Have you ever dealt with a loong persistent cold that felt like it would never go away? Chances are you were dealing with a sinus infection which has the same symptoms, but lasts longer than a cold. The air-filled cavities surrounding the nose are essential for clearing out bacteria and dirt and the infections happen when the sinuses are trapped with mucus.
This makes for the perfect moist conditions for bacteria, viruses, and in some cases even fungi to be trapped inside and thrive. The infection can range from acute to chronic, and it usually gets better on its own with time. However, it’s not always easy to deal with for more than a week when you’ve got symptoms like infected nasal discharge, which can cause sore throat and cough at night, followed by congestion and sometimes even facial pain that leads to headaches which can rob you of your sleep.
In most cases, doctors suggest giving it time instead of resorting to antibiotics, but it’s good to know there are things you can do to ameliorate the symptoms, improve the quality of life and recover faster.
1. Essential Oils
These oils are a popular natural treatment that’s been known to humankind for centuries. Essential oils for sinus infection are helpful for relieving congestion, reducing inflammation and pain and promoting sinus discharge.
Some of the oils known to help the most are peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, but if you’d like to reap the benefits of more than one there are some blends available in stores, like the mixture of peppermint with lime, lemongrass and grapefruit. To be sure what you use is of quality and would do your health good, it’s necessary to check whether the oils are pure and made of organic ingredients.
There are several ways in which you can use them – through inhaling, diffusing or adding them in the bath. Inhaling is the simplest way to do so, and you’ve got the option to inhale directly from the bottle, on a tissue (mind you though, don’t get the oils on the skin because it might cause irritation), or through steam by adding a few drops in a bowl of boiling water and covering your head with a towel.
Diffusers is helpful for diffusing the oils into the air. They double as air purifiers as the whole rooms can be filled with the aromas, yet if you’d like to make things more relaxing, add a few drops of essential oils for sinus infection in the bath and soak up. In case you want to use them directly on the skin, remember they are pure oils and must be diluted first with a carrier oil in the likes of coconut, almond or sunflower.
2. Neti Pot
If you don’t want to reach for OTC medicine to treat the symptoms, you should to give nasal irrigation a try. To be able to do it like a pro (think Amy from The Big Bang Theory), get yourself a neti pot and fill it up with saline solution and distilled water. Don’t use tap water unless it’s boiled and cooled off as to prevent any bacteria or parasites from entering your nose.
Tilt the head to an angle of 45 degrees over the sink, place the spout of the pot in the nostril and start pouring while breathing through the mouth and you’ll see the liquid coming out of the other nostril. Once you’re done, repeat with the other nostril and make sure to sanitise the pot after every use, again with distilled or boiled water, to prevent any contamination.
You hear this all the time, it’s important to stay hydrated so as to help with the bodily functions, but you might not know that hydration is also helpful when it comes to clearing the congestion as it loosens the mucus. That’s why it’s essential to drink up as much water as you can on a daily basis, and don’t pass on herbal teas either, or the age-old remedy, broth. Yes, grandma does know best!
4. Warm Compression
Warmth comes in handy when treating facial pain while at the same time it’s also useful for clearing out the nasal passages, along with essential oils for sinus infection, nasal irrigation and hydration. All you have to do is soak a cloth in hot water, squeeze and twist to remove the liquid and place it over the affected facial areas.
If you get a fever higher than 38°C or the infection lasts longer than ten days and doesn’t seem to get any better with these solutions, then you must consult a doctor.