How to cure sinusitis

Table of contents:

How to cure sinusitis
How to cure sinusitis

Sinuses are sinuses in the bones of the skull that perform important functions such as humidifying the air we breathe and secreting mucus to trap pathogens. Sometimes the sinuses cannot cope with the infection, which leads to symptoms of sinusitis: inflammation and swelling of the sinus mucosa, increased mucus production, headache, cough, nasal congestion, and sometimes fever. Depending on the cause of sinusitis, one or another treatment tactic is chosen. Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) can go away on its own, but you can speed up the process and relieve symptoms at home.


Method 1 of 4: Determining the type of infection

Clear a Sinus Infection Step 1
Clear a Sinus Infection Step 1

Step 1. Identify the main symptoms

Sinusitis presents with several main symptoms. Symptoms of acute sinusitis usually worsen by 5-7 days of illness. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis are less severe, but last long.

  • Headache
  • Feeling of pressure or discomfort around the eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat or a sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat
  • Weakness
  • Cough
  • Bad breath
  • Temperature increase

Step 2. Estimate the duration of the symptoms

Sinusitis can be acute (lasts less than 4 weeks) or chronic (lasts longer than 12 weeks). Long-term symptoms of sinusitis do not indicate the severity or danger of the disease.

  • Acute sinusitis can be caused by various causes, the most common (90-98% of all cases) are viruses. Acute sinusitis can be a complication of the common cold. This kind of sinusitis goes away in 7-14 days.
  • Allergies are the most common cause of chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is more likely in people with asthma, nasal polyps, and smokers.

Step 3. Measure the temperature

Allergic sinusitis is not accompanied by an increase in temperature. Sinusitis caused by an infection (most commonly a cold) can be accompanied by a fever.

An increase in temperature (above 38, 8 ° C) is a sign of bacterial sinusitis. Call a doctor if the temperature is high


Step 4. Pay attention to the dark yellow or green highlights

Dark yellow or green mucus with an unpleasant odor and taste indicates bacterial sinusitis. If you suspect a bacterial nature of sinusitis, call a doctor. Your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, augmentin, cephalosporin, or azithromycin.

  • The doctor may choose to wait and see before prescribing antibiotics. Most cases of bacterial sinusitis resolve on their own without antibiotics. Doctors try to avoid inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions, as this leads to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Antibiotics are only prescribed for bacterial sinusitis. They are not helpful for other types of sinusitis.
  • Bacterial sinusitis occurs in only 2-10% of cases.

Step 5. When to see a doctor

If, in addition to high fever and dark yellow or green discharge, there are other symptoms, you should see a doctor. The doctor will assess the condition and determine the need for antibiotics. Tell your doctor about the following symptoms:

  • Symptoms last more than 7-10 days
  • Headache is not relieved by OTC drugs
  • Moist cough with dark yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Severe neck pain
  • Earache
  • Visual impairment, redness or swelling around the eyes
  • Allergic reactions to any medications. Allergic reactions include hives, swelling of the lips or face, difficulty breathing
  • Worsening the course of asthma in patients with asthma
  • Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic sinusitis. The doctor will prescribe treatment or consultation with an allergist, otolaryngologist to determine the type of sinusitis.

Method 2 of 4: Medication for Sinusitis


Step 1. Consult your doctor

Before going to the pharmacy, you need to visit your doctor. Even if you are constantly taking medications, it is necessary to inform your doctor about taking over-the-counter drugs, as it is possible that these drugs interact with each other.

  • Never give children drugs that are intended for adults, such as cold medications.
  • Most over-the-counter cold medications are contraindicated in pregnant and lactating women, so you should consult your doctor.

Step 2. Use antibiotics as directed

If a doctor has prescribed antibiotics, be sure to complete the course completely, even if the symptoms are gone. A full course of antibiotics will prevent the disease from returning with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

  • Most often, for bacterial sinusitis, amoxicillin, augmentin, cephalosporin, or azithromycin (if you are allergic to amoxicillin) are prescribed.
  • The most common side effects when taking antibiotics are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes. Serious side effects include fainting, difficulty breathing, and hives.

Step 3. For allergies, take antihistamines

If sinusitis is associated with a seasonal or systemic allergic reaction, take antihistamines. Antihistamines directly block receptors for histamine (the main mediator of allergic reactions). Antihistamines prevent allergic sinusitis from developing.

  • Antihistamines come in pill form, such as loratidine (Claritin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cetirizine (Zyrtec). Liquid, chewable and soluble forms are available for children.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for the most effective medication.
  • Do not take antihistamines for acute sinusitis without consulting your doctor. Antihistamines can make acute sinusitis worse by thickening secretions.

Step 4. Take over-the-counter pain relievers

Pain relievers will not cure sinusitis, but they will relieve accompanying symptoms such as headaches.

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective for headache, sore throat, and fever.

    Be careful, ibuprofen is contraindicated in children under 6 months of age


Step 5. Try nasal sprays

Over-the-counter nasal sprays provide immediate sinus clearance. There are three types of nasal sprays: saline, vasoconstrictor, and hormonal.

  • Vasoconstrictor sprays, such as Afrin, are used in short courses up to 3-5 days.
  • Salt sprays are the safest and most used remedies for getting rid of secretions.
  • Fluticasone (Flonase) is a hormonal nasal spray used to relieve allergy symptoms. Such sprays are used for longer courses than vasoconstrictors, but they do not help with infectious sinusitis.

Step 6. Try vasoconstrictor drugs

These medications relieve breathing and sinus pain. Do not use vasoconstrictors for more than 3 days. Long courses of vasoconstrictors lead to withdrawal symptoms.

  • The most commonly used drugs are phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine. Some antihistamines contain vasoconstrictors, for example, Allerga-D, Claritin-D, Zirtek-D.
  • Most drugs with a –D ending contain pseudoephedrine, so you need a prescription to get them.
  • Some vasoconstrictors contain paracetamol. Read the ingredients carefully and do not take extra paracetamol. Paracetamol overdose leads to serious health problems.

Step 7. Try mucolytics

Mucolytics (Guaifenesin, Mucinex) help to thin the secretions, which facilitates their evacuation from the sinuses. There is no reliable evidence that mucolytics treat sinusitis.

Method 3 of 4: Alternative Treatments


Step 1. Get more rest

Overworking yourself and not getting enough sleep will make it harder for your body to cope with the infection. If possible, take at least a day off and have a good rest.

Sleep with your head up. This will improve the flow of mucus from the sinuses


Step 2. Drink plenty of fluids

Drink enough to help drain mucus and improve overall health. Water is the best option, and decaffeinated drinks, sports drinks containing electrolytes, and broths can be used as alternatives to water.

  • A man should drink at least 13 cups (3 liters) of liquid per day. A woman should drink at least 9 cups (2.2 liters) of liquid per day. When you are sick, you need more fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol increases mucosal swelling and worsens sinus symptoms. Caffeine dehydrates the body, which leads to thickening of mucus.

Step 3. Flush your nose with a jala neti (neti pot) or a special device

You can flush your sinuses in a simple and natural way. Cleansing the sinuses in this way guarantees a minimum of side effects, even with frequent use.

  • Fill a jala neti or nasal syringe with sterile saline. You can purchase a ready-made solution or make your own from distilled, boiled, or sterile water.
  • Tilt your head to the side about 45 degrees. For added convenience, perform over a sink or shower.
  • Place the jala neti nozzle (or syringe tip) into the nostril. Pour the solution gently so that it flows out through the other nostril.
  • Repeat on the other side

Step 4. Breathe in the steam

A steam bath will ease breathing and moisturize your sinuses. Breathe steam in a hot shower or over a container of hot water. For the best effect, use menthol bath salt.

  • To breathe steam over a container, use a water temperature that is safe for the container. Do not inhale steam over a container that is still on fire or very hot steam! Place the container of water on the table at a comfortable height.
  • Bend over the pot not too close to avoid scalding.
  • Cover your head and container with a towel. Breathe in steam for 10 minutes.
  • If desired, add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus or other oil to the water.
  • Breathe like this 2-4 times a day.
  • When using this method by a child, make sure it is safe and do not leave unattended.

Step 5. Turn on the humidifier

Dry hot and dirty air irritates the respiratory tract, so turn on a humidifier while you sleep. Warm or cool humidified air is good for the respiratory tract. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the water of your humidifier to make breathing easier (if allowed in the instructions for your humidifier).

Watch out for mold growth. If the air is too humid, mold can start to grow. Clean the humidifier regularly


Step 6. Use warm compresses

Apply a warm compress to relieve pressure and pain on your face.

  • Dampen a small towel and microwave for 30 seconds. The towel should be pleasant, not scalding temperature.
  • Apply a towel to your nose, cheeks, and eye area to relieve pain for 5-10 minutes.

Step 7. Spicy food

Some studies have shown that hot spices like peppers and horseradish can help clear your sinuses.

  • Capsaicin, which is found in peppers and spicy foods, helps to thin and remove mucus more easily.
  • Other spicy foods, such as ginger, can also improve your condition.

Step 8. Drink tea

Caffeine-free hot teas can relieve sore throats, especially if you add ginger and honey to them. It will also reduce coughing. Remember that black, green, and other teas contain caffeine, so drinking too much tea can lead to dehydration and sleep disturbance. It is recommended to replace regular tea with herbal tea.

  • Make ginger tea at home. For one cup, grate 30 grams of fresh ginger and cover with boiling water. Leave it on for 10 minutes.
  • Try the traditional Throat Coat herbal tea, which has been proven to be effective.
  • With regular consumption of Benifuuki green tea, nasal and allergic symptoms are reduced.

Step 9. Treat your cough

Sinusitis is often accompanied by a cough. Drinking more warm liquids, such as herbal teas with honey, will help ease coughs.


Step 10. Quit smoking

In smokers (even passive ones), cigarette smoke irritates the mucous membranes, which favors sinus infections. 40% of patients with chronic sinusitis in the United States are passive smokers. Quit smoking or stop passively smoking if you experience sinusitis.

Stop smoking to help prevent future sinusitis and improve your health. Smoking harms every organ and shortens your life

Method 4 of 4: Preventing Sinusitis


Step 1. Treat allergy and cold symptoms

Airway inflammation caused by allergies or colds predisposes to sinusitis.

Get a flu shot. Vaccination reduces the risk of getting the flu, another culprit in acute sinusitis


Step 2. Avoid environmental pollution

Polluted air irritates the airways, which aggravates the course of sinusitis. Household chemicals and other chemicals irritate the sinuses.


Step 3. Pay attention to personal hygiene

Viruses are the most common cause of sinusitis. You can reduce your risk of infection by regularly washing your hands with soap and water.

Wash your hands after shaking hands and touching public objects (such as handles on buses or doorknobs), and before and after cooking


Step 4. Drink plenty of water

Water increases the amount of fluids in the body, which prevents mucus from thickening.


Step 5. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that promote body and health.

Citruses are high in flavonoids that significantly boost the immune system to fight off viruses, inflammation, and allergies


  • Do not use tap water to rinse your nose with jala neti. If you don't want to use filtered water, boil tap water and wait for it to cool. Tap water can contain amoeba that can cause serious illness.
  • If you feel pain in the ear canal (behind the lower jaw), you may have an ear infection. See your doctor as you may need antibiotics to treat this infection.


  • Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, chest pain, stiff neck or severe neck pain, redness, pain and swelling of the face or around the eyes, dehydration.
  • If you have chronic sinusitis, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. In some cases, surgery is used to improve the quality of life.

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