essential oils can naturally open up the sinuses, clear mucus and eliminate infections. Rub one drop of each on the roof of the mouth (only do this with food grade essential oils). Then drink water. Another great idea is to diffuse essential oils into the air so you can breathe them in. My homemade vapor rub recipe can also be helpful for sinus infections.
If your sinus infection symptoms get worse or you do not see improvement after 10 to 14 days, then you should see your doctor. An unimproved sinus infection can lead to other conditions such as bronchitis or complications and the need for surgery.
When first experiencing allergy-like symptoms, you may also want to consult an allergist because an allergist may be able to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.
Always check with your doctor before taking any natural supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any ongoing medical concerns, or are currently taking other medications.
Unfortunately, sinus infections are pretty common these days. As is unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. Remember that antibiotics are absolutely unnecessary when it comes to treating viral sinus infections (and most are caused by a virus). Taking antibiotics can do much more harm than good to your body, especially if you take them when they are truly not needed.
Most sinus infections respond well to natural sinusitis treatment. There are so many natural options to choose from that are not just effective, but are also affordable and easy to do in the comfort of your home.
Read Next: 13 Natural Sore Throat Remedies for Fast Relief
Sinus Infection Treatment and Remedies
Sinus infections often don’t require medical treatment unless they last longer than 10 days.
Steaming can ease symptoms and also move out mucus.
Sinus infections develop when the mucous membranes lining the sinuses (air-filled cavities in the face and head) become infected.
Sinusitis is another term for sinus infections, though sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses, with or without an infection.
Sinus infections are usually classified as acute or chronic depending on how long they last, with acute infections resolving within 4 weeks and chronic infections lasting 12 weeks or longer. (1)
Sinus infections most often arise after a viral infection, such as the common cold, and are most often caused by viruses, such as rhinoviruses, influenza viruses, and parainfluenza viruses.
Less frequently, sinus infections may be due to bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
Fungi can also cause a sinus infection in rare cases. Aspergillus fumigatus is usually responsible for fungal sinus infections, but many other species can also cause the illness. (2)
Treatment options for sinus infections depend on the cause of the infection and whether it’s acute or chronic.
Acute Sinus Infection Home Remedies
Acute sinus infections caused by viruses usually last only 7 to 10 days.
These cases are usually treated by addressing the symptoms rather than the underlying cause (antibiotics are for bacterial infections, not viral infections, and the overuse of antibiotics can create drug-resistant bacteria).
Common symptoms of acute sinus infections include nasal congestion and blockage, yellow-to-green nasal discharge, decreased sense of smell, postnasal drip, and a feeling of pain, pressure, or fullness in the face. (3)
To help relieve symptoms, particularly sinus pain and stuffiness, without medications, try the following recommendations:
- Use a saline nasal spray, neti pot, or saline squeeze bottle to help flush out the sinuses several times a day.
- Apply a warm, moist washcloth or compress over your nose and forehead to relieve sinus pressure.
- Use a humidifier.
- Inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or while in the shower.
- Drink plenty of fluids (this helps thin the mucus) (1,4,5,6)
Acute Sinus Infection Medications
If the remedies listed above don’t do the trick, you can also take various over-the-counter medications to help relieve your sinus infection symptoms.
- Nasal steroids, such as Flonase (fluticasone), Rhinocort (budesonide), and Nasonex (mometasone), to reduce swelling in the nose
- Oral decongestants such as Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and phenylephrine if you have ear pain or fullness
- Nasal decongestants such as oxymetazoline or neo-synephrine (note that these drugs may help at first but prolonged use can worsen nasal stuffiness)
- Mucus-thinning medications such as guaifenesin-phenylephrine
- Pain relievers or fever reducers, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or Aleve (naproxen) (1,4,5,6)
Oral antihistamines such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are not recommended for sinus infections because they may not improve symptoms and can cause side effects. (6)
When to See a Doctor About Sinus Infection Symptoms
Most people with acute sinusitis get better without seeing a doctor.
But if your symptoms last more than 10 days or if your symptoms initially improve but then worsen again within the first 7 days, you may have developed a secondary bacterial sinus infection, which can be more severe than a viral infection.
See a doctor immediately if you experience:
- A persistent fever greater than 102 degrees F (normal sinus infection fevers are at least 100.4 degrees F)
- Changes in vision, including double vision
- Symptoms that are resistant to over-the-counter pain relievers, fever reducers, or nasal decongestants
- Multiple infections within the past year
- Sudden, severe pain in the face or head
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Swelling or redness around the eyes
- Stiff neck (5,6)
Antibiotics for Bacterial Sinus Infections
Many people with a bacterial sinus infection improve by using the same treatments as those used for viral sinus infections.
But if your symptoms continue to not improve or even worsen, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics. (6)
The antibiotic your doctor prescribes depends on if you have an allergy to penicillin and if it’s likely that you have a drug-resistant bacterial infection.
The standard antibiotic therapy for bacterial sinus infection in people who are not allergic to penicillin is amoxicillin or amoxicillin-clavulanate. High dose amoxicillin-clavulanate is recommended if bacterial resistance is likely, (7) such as in:
- People who have recently received antibiotics
- Hospitalization in the last five days
- Healthcare providers
- People who live in areas where there is a high rate of community resistance
- People whose infection is severe or lasts longer than usual
- The elderly
- People with a severe coexisting condition, including diabetes, renal disease, liver disease, chronic cardiac issues, and health issues that cause a weakened immune system
People who are allergic to penicillin may be treated with:
- Moxifloxacin (8)
Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
While acute sinusitis is often due to viruses or bacteria, chronic sinusitis usually has a more mysterious cause.
For some people, the inflammation of the mucous membranes may be caused by:
- Airborne allergens, such as dust mites, animal dander, molds, and cockroaches
- Allergies to fungi living in the sinuses
- Reactions to airborne irritants, such as tobacco smoke and environmental toxins like formaldehyde
- Infections, including viral infections like the common cold
- Nasal polyps, or abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses
Deviated septum (a bending of the wall between the two nostrils) and immune system disorders may increase a person’s risk of chronic sinusitis or make symptoms worse.
People with chronic sinusitis usually require lifelong treatment to keep their symptoms in check. These treatments can include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, changing jobs to avoid environmental toxins, or altering the home to reduce dust mites, pet dander, or cockroaches
- Washing the sinuses daily with saline
- Frequent use of steroid nasal sprays, washes, or drops to reduce nasal and sinus inflammation
- Oral steroid pills, such as prednisone
- Leukotriene modifiers (which reduce inflammation in a different way than steroids), such as Singulair (montelukast), Accolate (zafirlukast), and Zyflo (zileuton)
- Surgery to reopen the sinuses and remove trapped mucus or polyps (9)
Fungal Sinusitis Treatment
Sinus infections from fungi come in several different forms, each of which requires its own type of treatment.
The most common type of fungal sinus infection is the aptly named fungus ball — a ball of fungal debris that has a peanut butter–like appearance. Treatment is straightforward and involves removing the ball with surgery (endoscopic sinus surgery).
In some cases, people develop an allergic reaction to fungi in the sinuses, resulting in allergic fungal sinusitis. The allergic response results in nasal polyps and secretions that are golden-yellow with a cement-like consistency.
Treatment of allergic fungal sinusitis begins with surgery to remove the polyps and cleanse the sinuses, followed by long-term oral and topical corticosteroids; in some cases, antifungals and antibiotics (for additional bacterial infections) may be necessary. Some people also receive immunotherapy and antihistamines to reduce their allergic reactions to the fungi.
Acute invasive fungal sinusitis develops in people who have weakened immune systems, such as from chemotherapy or diabetes. The infection is aggressive and can quickly spread to the eye and brain. Treatment involves aggressive surgical and medical therapy, including systemic antifungal medications, and possibly efforts to improve the immune system.
Comparatively, chronic invasive fungal sinusitis affects the body much slower. Treatment is less aggressive but also involves surgery and medications such as antifungal drugs. (10,11)
Sinus Infection Treatment in Children
Sinus infections affect children similarly.
If your child has a sinus infection, the aforementioned home remedies may help, but make sure to follow your pediatrician’s recommendations to treat your child’s illness.
Note that various over-the-counter medications may not be suitable for your child:
- Babies 6 months old or younger should only receive acetaminophen for pain relief
- Children older than 6 months can receive acetaminophen or ibuprofen (check with your doctor for the correct dosage)
- Children should never receive aspirin and teenagers recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not take aspirin because of the risk of a rare and severe illness called Reye’s syndrome (12)
Children younger than 4 years should not receive cough or cold products unless directed by a pediatrician (a stuffy nose can be relieved with a rubber suction bulb, saline drops, a humidifier, or a cool-mist vaporizer). (4)
7 Powerful Home Remedies For Sinus That Bring Relief Naturally
Sinuses are air filled cavities located on either side of the nose. Due to allergies, cold, or bacterial infections, these may sometimes get clogged or infected. This can create various complications like headache, snoring or difficulty in breathing. In serious cases, a sinus infection may even lead to brain fever or meningitis. There are four types of sinus problems which are common. Acute sinus usually lasts for 4 weeks or less. Sub acute lasts for 4 to 8 weeks, chronic sinus lasts 8 weeks or longer while a recurrent inflammation symptom is followed with several attacks within a year. The good news is that there are certain home remedies for sinus that can provide instant relief. Read on to know more.
Certain foods that can trigger sinus symptoms should be avoided, like fried and starchy foods, rice, meat and strong spices. Regular intake of foods rich in Vitamin A can help you build a strong defense against the sinus infection. Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, suggests the some dietary precautions that you must take. “Dairy products, especially cheese, yogurt and ice cream should be avoided. Also, stay away from chocolate, sugar and yeast containing foods as they trigger excess mucus production in the sinuses. Cold drinks are a big no-no. The intake of cold liquids will stall cilia movement within the nose, making it difficult for nasal mucus to flow through the nasal passages,” he says.
Here are seven effective home remedies for sinus that can help you tackle the problem naturally
Drinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated. These fluids help in thinning out the mucus and bring relief to the irritated sinuses. One should avoid alcohol, caffeine and smoking, which lead to dehydration.
(Also Read: 8 Most Hydrating Drinks Besides Water)
Drinking water, tea or juices without sugar are good ways to keep your system hydrated
2. Pungent Spices
Spices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, help in breaking up and draining out congested mucus. Similarly, horseradish can be mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a mucus dissolving elixir. As an alternative, 1/4 teaspoon of the freshly grated horseradish root can be held in the mouth for a few minutes, once the taste has evaporated, it can be swallowed.
(Also Read: Health Benefits Of 38 Important Spices From Around The World)
Spices such as cayenne pepper with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
This one works like magic and doctors prescribe it too. Add 3 drops of pine or rosemary oil with 3 drops of peppermint, and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to a steaming hot bowl of water or add 3 drops of rosemary with 1 drop of thyme and peppermint oil. With your face down over the water, drape a towel over the back of your head and inhale the steam, this will help in clearing a blocked nasal passage.
4. Turmeric (haldi) and Ginger Root
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in India. Not only does turmeric contain natural anti-inflammatory properties, it is also rich in antioxidants. When combined with spicy ginger root and brewed in hot tea, this combination can help loosen mucus from clogged nasal passages, relax sinus pressure, and make you feel instantly better. In his book, ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’, Vasant Lad suggests that a mixture of fresh ginger juice with 1 tsp honey taken 2 to 3 times a day can be helpful.
(Also Read: Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in Indian)
Turmeric root is a wonderful, fragrant spice commonly found in India
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with many health benefits. A cup of hot water or tea, taken three times daily with two or three tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will help thin out excessive mucus relieving congestion and sinus pressure. Mix with lemon and honey to taste. You can also simply take 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 3 times a day for better results.
(Also Read: 5 Amazing Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Beautiful Skin)
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful natural ingredient with many health benefits
A number of studies support the benefits of having soup in helping ease congestion. From chicken soup to vegetable soup with fresh herbs, you can choose from a range of recipes and pick your favourite. It is the steam combined with a bunch of healthy ingredients which help clear the sinuses.
(Also Read: 10 Best Chicken Soup Recipes)
7. Nasal irrigation
CommentsNasal irrigation is very effective for relieving nasal congestion and irritation. Also known as saline irrigation, it simply means gently flushing out your nasal passages with a saline solution. According to author and Ayurvedic expert, Vasant Lad, you can dissolve ½ teaspoon salt into ½ cup lukewarm water. Pour the mixture in a squeeze bottle; instill 5 drops of the solution into one nostril while tilting your head so it flows out of the other nostril. Do this with each nostril. This will soothe your sinuses and also flush away bacteria and irritants.
Follow these tips to get relief naturally.