How to Cure a Sinus Infection
Sinus infections (sinusitis) impact the lives of millions of Americans just like you. Together, we spend billions of dollars each year in over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat difficult symptoms. It is responsible for more than 16 million doctor visits that take away valuable time from work, friends, and family. The good news is that you don’t have to continue suffering. There are cures for sinusitis that are safe, affordable, and ready for you.
What is sinusitis?
Sinus cavities are air-filled spaces around the nose and eyes that help with breathing, vocal tone, and maintaining air humidity. These sinuses help keep your body healthy by producing mucus which filters and moisturizes the air that you breathe. This mucus drains naturally through the body and helps keep dust, germs, and other substances away.
When your body is exposed to bacteria or certain types of mold or viruses, it may respond by swelling the openings to the sinus cavities and increasing mucus production. When the sinuses begin to swell, the normal flow of mucus is blocked. Mucus that is trapped in the sinus cavity can become infected. Once the infected mucus is unable to leave the sinuses, the infection will continue to grow inside the sinus cavity resulting in sinusitis. If you suffer from allergies, you may be more likely to get infections and the symptoms may overlap to make life more difficult.
The symptoms of sinusitis are often mistaken for a bad cold. Rhinitis (hay fever) is a condition that affects the nose and may also feel similar to a sinus infection with many of the same symptoms. Some of the most common sinusitis symptoms include:
- Postnasal drip: Mucus running down the back of the nose to the throat.
- Abnormal nasal discharge: Mucus discharge from the nose that is greenish in color.
- Congestion: Stuffiness of the nasal passage caused by inflammation.
- Facial pain: This includes headaches, pain in the teeth, or around the nose and eyes.
- Facial swelling: Sensitivity and inflammation around the eyes or at the top of the nose.
- Other Symptoms: These may include tiredness, bad breath, and fever.
Each patient may have a unique set of symptoms depending on their specific situation and other medical conditions such as allergies, cold/flu, or other infections. Sinusitis is a serious medical condition that can interrupt your life and negatively impact your overall health. Severe sinus infection complications are possible. Therefore, it is important to see a qualified medical professional in order to determine the exact cause and the best treatment for your specific symptoms.
If you are struggling with frequent or persistent infections, here are some of the most common treatments that you may want to consider.
Home Remedies for Sinus Infections: How to Cure a Sinus Infection Naturally
If you are experiencing mild symptoms or if sinusitis is not a regular problem for you, then you may want to consider a sinus infection home remedy. One of the primary ways to help reduce symptoms and eliminate the infection in the sinus cavities is to promote natural drainage of the mucus that is trapped in the sinuses. Most natural remedies involve finding ways to reduce inflammation and increase drainage. These include:
- Increasing water intake: The body needs a minimum level of fluids in order to properly function. Dehydration can prevent the body from healing naturally.
- Vapor or mist: Various types of humidifiers can provide enough additional moisture to break up small blockages in the sinus passage. Once these blockages are clear, the sinuses may drain naturally.
- Sinus rinse or neti pot: These solutions have grown in popularity over the past few years. They work on the idea that a purified saline solution can break up the sinus blockage, clean the sinus cavity, and clear out the infection. When used as directed, they may provide real relief for some patients. Before considering the use of a sinus rinse, the utmost care should be taken to follow all directions. In the case of a severe infection or the misuse of a product, they can cause more damage and potentially increase the severity of an infection.
For more information see Natural Home Remedies for Sinusitis.
Treatment with Medication
One of the most effective ways to rapidly treat sinusitis is with a specific medication that eliminates the infection and allows the body to heal.
A bacterial infection is one of the most common causes of long-lasting sinusitis. Antibiotics are the first line of defense against bacterial infection. Depending on the specific infection type, a variety of medications can be used to target and eliminate the bacteria.
The body is sometimes able to naturally cure itself, but for those infections that are long-lasting (more than a week), an antibiotic may significantly improve the body’s ability to fight off infection. Antibiotic treatment will often help the patient see a significant reduction in a few days. They can also be combined with prescription or over-the-counter medicine to help quickly eliminate symptoms while the body is fighting the infection.
There are two major types of nasal sprays to help prevent and treat the symptoms of a sinus infection.
Nasal decongestants are able to reduce swelling in the nose which may allow the sinuses to drain naturally. They usually provide quick symptom relief. However, it is important that these sprays are not used for more than a few days. Long-term use should be avoided to prevent dependence that may cause additional medical problems.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays also help to reduce swelling in the nose and around the sinus passages. Unlike decongestants, these sprays can be used as a long-term treatment option. They work to reduce symptoms and prevent future inflammation.
Antihistamines & OTCMedication
Many patients who suffer from sinus infections along with allergies will see an increase in the severity of their symptoms. In addition, the inflammation and mucus production that is caused by the allergies will make it more difficult for the body to eliminate the infection. The use of antihistamines and other allergy medications can help prevent or reduce an allergic reaction, giving the body a better chance to fight off the infection.
When considering any over-the-counter medications, special care and attention should be given to active ingredients. OTC medications may have unnecessary ingredients and may impact other health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. In addition, they may negatively impact existing medications. The OTC section of your local pharmacy can be very confusing and even dangerous for some patients. Be sure to consult with your medical providers before you start any OTC treatments.
For patients who suffer from severe and long-lasting infections, sinus surgery may be an option of last resort. Surgery can help fix physical defects in the nose or sinus area that are preventing other treatments from working. These may include:
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Closed passages
These surgeries are typically performed in an outpatient hospital or surgery center under anesthesia.
Balloon Sinuplasty: Sinusitis Treatment That Works
Balloon sinuplasty is a modern treatment option that helps patients avoid surgery, reduce medication, and find real long-term healing. This minimally invasive procedure is done from the comfort of the doctor’s office and provides quick relief. It involves gently opening the sinus passage and cleaning out the sinus cavity to remove any infection and allow the patient to breathe easily again.
Cumberland Valley ENT: The Place for Your Sinus Health
Your sinus health is as unique as you. Each person’s underlying condition, symptoms, and medical needs will be individually evaluated to create a custom individualized treatment plan. The team of specialists at Cumberland Valley ENT is fully equipped to listen and respond to you. If you want to know how to cure a sinus infection, look no further than the professional team at Cumberland Valley ENT. Contact us today and get started on the road to a cure.