At-Home Treatments for Sinus Infections
Acute sinus infections may require antibiotics, decongestant pills, mucous thinner medications (such as over the counter guafenesin), or nasal sprays (steroid sprays) to reduce inflammation. Antihistamines are usually avoided as they tend to dry up and thicken the mucous, making it harder for the secretions to be cleared out of the sinuses. Avoiding infections is one of the best approaches.
Many people benefit from various sinus rinses, usually containing saline with various commercial products out that may contain xylitol, menthol, or eucalyptus.
Some tips on avoiding sinus infections include:
- Minimize your exposure to colds and other infections through consistent hand washing and avoiding sharing items that can spread the virus, such as wash cloths, towels, or utensils.
- If you have allergies, try to keep them under control with allergy shots or by avoiding known allergens.
- Keep you flu shot current each year.
- Stay healthy by eating right and exercising. Drink plenty of water.
- When you do have a cold, run a humidifier to keep plenty of moisture in your sinuses to help them drain.
- Try to avoid air pollutants such as tobacco smoke.
Serious causes for concern are severe headache, neck stiffness or swelling/redness of the eye. If these issues start then give a call immediately or report to the emergency room.
If you are dealing with a sinus infection on your own for more than about 2 weeks, please give us a call (or your primary doctor) so we can get you evaluated and get some stronger treatments started!