The flu season can be rough for many people. Not only does it put you out of commission for about two weeks, but it can also leave you vulnerable to other viruses and bacteria. If you find yourself catching a cold that seems to last longer than it should, you might have developed a sinus infection. This condition can lead to weeks of stuffy nose and coughing. What can you do to make this ordeal more comfortable?
Symptoms and strategies against sinusitis
A sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a common condition that affects 35 million Americans each year. It involves the inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses, which are small pockets above and behind the nose. This inflammation happens when the sinus gets infected by a virus or bacteria, causing a reaction that makes the linings swell. Mucus and pus will start to build up in the nose and sinus cavities, giving you the stuffy feeling.
Sinusitis has symptoms similar to the common cold. But it also possesses some unique symptoms that could help you determine if you have a sinus infection or not. These tell-tale signs include:
- Bad breath
- Stuffy or uncomfortable feeling around the eyes and forehead
- Pain or pressure in the face
- Congested airways
There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. While they share symptoms, they differ in the effective duration of the condition. Acute sinusitis only lasts for less than four weeks at a time. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, can have symptoms that last for more than half a year.
Sinus infections usually go away over time, but the discomfort may be too much for some people. Antibiotics are generally the recommended and go-to treatment for sinusitis. However, the use of these drugs can lead to a myriad of negative side effects. Thankfully, you can bypass these side effects altogether by using natural remedies to treat your sinus infection. You can save up on medical bills and get healthier in the process. (Related: Sinus infections – how to avoid and how to cure naturally.)
Here are some natural remedies to help ease your sinuses:
- Turmeric. This Indian spice contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its main active compound, curcumin. Curcumin is also antibacterial and antibiotic. These properties help loosen the nasal passages and can boost the immune system to prevent future infections.
- Cinnamon. This spice can be used for both cooking and medicinal purposes. Cinnamon can be used as a home remedy to fight sinus infection because of compounds like eugenol and linalool, which help eliminate bacteria.
- Apple cider vinegar. Vinegar has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes, and most variants of vinegar are well-equipped to fight off infections. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties that help eliminate microorganisms that cause infection. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, A, E, magnesium, calcium, as well as other nutrients that boost immunity.
- Garlic. Cut your medical costs by taking “nature’s antibiotic” instead. Garlic has a dense concentration of allicin, which is famous for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Garlic even boasts other health benefits that can further help you fight off infection. These benefits include improving heart health, boosting the immune system, treating coughs and colds, and reducing the effects of hypertension.
- Ginger. This is another one of those old-school medicinal spice that has been used to treat various ailments. Ginger contains expectorants like gingerols and phenols, which can prevent mucus secretion.
Getting a sinus infection immediately after the flu is a very unpleasant experience. But by taking these remedies, you can ease your discomfort and relieve all the adverse symptoms of this condition.