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Sinus Infection (cont.)

Sinus Infection Home Remedies

Home care can help open the sinuses and alleviate their dryness.

Promote drainage:

  • Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages such as hot tea.
  • Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of hot water (not while the water is on the stove) or using a steam vaporizer. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.

Thin the mucus: Expectorants are drugs that help expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses. The most common is guaifenesin (contained in Robitussin and Mucinex). Over-the-counter (OTC) sinus medications can also combine decongestants and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms and eliminate the need for the use of many prescription medications. Read label ingredients to find the right combination of ingredients or ask the pharmacist.

Relieve pain: Pain medication such as ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve) can reduce pain and inflammation. These medications help to open the airways by reducing swelling. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used for pain and fever but does not help with the inflammation.

Nasal saline irrigation: There are several methods of nasal irrigation, and a popular remedy is the Neti-pot - a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin's magic lamp.

  • Some ENT physicians recommend nasal irrigation with a Neti-pot to help clear crusting in the nasal passages. Many people with chronic sinus symptoms use the Neti-pot to alleviate congestion, facial pain and pressure, and reduce the need for antibiotics and nasal sprays.
  • Before using nasal saline irrigation, discuss it with your physician.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014

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