The common cold sometimes turns into a sinus infection, or sinusitis. A sinus infection that becomes severe, or lasts for more than two weeks, needs a physician’s assessment. There are household remedies to treat a mild sinus infection, however. And if your physician prescribes medication, the addition of home remedies can lessen symptoms and speed recovery.
Drink plenty of fluids, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) advises. Fluids can help loosen congestion in the sinuses. Drink at least 64 oz. of various fluids as a goal, according to dietitian Joanne Larsen. Mayo Clinic staff suggests honey-lemon tea, fruit juice and chicken broth to help restore lost fluid and clear congestion.
Steam and Compresses
Try steam and a warm compress on your inflamed sinuses. Breathe in the warm vapor by leaning over a bowl of hot water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Steam helps hydrate and drain mucus in your sinuses. A warm compress over your nose can soothe your sinus passages. You can also soothe a raw nose with petroleum jelly.
Rest from Stress
Rest so you can heal properly. Stay home from work and avoid your daily chores, and you will get better sooner, according to the CDC. If you return to the daily grind before you are completely healed, you risk getting a secondary infection, or making the sinus infection last longer.
Use a vaporizer or humidifier with a saline mist to help clear sinus passages. The Mayo Clinic says a saline mist can help soothe inflamed sinuses. Saline nasal drops can also help drain and soothe your sinuses. Be sure the water and filter in your humidifier or vaporizer are clean.
Vitamin C doesn’t prevent a cold or sinus infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, but it can speed your recovery. Take up to 6 g of the vitamin daily when you are sick.
About this Author
Richard Nilsen writes features on business and living topics for The Leader-Herald newspaper in upstate New York. He is also a mental health consultant, and has directed a mentoring agency.