Sinusitis Treatments and Home Remedies
Painkillers. Many people with sinusitis take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to ease discomfort. Follow the instructions on the label, and don't take them for more than 10 days.
. These meds lower the amount of mucus in the sinuses. Some are available as nasal sprays. Others are pills. If you use nasal sprays for more than 3 days, they may actually make you more congested. Follow the instructions on the label.
Allergy medicines. Many cases of sinusitis are due to uncontrolled allergies. If you've never been diagnosed with allergies, it might be worth doing some allergy testing to see if you have them. If you do, medication (like antihistamines) and avoiding your triggers will help. Another option is to get allergy shots, a long-term treatment that gradually makes you less sensitive to the things that set off your symptoms.
Steroids. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe inhaled steroids to bring down the swelling in the sinus membranes. For tough cases of chronic sinusitis, you may need to take steroids by mouth.
Surgery. Occasionally, if you have chronic sinusitis or acute sinusitis that keeps coming back, an operation is the best choice. The surgeon can remove blockages and enlarge the sinus passages, which makes it easier for them to drain.
While medicines can help, many cases of sinusitis -- perhaps as many as 2 out of 3 -- go away on their own without any medical treatment. If you often get the condition, many of these same approaches will help you prevent it, too.
Humidify. Use a humidifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time. Follow the instructions for regular cleaning.
Breathe in steam vapors. You can either run the shower and sit in the bathroom, or breathe in steam from a bowl of warm (but not too hot) water. The steam vapors ease congested and swollen nasal passages.
Use warm heat. Put a warm, wet towel on your face. It can take off some of the pressure.
Try a nasal saline solution. While they don't contain medicine (saline is salt water), they can help keep your nasal passages moist.