Few things are as miserable as a sinus infection. Your head feels like it’s being squeezed in a vise, your nose is congested, and your throat feels raw. Antibiotics are the standard course of treatment for a sinus infection. However, there are many home remedies for sinus infection that can relieve your congestion and other symptoms. In fact, most sinus infections clear up without prescriptions of any kind.
The following remedies can help you get relief and recover from a painful sinus infection. Just remember that this is not a definitive list. If you have a serious infection, you should still seek a doctor’s care to avoid potentially serious complications.
#1. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is one of the most effective home remedies for sinus infection and congestion. It’s also easy to do. This process involves flushing out your sinuses with a saline solution and a neti pot or bulb syringe.
Create your own saline solution by dissolving 1 teaspoon of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda in 1 pint of filtered or distilled water. Do not use tap water or table salt. Standing over a sink, squirt the saline solution into one nostril while your head is tilted so it can flow out of your other nostril. This process can flush away bacteria that can contribute to an infection.
Just make sure you are using your neti pot as recommended. These products are safe when used properly, but they must be used only with sterile or distilled water and sterilized between uses. Never use tap water as it has low levels of bacteria and amoebas that are safe to ingest but may cause a life-threatening infection in the sinuses.
Bromelain is a natural extract made from pineapple stems with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This solution has been used by fighters for years to reduce swelling and research backs up that it can be effective at reducing nasal passage swelling. According to one study, bromelain helped people who suffered from chronic rhinosinusitis or sinus inflammation.
Talk to your doctor before taking bromelain. It can interfere with certain medications, including ACE inhibitors and blood thinners. As one of the most popular home remedies for sinus infection, bromelain should be taken as a standard dose of 200 to 800 mg between meals.
#3. Steam Your Sinuses
Steam is an effective way to moisten sinuses and relieve congestion. The easiest way to steam your sinuses clear is taking a hot shower.
The best way to steam your sinuses is filling a sink basin with very hot water. Add a few drops of methol or eucalyptus oil. Lean over the sink and drape a towel over your head to help retain the steam. This will have a more concentrated effect than taking a hot shower.
#4. Alternate Cold and Warm Compresses
One of the best home remedies for sinus infection is also the simplest: switching between warm and cold compresses. Warmth can loosen secretions in the nasal passages. However, alternating between cold and warmth is best for relieving sinus pressure and pain.
Recline somewhere comfortable with a hot damp washcloth across your sinuses for a few minutes. Afterward, replace the washcloth with a cold compress for about a minute. Alternate a few times and repeat up to several times a day.
Capsaicin, the primary component in hot peppers responsible for their heat, has long been used as a remedy for arthritis pain. Research also suggests it can help clear the sinuses and relieve sinititus symptoms.
Capsaicin is one of the most versatile home remedies for sinus infection as it can be added to your diet or used as a spray as needed. It’s believed to work by reducing the body’s pain perception. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve sinusitis symptoms and infection.
According to one study, using a capsaicin nasal spray is safe and an effective way to treat non-allergic rhinitis, or nasal inflammation and pain. Taking cayenne pepper capsules during meals may also help clear up a sinus infection.
#6. Avoid Triggers
There are many things that can trigger sinus pain and worsen an infection. For instance, you should avoid over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays. These can offer relief for a few days but make pressure in your sinuses worse.
You may also notice an increase in pain and pressure with alcohol, diving, and swimming. To reduce exposure to allergens that can worsen symptoms, clean your dehumidifier and wash your bedding.
#7. Use a Humidifier
Increasing the humidity in your room is an effective treatment for sinus infection and congestion. That’s because thick, dry mucus in the sinuses can block drainage and trap bacteria and viruses. Increasing the humidity in your air increases the amount of fluid that enters your body and nasal passages to thin out and clear mucus. Using a humidifier is considered good for sinus health, especially in the winter when the air gets cold and dry.
- ULTRASONIC COOL MIST TECHNOLOGY: Safely moisturizes the air for up to 16 hours of continuous operation so you can breathe easy and get more restful sleep | High and low speed settings make it easy to adjust mist direction and speed to fit your comfort level
- 1.5-LITER WATER TANK: Provides ideal coverage for bedrooms, offices, and other medium-sized rooms
- OPTIONAL NIGHT LIGHT: Offers soothing glow for maximum relaxation
- AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF: Turns humidifier off when water level is low or the water tank is removed
- WHAT YOU GET: Humidifier, AC power adapter, disk cleaning brush, user manual, industry-leading 2 Year Warranty, caring customer support 7 days a week, and the peace of mind that comes from a trusted brand with millions of customers worldwide.
- Quiet Operation for Bedroom Use: Ultrasonic humidifiers are incredibly silent, produces less than 38 dB of noise; perfect for your baby and a disturbance-free sleep at night
- 4L Tank Capacity, Works for All Night: Over a gallon of water lasts for 12-30 hour working time on a full tank; designed to humidify the air in rooms up to 10-30 m² / 107-322 ft², bedroom, nursery, office and so on
- Informative LED display: Built-in Humidistat tells you the current RH; Easily choose between three mist levels; Set your desired humidity level, 40-60% is best
- Nightlight & Sleep Mode: Choose to turn on the nightlight, or enter sleep mode to shut off LED screen for a discreet sleep at night
- Safe to Use: Automatically shuts off when water runs out; Microporous cartridge filters the water from micro-organisms and bad odor, we recommend you change filters every 4-6 months
- FIGHT HUMIDIFIER MOLD & BACTERIA: This tank cleaner reduces up to 99% of odor causing bacteria, unsightly mold, & algae growth versus untreated humidifier surfaces. It contains no harsh chemicals.
- CONTINUOUS CLEANING: This cartridge features a patented antimicrobial that continuously works to inhibit the growth of bacteria & mold as well as helps prevent the buildup of slime in the water.
- SAFE & PROVEN ANTIMICROBIAL: The Protec Antimicrobial Cleaning Cartridge uses the same antimicrobial that has been used for years in drinking water filters to prevent objectionable odors & tastes.
- LONG LASTING: This cartridge keeps cleaning for 30 days & will work in most humidifiers, vaporizers, & steamers. Just drop it in the tank & let it get to work removing bacteria, mold, & slime!
- GENTLE CLEANING ACTION: This tank cleaner contains no harsh chemicals, making the cleaning action just as gentle as water on your humidifier surfaces & components.
There are several types of humidifiers you can use in your home. A central humidifier is built into your AC system for whole-home treatment, or you can use a portable model in your bedroom.
For the best effect, use the humidifier with distilled water only. Don’t allow your indoor humidity to exceed 50%, which can increase mold spores and dust mites in the air. Make sure the humidifier is cleaned regularly to keep mold and bacteria from growing in the water.
Most sinus infections clear up on their own. The American Academy of Otolaryngology also recommends using home remedies for sinus infection as part of a “wait and see” approach. That’s because antibiotics are only effective in about 2% of cases. If your symptoms don’t improve or you develop a fever, it’s a sign you should see a doctor.
What’s your favorite remedy for sinus infection and pressure? Leave a comment and share your thoughts, including techniques that do and do not work for you.