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Sinusitis - Home Treatment

Home treatment may relieve symptoms of pain and pressure associated with short-term (acute) sinusitis. Home treatment may improve drainage of mucus from the sinuses and prevent the need for antibiotics.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your mucus thin.
  • Apply moist heat (using a hot, damp towel or gel pack) to your face for 5 to 10 minutes, several times a day.
  • Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water. Avoid extremely cool, dry air. Consider using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air in your home.
  • Use saltwater nasal washes (saline lavage or irrigation) to help keep the nasal passages open and wash out mucus and bacteria. You can purchase saline nose drops or sprays at a pharmacy or make your own saline solution at home. If you make saline at home, use distilled water or water that has been boiled and then cooled. People who have postnasal drip camera.gif and are around age 8 and older may also find it helpful to gargle often with warm salt water. This can help prevent a sore throat.
  • If you need to blow your nose, do it gently. Forceful blowing may force thick mucus back into your sinuses and block them. Keep both nostrils open when blowing your nose.
  • Avoid alcohol. It causes swelling of the tissue lining the nose and sinuses.
  • Try over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain or stuffy nose. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not use the medicine longer than the label says.

If you have chronic sinusitis, you'll probably need to continue the above home treatment measures for a long period of time to keep your sinuses clear.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 24, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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