Back To Main Article:
List Of Common Illnesses
|Terminology: Sinus infection is also called sinusitis.
What Is A Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection is where the mucus producing tissue of the sinuses become inflamed. The sinuses are air filled cavities located behind the nose, eyes, forehead and cheeks. When these become inflamed mucus collects in the sinuses causing the sensation of a blocked nose, headaches, face pain and toothache if the sinuses of the cheeks are affected. Pain tends worsen when you bend forward. In most cases a sinus infection will clear up without treatment, although the following tips may help alleviate symptoms. If symptoms worsen or do not improve after a few days, contact your doctor.
10 Ways To Treat Sinusitis
1. Steam Inhalation
Pour a teaspoon of eucalyptus, peppermint or menthol oil into a bowel of boiling water then inhale the steam under a towel. Do this for at least 10 minutes, 3 times a day. It will also help alleviate other symptoms of colds and flus.
2. Sinus Rinse
Use a sinus rinse daily such as NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit to unblock your nose. This is a saline nasal wash available in most drug stores. It is squirted through one nostril and the solution washes out through the other nostril. It is an excellent way to clear mucus, irritants and bacteria that cause infections. A saline wash will also reduce inflammation increasing the passage of air flow.
3. Sniff Sea Salt
Dissolve some sea salt in a little warm water. Place the solution on the palm of your hand and inhale the mixture up each nostril. Alternatively you can buy a sea salt nasal spray.
4. Take Painkillers
Take a painkiller (such as paracetamol, Tylenol) to relieve facial pain and headaches. Follow the directions of the medication and take them on a regular basis, every 4 to 6 hours, instead of every so often.
5. Moisten The Air
Dry air caused by central heating can worsen the symptoms of sinusitis. Furthermore, it dries the nasal passage making you more prone to nosebleeds when you blow your nose. If you do not have a humidifier in your home, place a bowel of water next to your radiator. The water will evaporate gradually into the air and moisten it.
6. Eat Hot Foods
Eating hot foods like curry containing cayenne pepper helps clear the sinuses. The spices dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the sinuses helping to clear mucus.
7. Prop Up With Pillows
Use pillows to prop your head up while sleeping. This will encourage drainage from the sinuses.
Decongestants are over the counter medications which are sold as pills or nasal sprays. Pills include Drixoral, Sudafed and Actifed. Nasal sprays include Afrin and Neo-Synephrine. You should only use a decongestant for a few days. Longer use runs the risk of making the infection worse. While decongestants may make symptoms better they do nothing to speed up a recovery.
9. Drink Fluids
Drink lots of water or fruit juices to help dilute mucus and improve drainage. Elderflower tea can also help reduce congestion. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine as they can worsen inflammation.
10. Warm Compresses
Apply a warm cloth to the face, particularly the part that aches. This helps to relieve pressure.
Do I Need Antibiotics?
Most people with a sinus infection do not need antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria, they do nothing to kill a virus infection. Most sinus infections are caused by virus infections, such as the common cold or flu. Even if the infection is caused by bacteria, the immune system will usually naturally clear it away. Doctors prefer to hold ‘big guns’ like antibiotics for more serious illnesses. A course of antibiotics may however be considered if:
Your symptoms are worsening or not improving after 3 or 4 days.
You have another illnesses such as a heart problem or cystic fibrosis.
Treatments For Other Infections
How to treat thrush: 8 home treatments to treat thrush.
How to treat earaches: Caused by colds and infection.
How to treat worms in adults: Banish that itchy bottom.
How to treat cystitis: Urinary tract infection.
How to treat verrucas: Warts on the soles of the feet.
How to treat athlete's foot: Fast acting treatments.
How to treat warts: Benign growths that appear on the skin.
How to treat cold sores: Rapid relieve for your cold sore.