Sinus infections don’t just come with unpleasant symptoms; they can also get in the way of you living your life. According to The National Library of Medicine, there were up to 73 million restricted-activity days related to sinusitis during a one-year period in the United States.
The good news is there are several helpful at-home remedies to get yourself feeling better. However, it’s also important to know what mistakes to avoid!
What Causes a Sinus Infection?
A sinus infection (sinusitis) occurs when too much fluid builds up in your sinuses, and they become inflamed and infected. It’s often caused by a cold or similar virus. However, sinus infections can less commonly be bacterial or fungal as well.
Additionally, you may be more prone to sinus infections if you have:
- Allergies or asthma
- Structural problems like nasal polyps or a deviated septum
- Conditions that affect your immune system
Sinus Infection Symptoms
If you have sinusitis, you may experience some or all of the following:
- Nasal congestion
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Pressure or pain around the sinuses
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of smell
Three Treatment Methods To Avoid
Sinus infections can last weeks or even months in chronic cases, so it’s understandable to want to find methods to reduce your symptoms as fast as possible. However, make sure to avoid any of the following:
- Ingesting or putting essential oils up your nose. Some people find an essential oil like eucalyptus soothing when they are congested. However, most oils are too strong to be put on the skin, let alone directly into your nostrils. If you find the smell soothing, try putting a few drops in a bath or use a special diffuser to stream it into the air.
- Using tap water for nasal irrigation. Using salt water to help clear your sinus passages is an effective way to soothe and treat sinusitis. However, you must use water that’s been sterilized as opposed to water directly from your sink or shower, as you may be putting yourself at risk of being infected with a dangerous parasite. Instead, purchase saline sprays from Exton Pharmacy at Marchwood or other local drugstores, or use distilled water to eliminate your risk.
- Using steam that is too hot. Many people find warm mist an effective way to soothe the sinus passages. They do this by boiling water, placing it in a bowl, then tenting a towel over their head while leaning over the liquid. However, it’s important to wait a few minutes after boiling to let the water cool down and keep your face far enough away from the water to avoid burning yourself.
For more information on how to properly treat a sinus infection or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact Pinnacle ENT today.