A sinus infection also referred to as sinusitis, is a common health issue that affects millions of us every year. When they’re nice and clear and operating effectively, sinuses clear away dirt and bacteria and drain mucus from our nose. As soon as they get infected, though, we can notice pain, inflammation, and more fluid.
With winter almost here, now is a time when more people tend to deal with such frustrations, so it pays to know some of the critical dos and don’ts to follow.
Do Try Different Treatment Options
Everyone’s symptoms and type of sinus infection can be different, as all our bodies are. As such, it’s wise to try various treatment options to see what works for you. For instance, you can take some over-the-counter medicine to alleviate the pain, try warm compresses, nasal sprays, humidifiers, steam inhalation, neti pots, and other nasal irrigation tools, and get plenty of rest. Depending on what your infection stems from, you may also want to try antifungal, antibiotic, or allergy medications.
Do Stay Hydrated
It’s vital to keep drinking plenty of water and other hydrating substances when you have a sinus infection. The fluids will help to break up the stuffiness and mucus in your nose and help you generally recover, too. Warm herbal teas, in particular, can be helpful to consume at this time, as can healthy soups.
Do Stay Home Where Appropriate
Often, you can continue going to work, school, or other public places when you have sinus infection due to a chronic problem, an allergy, or a variety of different causes. However, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “are sinus infections contagious?” the answer is that yes, sometimes they are. You might get this issue because you’ve caught a cold from someone in the vicinity, for instance.
This means there are times where it’s advisable to stay home while you recover from the sinusitis. Pay attention to other symptoms you’re exhibiting that suggest you have a contagious virus, such as a sore throat or fever.
Do Rest Up
As with any health concern, rest is a crucial part of how our bodies recover. When you have a sinus infection, you need to take it a bit easier. Rest up by going to bed earlier and taking naps or at least lying down occasionally during the day to get some R&R. Also, don’t push yourself too much with exercise at this time. You don’t want to slow your recovery because you didn’t allow your body the time it needs to heal.
Do See a Doctor or Specialist as Needed
Most sinus infections clear up within a few days or perhaps a week, and during this time, you notice improvements in pain levels and other factors. Sometimes, though, you might end up with sinusitis that’s a long-term issue you can’t shake. In this situation, it’s essential to see your doctor get checked and diagnosed.
You may have a chronic concern that won’t go away on its own, such as nasal passages that are too small or polyps inside your nose that need removing. Your physician might refer you to a specialist to see if surgery is the way to go in this case.
It’s best to avoid flying wherever possible when you have a sinus infection. This is because the pressure that our heads get when up in the air can increase the pain in our ears and nasal cavities, which isn’t fun. You might want to consider rescheduling a flight when you’re suffering from a bad case of sinusitis as a result.
Don’t Swim in a Pool
A nice swim in the ocean typically doesn’t hurt and can actually help to clear our sinuses. However, the same cannot be said of a pool swim. Don’t spend time in pools when suffering from a sinus infection, as the chlorine typically used in them will only irritate your nose.
Don’t Spend Time Around Irritating Fumes
Another tip is to steer clear of any irritating fumes when you’re dealing with an infection of the sinuses. For instance, stay away from smoke from cigarettes or cigars, toxic materials, and high pollution zones wherever possible. Clean, fresh air will help your sinuses recover, while nasty fumes only make them flare up worse.
These are the main dos and don’ts to consider when you’re struggling with discomfort from a sinus infection. Keep them all in mind, and you’re sure to find you get better sooner and have less of a struggle in the meantime.