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How to Treat the Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

sinus infection

Sinus infections resulting in congestion, pain and pressure can last up to four weeks, or longer for chronic sufferers. Luckily, there are many prescription, over-the-counter and natural remedies available to ease the pain, as well as preventative measures to avoid future infections.

Acute Sinusitis and Chronic Sinusitis Treatments

Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is characterized by an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages.There are varying degrees of sinusitis, ranging from acute sinusitis to chronic sinusitis.

Those suffering from acute sinusitis should only use over-the-counter decongestants for the recommended period of time. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a decongestant or antibiotics. Use these medications as per the doctor's instructions. Pain relievers may also be used, as recommended.

For anyone with long-term sinusitis symptoms, treatment options may also include decongestants or antibiotics, but these are only to control symptoms. For daily treatments, use saline drops or a vaporizer.

Natural Remedies for Symptoms of Sinus Infection

Natural sinus treatments such as the ones below have become a popular option, especially for chronic sinusitis sufferers:
  • steam treatments: Boil some water and carefully inhale the steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to help clear block nasal passages.
  • heating pads: Place a heating pad on the affected sinus area, to reduce pain symptoms.
  • apple cider vinegar: Add two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of hot water. Add honey to taste. Consume this drink twice daily to ease congestion and pressure.
  • vitamins: As soon as symptoms start, take vitamin C and zinc to ward off a cold that may result in a sinus infection. Taking vitamins for the duration of a sinus infection may reduce symptoms.
  • ginger: Taking ginger in capsule form may relieve headaches resulting from sinus infections.

Sinus and Nasal Irrigation

The process of nasal irrigation, or sinus cleaning, removes excess mucous and debris. Nasal irrigation includes both saline nasal sprays and conduits, such as the neti pot. The neti pot is an old sinus remedy made popular again in recent years after a demonstration on a health episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Sinus cleaning may be the best preventative measure available to both acute and chronic sinusitis sufferers. Using a gentle saline solution daily, or twice daily, will help to ward of future sinus infections. A neti pot is not necessary, as a person can easily snort the saline solution from cupped hands.

These treatments may be used individually or in combination, but always consult a health care professional first, before beginning any treatment plan.

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