Sinus infection or Sinusitis is a common disease caused by a growth of a pathogenic microorganism within the sinus. These microorganisms, which may be fungus, bacteria or virus, when they grow within the sinus, cause blockage of the sinus ostium and inflammation of the sinus.
Sinus infection is usually caused by any object or factor that affects free flow of air within the sinus. Anything that blocks the sinus openings or causes a swelling of the nasal passage tissue or tissue lining is classified as a sinus infection.
Sinus infection may be made even worse by the inability of mucous to flow out of the sinus. The blockage may allow bacteria or viruses to grow and thrive within the sinus thereby causing more problems. There are two different ways to classify sinus infection; time based classification and level of inflammation.
Under the time based classification, sinus infection can be categorized into:
- Chronic Sinus Infection: When sinus infection lasts for more than 90 days, it is considered to be chronic. Chronic sinus infection can be further classified into allergic fungal sinusitis and nasal polyps.
- Acute Sinus Infection: It is also known as acute bacterial rhinosinusitis. This type of sinusitis lasts for about 30 days.
- Sub-acute Sinus Infection: Sub acute sinus infection is sinus infection that lasts for more than 30 days but less than 90 days.
Sinus infection can also be classified into infected sinusitis and noninfectious sinusitis.
Sinus infections is usually cured by using antibiotics which may affect the natural balance of bacteria in the body however, there are safer natural remedies for sinus infections.
- Water: The first thing you would need when suffering from sinus infection is water. Water plays a great role in alleviating the symptoms by helping to loosen up the mucous in order to enable free flow out of the airways. During this period, you should make water your favorite, if not your only drink. Stay away from drinks that may further irritate the system like alcohol, soda, sugary beverages and caffeine.
- Cayenne Pepper or Horseradish: These two spices can perform wonders for your sinuses by acting as a mucus dissolving elixir. To use cayenne pepper or horseradish as a cure for sinus infection, you should mix a teaspoon of horseradish or cayenne pepper in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and drink it up.
- Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil can also be used to break up thick mucus and relieve the nasal passages. To use eucalyptus oil as a natural remedy for sinus infection, put a few drops in hot water and drape a large towel over your head as you inhale the steam. You should do this at least once a day till you become relieved.
- Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil works just like eucalyptus oil. You can also use it as steam oil for relief of the nasal passages and sinuses.
- Salt water: Another very effective remedy for sinus infection is the salt water rinse. Salt water would help to get rid of bacteria and other contaminants in the nasal cavity. You may use a Neti pot for this or simply buy a nasal spray from your pharmacy.
- Grapefruit seed extract; Grapefruit seed extract has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight bacteria that cause inflammation. You can either drink it as tea or use a nasal spray made from grapefruit seed extract.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Every health conscious individual should have a bottle of pure, undiluted apple cider vinegar at home because of its numerous health benefits. Relieving symptoms of sinus infection is only one out of the numerous things apple cider vinegar does. When you add about three tablespoons to a cup of hot water and drink three times a day, you would notice a gradual decongestion of the nasal passages and better flow of mucus from the nasal passages.
- Ginger root: Stomach upset is a very common side effect of sinus infection. However, this can be relieved by drinking hot gingerroot tea. Gingerroot tea is also very effective for clearing up the nasal passages.
- Turmeric Root: Turmeric root contains an anti-inflammatory substance known as curcumin. It also a natural antioxidant and can help to unclog your nasal passages.
- Warm Compress: You can also try applying a warm compress over your face as a way to keep the nasal tissues moist and relieve sinus pain.
- Bromelain: Bromelain is a protein substance found in the stem of pineapples. It helps to reduce swelling of nasal passages and helpful for curing acute sinusitis.
- Garlic: Garlic also contains anti-inflammatory properties and can help to soothe the sinuses and clear your blocked nasal passages.