Welcome back to the TIB Pharmacy blog. With the oncoming cold and flu season quickly approaching, sinus infections will surely affect millions across the nation, including those here in Fremont. The Center for Disease Control reports that around 29.4 million Americans are treated for sinusitis annually, which equates to 12.1 percent of the population. While doctors can examine patients’ symptoms and diagnose them as related to a sinus infection, they often prescribe antibiotics and medications. While prescription medicines and over-the-counter cold medicines are great for treating sinus infections, there are also other ways to ease the associated symptoms that can be incorporated into your medicine regimen. Many prefer prescription medications and standard over-the-counter treatments as their preferred treatment method, yet including effective natural treatments, making changes around the home, and more, can help reduce the symptoms and speed up recovery time. Please continue reading below to learn more.

Avoid Harmful Allergens

Allergies can make the sinus pain and pressure associated with sinus infections worse. One way to reduce worsening sinus symptoms is by allergy-proofing the home or office (if that is possible). While having an efficient HVAC system in your home may seem like an added expense, a good system can help maintain the air quality in your home, creating a healthy environment to live in. Additionally, installing a quality air filter system can significantly reduce the risks of breathing in airborne pathogens and allergens that enter the home through open windows, doors, pets, and clothing. A regular cleaning can also control your home’s environment by ridding the home of dust mites, dirt trapped in vents, pet dander, and other allergens that can affect the sinuses.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is the key to life. The human body, including all the major organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs, is composed of more than 70 percent water. Therefore, the body needs to be replenished with water to maintain and improve overall function and health. Staying hydrated helps the body in many ways, including by moisturizing the sinuses. Other beverages such as sugary sodas, sports drinks, and alcohol can cause dehydration. Staying hydrated when suffering from a sinus infection can speed up recovery time by flushing the system of harmful toxins and replenishing the body with water and oxygen. A good rule of thumb is to drink, at a minimum, eight 8-ounce glasses every day, which can and should be increased with a sinus infection.

Use a Humidifier

Sinus infections can really dry out the nasal passages. A humidifier can provide moisture to a room, which can help with chest congestion and clearing the nasal passages. It’s important to keep in mind that humidifiers can become dirty, and can breed mold if left uncleaned. This can contribute to sinus symptoms, especially for those with mold allergies. It’s better to use humidifiers during cooler, drier months to avoid the risk of mold growth. Keep in mind that if a humidifier is causing foggy windows or condensation on the walls, the humidifier is most likely set too high. One way to enhance the effectiveness of a humidifier is by adding about twenty drops of an essential oil that can help ease the symptoms associated with sinusitis, such as nasal blockage, sinus pressure, and respiratory issues. Some of the best essential oils for relieving sinus infections include eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, rosemary, and thyme. Just be sure to clean the humidifier after each use.

Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal formulas are an excellent, natural remedy for effectively treating sinus infections. There are many painful symptoms associated with sinusitis which can cause severe discomfort, making it hard to function every day. Incorporating an herbal medicine can treat chronic and acute sinus pain, sinus infection and congestion, excess phlegm, sinus headaches, sore throats, and more. Combining this natural remedy with the methods listed above can eliminate a sinus infection, while providing the body with the tools it needs to stay healthy during the cold and flu season. The caveat here is that you’ll want to first check with your TIB pharmacist and your physician to make sure that the herbal medicine you’re interested in taking will not cause any reactions with other medications you may be taking, or will not interfere with other health conditions.

Talk with Your TIB Pharmacist

If you’re looking for health advice or remedies for your sinus infection, you can always talk with our pharmacist. We’re happy to talk with you over the phone, when you come in, or you can even schedule a consultation. Our goal is to help you with your health needs however we can. If you would like to schedule an appointment, click here.

Thank you for reading part one of our short blog series. Be sure to tune in for part two as we continue looking at ways to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with a sinus infection, and speed up your recovery time.