The medical term for a sinus infection is rhinosinusitis. This infection is usually caused by a virus and results in inflammation, swelling or infection of the nasal cavities. Bacteria or fungus can also cause this infection but they are not common causes. There are several symptoms of sinusitis but the infection usually continues even when the symptoms of the upper respiratory system are gone so it is important to know how to cure a sinus infection.
Conditions like allergies, tooth infections and polyps may also contribute to sinus symptoms and pain. There are two types of sinusitis, chronic and acute. Acute sinusitis has a short duration of at least four weeks. This usually comes along with respiratory illnesses such as a cold. Chronic sinusitis has a longer duration. It usually stays for twelve weeks and can be recurring. The main characteristics of sinusitis are facial pain, congestion, and nasal discharge. Both acute and chronic sinusitis have similar symptoms, so the best way to be certain is to visit a doctor to know how to cure a sinus infection.
Symptoms of Sinus Infection
This is the most common symptom and the area of the pain is usually located in the sinus. There are different sinuses around your eyes and your nose and any of them could get infected. The swelling and inflammation cause dull pain in the sinuses. Other areas where you might feel pain includes, the forehead, around the nose, upper jaws or teeth. Sinus infection could also cause a headache.
2. Nasal discharge
A person who sinus is infected would blow his or her nose frequently due to the discharge coming from the nose. The color of this discharge could be yellow, green or cloudy. The discharges originate from the sinuses and drain out through the nasal passages. It might also go around the nose into the throat and gives a ticklish feeling, sore throat or an itch.
This is referred to like a post nasal drip and might cause cough sessions at night or morning. It could also affect the voice making it sound hoarse.
3. Nasal congestion
The infected sinuses can restrict your nose breathing because sinus infection causes the nasal passages and sinuses to swell. This would lead to congestion of the nasal and your ability to taste or smell properly would be affected.
4. Sinus headaches
Due to the relentless swelling and pressure of the sinuses your head might ache. It can also cause earaches, jaw pains, cheek pains or dental pain. Headaches caused by sinuses are usually worse early in the day because of the accumulation of the fluid through the night. A change in the environment’s barometric pressure can also worsen the headache.
5. Cough and throat irritation
As the sinus discharge drains into the throat it causes irritation which could last for an extended period. This could also result in an annoying and persistent cough which worsens at dusk or dawn. Sleeping becomes difficult and the best way to sleep will be in an upright position which will help decrease the intensity and frequency of the cough.
6. Hoarse voice and sore throat
Drip from your nose could cause aching and raw throat. It might begin like a tickle but it gets worse eventually. If the sinus infection stays longer then the dripping mucus will begin to inflame and irritate your throat and this can cause a very painful sore throat and makes your voice hoarse.
When To See A Doctor
You should visit a doctor if the nasal discharge, fever, facial pain or congestion persists for more than eleven days or if it keeps recurring. While fever is not the typical symptom of acute or chronic sinusitis it is still a possibility, the chronic infection could be caused by an inherent condition and would require special treatment.
How To Cure Sinus Infection
Over the counter drugs
Oxymetazoline is a decongestant spray for the nose which can help to relieve infections of the sinus for a short period of time. However, the use of this should not extend for three days. If used for a longer period of time, it might cause nasal congestion to come back or worsen the symptoms.
Sprays like triamcinolone, mometasone or fluticasone can be used for a longer duration without the risk of recurring symptoms. Some of these sprays can be purchased over the counter. Other medications that contain decongestant and antihistamine such as Sudafed, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin can help with sinusitis.
People with high blood pressure, sleep difficulties, glaucoma, and prostate issues are not advised to take decongestants so it’s better to consult a doctor first before getting these medications.
Nasal irrigation is effective in treating sinus infection. If you are going to use tap water then it’s better to boil it and allow the water to cool, you can also use the water filtration technique. There are other options like using premixed solutions or distilled water. You can make nasal solutions yourself by mixing half tsp salt with a cup of warm water and half tsp of baking soda.
Use a nasal sprayer, a neti pot or a rinsing system to apply the solution to your nose. The baking soda or saline mixture helps to clear the discharge of the sinuses, flush allergies and relieve dryness.
Amoxicillin is one antibiotic that is strictly used in the treatment of acute sinus infections which has defied all other forms of treatment. Antibiotics should only be used upon a doctor’s recommendation. Side effects of antibiotics include rash, stomach issues, or diarrhea. If antibiotics are misused or overused it could result in superbugs, a bacteria that leads to severe infections and can not be treated easily.
In talking about how to cure a sinus infection, we can’t forget to mention the use of herbs. This is mostly used in Europe and it is effective for both chronic and acute sinusitis. The main herbal product used is called GeloMyrtol, a capsule made up of some essential oils. Sinupret is also used, it is a mixture of cowslip, elderflower, verbena, sorrel, and gentian root. You should not mix herbs yourself in order to avoid side effects like diarrhea or allergic reactions.