Sinus infections can range from mild to severe. The body tries to fight the infection as best it can. A mild sinus infection may go away by itself with some non-medical treatments while a more severe infection may require medications and care from a doctor.
Medical sinus treatments
There are medical treatments that can be used to cure sinus infection. Some involve over the counter medications while others require prescription.
Start with over the counter medications for sinus cure. Many of these are also used for the treatment of allergies. They usually work by drying the sinuses and shrink the swelling. Take aspirin or acetaminophen for headache or facial pain. Nasal sprays may be helpful for short-term relief of a stuffy nose so that you can eat and sleep. They work by temporarily shrinking the nasal membranes but when they wear off the result is often worse than before. However it is important to note that nasal sprays can become addictive so you should limit their use to several days.
If there is no change in a few days to a week a doctor may treat it as an infection and may prescribe antibiotics. Always take the full course of antibiotics that were prescribed, even if you start to feel better. The infection can return if the antibiotics were not taken properly and if it does return antibiotics may not work on it.
Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases where the infection does not go away even with antibiotics. Chronic sinus infection may require the sinuses to be surgically drained. This is done as inpatient care at a hospital.
There are several non-medical treatments that can be effective against a sinus infection. These are most helpful when used at the onset of a sinus infection to help keep it from developing.
Nasal irrigation is often a suggested method of treatment for a sinus infection. This simple procedure is done at home and uses warm salt water to gently irrigate the sinus cavities. This naturally thins the mucous in the nasal passageways. Nasal irrigation systems are available at health food stores and consist of a small pot to fill with heated water. Some people say that performing nasal irrigation at the onset of a sinus infection can prevent it from worsening and help it to heal.
Herbal tea made with eucalyptus may be helpful in clearing a stuffy nose. Some herbs such as sandalwood and pine can be used as an effective inhalant to loosen phlegm. A warm water pack placed on the face can help to loosen thick mucous and make the face feel better.
Stress has been found to play a role in the severity of sinus infections. Learn to manage stress and relax, especially when you feel a bout of sinusitis coming on. Lavender is an herb known to help relaxation. When you feel a sinus infection coming on use a lavender pillow or spray lavender infused water on your bed linens.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids especially water. Water helps assist the body in cleansing itself and flushes out excess bacteria. Keep the home humidified. Dry air causes the nose to dry and any mucous in the nasal cavities to remain stagnant. Stagnant mucous leads to infection.
Refrain from smoking. Smoking can cause the mucous membranes to dry even more than usual and can facilitate more frequent infections. Stay away from second hand smoke as well as this can also produce the same result. People who smoke also have lowered immune systems so take a multivitamin that includes vitamin C.
Knowing the symptoms and getting early treatment can help to cure sinus infection. If you believe you have a sinus infection that has not improved in several days you should see a doctor. He can determine the severity of the sinus infection and prescribe antibiotics to help clear the infection more quickly.