A sinus infection is caused when you develop mucus in your sinuses. Now, what are the sinuses? Well, these are hollow cavities inside the skull. We have got sinus cavities in the cheekbones, forehead, in between the eyes and also behind the nose. Most of these cavities drain to the nose via a little channel called “middle meatus”. Now, the sinuses are usually packed with air, but sometimes, mostly due to cold or allergies, we experience heavy mucus buildup inside these cavities and it leads to sinus infection or sinusitis.
There are two major kinds of sinus infections. One is acute sinus infection which lasts for up to 4 weeks. The other one is chronic sinus infection which usually takes a more severe form and may last up to 8 weeks.
Symptoms of sinus infection
There are myriad of symptoms of sinus infection or sinusitis. Some of the major signs are:
Pain & pressure in sinus cavities
This is one of the most inevitable symptoms of a sinus infection. When the sinus cavities are trapped with mucus fluid, air can’t pass properly and it leads to chronic pain & pressure. You will feel the pain in your cheeks as well as in the areas around the nose and eyes. You may also feel pain in your forehead. Put simply, you will experience severe pain & pressure in all your sinus cavities.
Sinus infection can lead to viral infection (or even fungal or bacterial infections) in the sinus cavities. It typically happens when germs like viruses, fungi or bacteria start growing in the mucus trapped in the sinuses. The increasing fluid buildup, along with germs, leads to severe congestion.
This point is in continuation with the point we have discussed above. Virus, fungus or bacteria present in mucus can alter its color. These germs can turn the mucus from white to bright yellow or green phlegm.
A runny nose is another common symptom of sinus infection. It is usually accompanied by congestion and hoarseness in voice.
Sinus infections result in mucus & fluid buildup in your throat. As a result, the throat starts to feel full and also experiences itching. It eventually leads to constant coughing which often gets uncontrollable for many.
Fever is often an indispensable symptom of sinus infection. You may experience higher temperature readings if the condition is chronic. Along with fever, the patient will come down with severe muscle aches, exhaustion and chills from time to time.
If you experience stuffy nose along with bad breath, you have probably got a serious sinus infection. The mucus that fills up the sinus cavity carries a foul odor which leads to smelly breath.
Severe pressure in the sinus cavities can lead to pain in the gums. It eventually results in acute toothache and pain in the mouth. The pain is more if you have a chronic sinus infection.
Sinus infection causes severe body pain and drains your energy. As a result you experience serious fatigue and exhaustion. Since blocked sinuses lead to difficulty in breathing, the body tries to pull in more energy to inhale and exhale. And you end up being tired.
Home remedies for treating sinus infection
Before you rush to a doctor for antibiotics, it’s better to check out the home remedies. These are not only economical but have also proven to be very effective in treating sinus issues.
Have a steam session
Steam vapor will help to thin down the mucus in your sinus cavities. When the mucus starts thinning, it becomes even easier to rinse it out of your nasal passageway. You can try this mix while taking the steam
Mix of Chinese Chastetree & water
Chastetree is one of the best multi-functional herbs and has proven to be an effective remedy for muscle pain, body ache, anxiety and asthma issues. The herb is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties and hence can be a great medicine for healing sinus infection. You will just need to take some chastetree leaves and boil them in water. Then, inhale the steam. Make sure to keep your head covered while taking the steam.
Go for pungent spices & veggies
Some pungent spices & veggies are rich in inflammatory properties which are excellent for treating sinus infection at home. The best examples are cayenne pepper, horseradish and onion. These herbs work to break up and thin out the mucus buildup inside the sinus cavities so that you can easily drain it out through your nose.
Go for ginger tea
This is one of the best home remedies for sinus infection.
Chop a piece of ginger into fine pieces and then drop them in a freshly brewing tea. Consume it as soon as possible as it will loosen the stuffy mucus in your clogged sinuses as well as calm down sinus pressure. The best part is you will experience instant relief from sinus pain with a warm ginger tea.
Drink plenty of water
Water is very important to keep the body hydrated. If your body suffers from dehydration, it will only harden the mucus and it will be even more difficult to drain it out. Thus, drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water everyday which will keep the sinus cavities moist. It will eventually thin the mucus so that it’s easier to get out of your system.
Use a warm compress at least 3 times a day which will be helpful to keep your sinus cavities moist. You will apply the compress on your nose as well as on all the areas that hold the sinuses.
Inhale garlic paste
Garlic is an excellent decongestant, antiviral, antifungal as well as antibacterial properties. It relieves cold symptoms and also boosts the immune system. No wonder, garlic is one of the most effective home remedies to treat sinusitis.
You can make a garlic paste and inhale to get relief from serious sinus infection. To do that, take garlic (5 cloves) and water (2 teaspoons). Crush the garlic cloves and make a fine paste. Now, mix water into it. After you are done with the blend, simply bring it closer to your nose & inhale deeply.
However, if the problem still persists, you should see the doctor immediately.