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How to Treat a Sinus Infection

By Richard Ferri ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Treat a Sinus Infection. Nearly everyone experiences sinus congestion and/or an infection at some point in their lives. Some people may get them on a frequent and chronic basis due to congenital malformations or allergies, but luckily, most people get them occasionally and can be treated and cured by following some simple guidelines.

The signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include, but are not limited to: headache, low grade fever, facial heaviness, ear fullness, fatigue, and feeling like your head is "very heavy"

Sinuses are balloon-like structures in the head that can become clogged with mucus, dander and/or a combination of foreign substances. By simply blowing your nose gently on a regular basis, and following it with a good hand washing, you may help prevent sinus problems from turning into infections. Some clinicians even recommend gentle "irrigation" with STERILE salt water on occasion if sinus congestion and/or infections are a recurring problem. Consult your health care provider before using this technique.

Take any prescribed antihistamine or decongestant to keep your sinus passages open and allow for the congestion to drain. Do not use most over-the-counter (OTC) nasal sprays for more than 3 days, since your sinuses may get "addicted" (dependent on them to remain open). Ask your health care provider before using any OTC nasal spray.

Apply warm, MOIST heat to help with sinus pressure and discomfort. Simply taking a nice warm shower and allowing the warm water to shower your face can make you feel better. Warm face packs also work well, but make sure the packs are just warm to the touch before placing them over your foreface (sinus area). Don't burn yourself!

Drink plenty of CLEAR fluids. In medicine we have a saying: "The secret to pollution is dilution!" Dilute all of the heavy mucus by drinking water, sports drinks, or other clear fluids. Avoid milk, creams, or other dairy products that can increase congestion.

Take the ENTIRE prescription as directed if your nurse practitioner or physician prescribes an antibiotic. You should NEVER EVER have "left over" antibiotics. When you stop taking antibiotics before the full course of treatment is over, all you are doing is allowing the bacteria that has infected you become stronger to that particular antibiotic, leading to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is a major health problem throughout the world, and people die from simple infection that no longer responds to therapy, because they now have a "super bug!" You here in America taking only partial doses of antibiotics contributes to super bug formation throughout the world.

Always, always, always WASH your hands before and after you blow your nose, take your medications or even think about it. Simple correct hand washing saves lives!

Warnings

As with any medical advice on the Internet, always consult your personal health care provider before implementing any health care action.

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