Lifestyle Magazine

Suffer From Sinus Infections? Here’s What You Can Do

March 7, 2019

Do You Suffer from Sinus Infections? Here’s what You Can Do

Happy girl in nature smelling flowers.

Sinus infections can be very uncomfortable. They can make your eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead feel swollen for several days or even weeks.

But first things first; what exactly are the sinuses?  Well, they are small cavities in the skull that are connected to the nostrils. Healthy sinuses are filled with air. However, when they become infected they swell, fill up with liquid and become blocked making it difficult to breath.

Other symptoms include:

  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Thick, discolored mucus
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Pain in the upper jaw and teeth
  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • A cough that gets worse at night
  • Bad breath

For most people, sinusitis is a temporary infection. For others, it lasts more than four weeks and doesn’t respond to treatment.

Some common causes of recurring sinus infections are allergies, a deviated septum, which is a shift in the nasal cavity, and nasal polyps, which are unwanted growths.

Treatment Options for Chronic Sinus Infections

Before you can get rid of sinusitis you need to identify the cause. If a viral infection is responsible for your sinusitis, antibiotics might not be effective. It’s best to see a doctor and refrain from Googling and self-diagnosing. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the following treatment options.

  1. Painkillers: Over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol and Advil can help to ease discomfort until the infection clears up. However, you shouldn’t take OTC painkillers for more than ten days. Also, don’t forget to follow the instructions on the label. If your sinus infection doesn’t clear up after a few days of taking pain killers, see a doctor.
  2. Allergy Medication: Since allergies can cause chronic sinusitis, getting tested and treated for allergies can clear up the infection. Antihistamines ease discomfort and provide short-term relief, whereas allergy shots make you less sensitive to allergens and may offer a long-term solution.
  3. Decongestants:  Decongestants work by clearing the nasal cavities of trapped mucus. They are available in pill and spray form. However, you shouldn’t use sprays for more than three days because they can make your symptoms worse.
  4. Antibiotics: Antibiotics will only work if your infection is bacterial. Therefore, see a doctor before attempting to treat a sinus infection with antibiotics.
  5. Surgery: If all other treatment options don’t work, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the blockages and enlarge the sinus passages.

Aside from medical treatment, lifestyle changes and home remedies can also be helpful. They include:

  • Drinking lots of fluids to thin the mucus and reduce blockage
  • Using a humidifier in the rooms where you spend most of your time
  • Using a warm towel compress, or breathe in warm steam, to relieve pressure
  • Chronic sinus infections can be painful and uncomfortable. However, there are more than a few treatment options available so don’t hesitate to see a doctor if your sinus infection doesn’t clear up in seven days.

Search by Month: