When it comes to sinus infections, it's hard to say what's worse — the relentless nose blowing, the unbearable pressure and pain in your face, or the postnasal drip that makes it impossible to sleep. Antibiotics used to be the go-to method for dealing with the misery, but now doctors are thinking twice since research shows antibiotics don't ease patients' symptoms.
You don't have to suffer through a sinus infection. There are many natural, yet effective remedies to help relieve your symptoms so give these a try.
- Get steamy: The heat and steam from a hot shower does wonders for congestion and sinus pressure. Close the bathroom door and run the shower on hot for a few minutes, staying in the bathroom to breathe in the steam. Lower the temp and hop in, allowing the hot water to gently massage your sensitive sinuses. If you don't want to get in the shower, you can also place a towel over your head, and lean over a pot of hot water, breathing in the vapor.
- Try a Neti pot: To loosen up mucus and help it make its way out of your sinuses, give a Neti pot a try. Follow the instructions, adding noniodized salt and warm sterile (not tap) water to the pot. Mix it well, place the spout in one nostril, lean over the sink, and gently flush out allergens and mucus. If you're really clogged, try using it after a hot shower. If this freaks you out, use an over-the-counter nasal saline spray instead.
- Hot compress: If the pressure is getting to you, run a washcloth under hot water, lie down and place the folded hot compress over your eyes. Gently press along your sinuses, massaging the sensitive areas to loosen up mucus.
- Sleep with a humidifier: If your symptoms are worse at night, keep your head slightly propped up with some pillows and sleep with a cool mist humidifier on your night stand. A night of breathing in moist air can greatly improve symptoms in the morning.
- Drink up: Make sure you're drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated can help loosen thick mucus, so you're able to blow your nose effectively.
- Get sweaty: If you're feeling up for it, do a high-intensity cardio workout that gets you hot and sweaty, preferably on your own so you don't risk getting others sick. This is a great way to get congestion relief.
- Reduce triggers: If you suffer from chronic sinus infections, it may be allergy-related, and worth a trip to an allergist.