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Last Updated: Jun 16, 2024

9 Ways to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection, Plus Tips for Prevention

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Dr. Sbv Chandra SekharENT Specialist • 16 Years Exp.MBBS, MS-ENT, DNB
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What is Sinus Infection?

Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which are air-filled cavities surrounding the nose. 

This inflammation can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, or from allergies and environmental irritants like smoke. 

What are the signs and symptoms of Sinus Infection?

The most common symptoms of sinus infection include facial pain/pressure, nasal congestion, nasal discharge (thick yellow/greenish), decreased sense of smell, sore throat, bad breath, and headache. Other more serious symptoms may include fever, chills, and toothache.

What are possible complications of Sinus Infection? 

The most common complications of sinus infections include:

  • Middle ear infections: Infection from a sinus infection can spread to the eustachian tube and cause an ear infection. Symptoms include earache, fever and loss of balance.
  • Intracranial abscess: Bacteria from the sinuses can spread to areas around the brain causing an accumulation of pus in the skull which may result in confusion, fever and a terrible headache.
  • Meningitis: If bacteria reach beyond the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord, meningitis can occur with symptoms such as severe headaches or neck stiffness along with chills or vomiting.
  • Eye problems: Swelling around the eyes on one side caused by a severe sinus infection which can result in vision loss in extreme cases has occurred in rare cases due to a blocked tear duct resulting from mucous buildups behind swollen tissues within the nose or sinuses.
  • Sepsis: Sinus infections are sometimes capable of entering into blood circulation leading to sepsis (widespread infection), resulting in organ failure and possibly death if not treated properly with antibiotics as soon as possible after diagnosis is made.

9 Ways to Get Rid of a Sinus Infection, Plus Tips for Prevention

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids—water is best—to flush out your sinuses and help thin mucus.
  • Use a Humidifier: This can help loosen congestion in your nasal passageways, making it easier to breathe and to get rid of the infection more quickly.
  • Steam Inhalation: This helps break up mucus, reduce inflammation, and ease swelling in the nasal passages.
  • Treat Allergies: If allergies are causing (or contributing) to your sinus infection, you may need to take an antihistamine or other over-the-counter medications to reduce symptoms and clear up the infection more quickly.
  • Use A Neti Pot: The main purpose of a Neti Pot is to rinse out your nose and provide relief for nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies, or sinus infections.
  • Nasal Irrigation: This is another way of using saltwater or saline irrigation to flush out bacteria from your sinuses and get rid of a sinus infection more quickly.
  • You can buy kits for this type of treatment at most drugstores, health food stores, and online drugstores too!
  • Drink plenty of warm fluids like water, tea, or bone broth to keep your mucus thin and reduce congestion in your respiratory passages.
  • Drink ginger tea throughout the day to promote drainage of mucus from the sinuses.
  • Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to steaming hot water and inhale its fumes for 5 minutes to help open up the blocked sinuses.
  • To avoid getting a cold or sinus infection, wash your hands frequently, practice good hygiene habits, eat healthy foods, drink sufficient water, get adequate rest and exercise regularly to maintain strong immunity levels against diseases and infections.
  • Nasal drops: To help clear out your sinuses, use a mixture of sesame oil and saline water as nasal drops.
  • Herbs: Ginger, turmeric, licorice root, and holy basil teas can help reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of your lungs.
  • Diet: Eat a lot of leafy greens, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and other foods that are high in antioxidants and don't cause inflammation.
  • Sleep: Ensure that you get enough sleep and practise proper sleep hygiene in order to improve your immune system and lower your stress levels.
  • Yoga and pranayama: Practicing yoga and pranayama, often known as breathing exercises, can help improve respiratory function and lower levels of stress.
  • Milk products should be avoided because they have been shown to increase mucus production and make sinus symptoms much worse.

What are the surgical treatments for Sinus Infection?

 The most common surgical treatments for sinus infections are: 

  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus: Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is the primary procedure used to treat chronic sinus infections that do not respond to medication or antibiotics. It involves the use of a small camera together with specialised instruments to remove any blockages or tissue in the nasal passage and remove fluid buildup.
  • Image Guided Sinus Surgery: Image Guided Sinus Surgery is an advanced variation of FESS in which a computerized 3D imaging system provides detailed information on nasal anatomy. This allows the surgeon to work within tight spaces without damaging surrounding structures.
  • Balloon Sinuplasty: Balloon Sinuplasty is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery and utilises a tiny balloon inserted through the nostril to widen blocked passageways. The inflators deflate after creating larger pathways for mucous to drain from the infected areas Albeit this procedure has been reported with higher success rates than traditional surgeries at relieving symptoms of chronic sinuses infection it often does not cure it altogether .
  • Laser Assisted Surgery: Laser Assisted Surgery works similarly to FESS but uses laser energy instead of specialised tools to revise tissue in order to correct blocked passageways and restore normal breathing ability . It has been noted that laser surgery might require fewer follow up appointments , depending on individual cases.
  • Polyp Removal Surgery: Polyp Removal Surgery is used when polyps form within one’s nasal cavities and cause obstruction preventing normal passage flow resulting into chronic nostrils infections later on.. Generally this procedure involves making small incisions in order excision polyps while preserving healthy tissue during operation .
  • Caldwell-Luc technique: Caldwell-Luc technique makes use of inverted flap surgery where bone directly above affected area removed then connective tissue inverted and sutured here it remains until healing process completed after infected area healed new bone will grown back its place painlessly consolidating restored this way .

Best doctors to consult for Sinus Infection?

ENT specialist: An Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist is the best doctor to consult for a sinus infection. ENT specialists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to the ears, nose, throat, sinuses and other structures of the head. They can provide treatment options that can help reduce or eliminate sinus infection symptoms.

Allergist: Allergists specialize in diagnosing and treating allergies, which can often be a cause of repeated cases of sinus infections. Allergists may recommend medications that help reduce inflammation in the sinuses as well as lifestyle changes, such as avoiding allergens when possible.

Immunologist: Immunologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the immune system. Sinus infections can sometimes be caused by an underlying immune disorder or disease, so an immunologist may be able to identify any issues with the patient’s immune system. They may also be able to suggest treatments that address underlying issues as well as reduce symptoms associated with the sinus infection.

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