A sinus infection usually occurs due to a virus, but it can also be caused by bacteria or fungi. It is often triggered by a cold that causes swelling and inflammation of the sinuses and leads to a buildup of mucus, thereby blocking the sinuses.
Sinuses are hollow, air-filled sacs behind the cheekbones and forehead that, when filled with fluid, harbor germs giving rise to infection.
Other conditions that can cause a sinus infection include allergies, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and exposure to pollutants and tissue irritants like over-the-counter nasal sprays, cigarette smoke and cocaine.
Common symptoms of sinus infections include a headache, facial tenderness, pain or pressure, nasal stuffiness, discolored nasal discharge, a sore throat, cough and fever. Some people may experience increased sensitivity or a headache when leaning forward.
To relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection, you can use some easy natural home remedies. Also, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for a sinus infection.
1. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation is highly beneficial for sinus infections as it helps clear out mucus and other debris from your sinuses. Plus, it keeps them moist.
- Mix one teaspoon of sea salt and one-half teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in a glass of distilled warm water. Use this solution for nasal irrigation using a bulb syringe or other irrigation device. Do this once a day for a few days until you get relief. Do not use it more often than daily as it may irritate the mucus membranes.
- Alternatively, mix one-half to one teaspoon of pickling or canning salt and a pinch of baking soda in a cup of lukewarm distilled or previously boiled water. Use this solution for nasal irrigation. You can use it two or three times a day for about a week.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat sinus infections. Taking apple cider vinegar at the start of colds, flu or allergies can help prevent a sinus infection from developing.
- Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water.
- Mix in one teaspoon of honey.
- Drink this solution three times a day for five days.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is an effective home remedy to open up and drain the sinuses. Also, it boosts immunity, reduces swelling and inflammation, and improves circulation.
- Mix one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water. Drink it two or three times a day.
- Alternatively, you can eat a mixture of one teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and honey a few times a day.
Use either of these remedies for a few days or until you see improvement.
Onion works as an excellent decongestant to open up your sinuses. Plus, it contains sulfur compounds that fight bacteria and fungi.
- Chop an onion into small pieces and put the pieces in a pot of water.
- Let it boil for about five minutes, and then inhale the vapors for a few minutes.
- Go, strain the liquid and drink it.
- Repeat a few a times a day for about a week or until the congestion clears.
Garlic works as a natural antibiotic to fight sinus infections caused by bacteria and viruses. It is particularly beneficial when the sinus infection is caused by bacteria. Garlic also has antifungal properties.
- Chop two or three garlic cloves, add them to a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam of this garlic-infused water for a few minutes. Repeat a few times daily until you get relief.
- You can also eat two to three fresh garlic cloves (preferably crushed) daily. Also include onion, garlic, cayenne pepper and horseradish in your soups and meals to help get rid of excess mucus.
Horseradish is another popular remedy for sinus infections as it helps remove mucus from the nasal passages. It also contains high levels of sulfur and works as a natural antibiotic.
- Put a pinch of freshly grated horseradish in your mouth.
- Hold it in your mouth until its flavor dissipates, and then swallow it.
- Repeat a few times a day for about a week or until the infection clears.