Acute sinusitis, also called acute rhinosinusitis, is common and affects around 1 in 8 adults per year. A stuffed nose and pressure on your cheekbones, headache, pain, pressure, or tenderness behind your eyes, nose, cheeks, or forehead may mean that you have acute sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis is a short-term inflammation of the membranes that line your nose and surrounding sinuses. It causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen. This impedes your ability to drain mucus from your nose and causes mucus to build up.
Acute sinusitis is mostly caused by the common cold or flu. Unless a bacterial infection develops, most cases resolve within a 5 to 10 days.
In most cases, home remedies are all that’s needed to treat acute sinusitis. However, persistent and long lasting acute sinusitis can lead to serious complications.
Hereby, I want to share with you the most effective home remedies for the treatment of acute sinusitis, common cold and flu. Those really do work!
What causes acute sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold. But there can be other causes as well. Illnesses and conditions that can cause or lead to acute sinusitis include:
- An infected tooth. In rare cases, bacteria can spread from the infected tooth to the sinuses.
- Cystic fibrosis, an inherited genetic disease where thick, sticky mucus builds up in the body
- Deviated nasal septum
- Infected adenoids
- Intranasal allergies, such as hay fever
- Nasal polyps or other tumors
- Weak immune system
Who’s at risk for acute sinusitis?
You may be at increased risk of getting acute sinusitis if you have:
- A medical condition such as cystic fibrosis or an immune system disorder such as HIV/AIDS
- A nasal passage abnormality, such as a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps or tumors
- A weakened immune system
- Activities that result in pressure changes, such as flying and scuba diving
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hay fever or another allergic condition that affects your sinuses
- Intranasal allergies
- Large or inflamed adenoids
- Nasal passage abnormalities, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyp
- Spending a lot of time in a day care, preschool, school, workplace, public transportation or other areas where infectious germs are frequently present
- Tobacco smoking or frequent breathing in of other pollutants
Sometimes acute sinusitis doesn’t clear up and becomes chronic sinusitis which can last over 8 weeks. In very rare cases, acute infectious sinusitis can lead to an infection that spreads to your eyes, ears, or bones. It could also cause meningitis. That`s why it is very important to treat your cold or flu properly.
Call immediately your doctor if you experience a severe headache that doesn’t respond to medication, a high-grade fever or vision changes. These may be signs that the acute infection has spread outside your sinuses.
Acute sinusitis complications are uncommon. If they occur, they might include:
- Chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis may be a flare-up of a long-term problem known as chronic sinusitis which lasts longer than 12 weeks.
- Ear infection.
- Meningitis. This infection causes inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord.
- Other infections. Infection can spread to the bones (osteomyelitis) or skin (cellulitis).
- Partial or complete loss of sense of smell. Nasal obstruction and inflammation of the nerve for smell (olfactory nerve) can cause temporary or permanent loss of smell.
- Vision problems. If infection spreads to your eye socket, it can cause reduced vision or even blindness.
What are the symptoms of acute sinusitis?
Symptoms of acute sinusitis include:
- Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Cough, which might be worse at night
- Chest Discomfort
- Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish mucus discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage)
- Ear pressure
- Extreme Exhaustion
- Nasal congestion or obstruction, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around (or behind) your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
- Sore throat
How is acute sinusitis treated?
There are several ways to treat cold, flu and acute sinusitis. The treatment depends of the cause and seriousness of the illness. Sometimes intranasal allergies are thought to be related to your bouts of acute sinusitis.
In this case, allergy shots could help you deal with allergic sinusitis more easily. However some people report that acupuncture and acupressure provide some relief for acute sinusitis caused by allergies.
You might even need a surgery to remove nasal polyps or tumors, or to correct a deviated nasal septum. But those are extremely rare cases.
Your doctor may prescribe prescription antibiotic therapy if they think you have acute bacterial sinusitis. And it might be the only way, because there are situations where only antibiotics (AB) can help. At the same time, it is not wise to carry out this destructive treatment too lightly for every cold or flu. Why?
First of all, antibiotic resistance is now quite common. It means the disease no longer responds to AB treatment. Secondly, this bacterium destroys all bacteria in your body – also the good ones who can help fight the disease. But during the disease, when your body needs good bacteria the most, it is not wise to kill them.
In my experience, it is possible to get rid of acute sinusitis without antibiotics. So, if for some reason you have chosen to avoid antibiotics, you can try my method.
It is never too late to start the treatment below. However, I caution that the healing of your body is a full-time job that requires your full dedication and consistency. And if you don’t notice any changes in your condition – even the small ones (because the healing takes place with tiny and initially unnoticeable steps until one day you are healthy) by the fourth or fifth day, then you should definitely consult your doctor. Because I can’t guarantee that this treatment will work well every time.
The recipe for self-healing is like a recipe in a cookbook. Even if you have followed the advice and quantity carefully and somebody else succeeded, your result might still not be the same.
Home treatment for the common cold and acute sinusitis. 1 to 7 days
1. Balance Your Gut Flora, take Probiotics
As soon as you suspect that your cold or flu has become an acute sinustitis, instead of taking antibiotics, start taking probiotics. For a simple reason. If the body is already so ill, then there are not enough good bacteria inside you to protect you. And you need to boost your immune system and get those good soldiers back as quickly as possible.
2. OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
A person who has suffered an acute sinusite knows that those headaches are torment. So, in addition to the analgesic effect, Ibumetin also has anti-inflammatory effect. Ask your doctor for advice before taking the medicine and see if it is contraindicated for you. It must not be taken on an empty stomach, but only after a meal.
According to my experience, it was sufficient to take 3 tablets (Ibumetin (400 mg)) for about 3-4 hours in the first three days. On the fourth day, 2 tablets, the fifth day 1 tablet and the sixth day 0,5 tablet. Ibumetin will only be administered if you are sure that you have acute sinusitis. Common cold is not required for tablets.
3. Vitamin C and Vitamin D
Obviously, the body also has inadequate reserves of vitamins C and D, and during the illness the body needs these vitamins in greater quantities than otherwise. So you can take a total of 4000 mg of vitamin C a day for the first three days, and reduce your dose by 500 mg for the next few days until the usual recommended daily dose on label. It should also be mentioned that administration of such high doses is controversial and is not always considered correct.
However, vitamins are a mandatory part of this home treatment. If you don’t want to eat them so much, take at least a little more than usual. Smokers can certainly take at least twice the dose of vitamin C.
4. Minerals and nutrients
To overcome the disease, one of the most important factors is boosting your body’s immunity and providing its mineral and other nutrients. Otherwise, the body simply has no material or strength to fight inflammation and viruses.
So cook yourself a large amount of great soup or broth which could last for a few days (includes several hours of cooking). Eating fresh salads will work also, but in processed form it is easier for the body to absorb nutrients and during the illness you don’t want to burden your body that much.
5. Grapefruit seed extract
Depending on the manufacturer, there are different recommended doses on the label. Follow your common sense here, and take a few drops more than the recommended amount on the first three days with water or juice.
This is because the package contains prophylactic doses that you should take to avoid becoming ill. But if you are already ill, you need to replenish the stock for quick recovery. In the following days, follow the instructions on the medicine package.
My healing experience is based on the following doses: 45 drops in diluted form on the first three days (Product name “Citro Life”) and 30 drops on the following days.
6. Natural Anti-Viral Herbs Such as Garlic and Onion
Onion and garlic are natural antibiotics. If your stomach can deal with it, cut raw onions (thin slices) into the same soup or broth and a few smaller garlic cloves per bowl before eating. In my experience, 1 raw (medium-sized) onion and 3 cloves of garlic hidden in various foods during the day made a miracle happen.
Ideally, just as many of these natural antibiotics should be eaten daily. You can also cut few slices of the raw onions and add them to your sandwich.
7. Saltwater Washes (Nasal Saline Lavage or Irrigation)
Recommendations here do not include nasal sprays, just rinsing the nose with salt water. Rinse your nose about 3 times a day, at least every first three days (four times as needed) every 3-4 hours. Further days – reduce rinsing times.
This is the only way to get the mucus out of the cheekbones in the case of inflammation. With saltwater nasal rinsing, you should definitely know how to do it correctly and without adequate knowledge, I do not recommend you to test it. Find out how to make a suitable saline solution and how the process works.
8. Ginger, lemon and honey
Ginger has an anti-inflammatory effect. Drink at least one big cup of ginger tea every day. Do this by pouring the boiled water on the finely grated ginger root and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Let it cool down a bit and add a few lemon slices and honey. Ideally, you could drink one big cup of ginger tea and another hibiscus tea a day.
Do not forget that lemon and honey should be added only after the tea has cooled a bit. Honey can also be licked and the more you can eat it – the better.
9. Cabbage leaves
This seems to be a bit of unbelievable and looks stupid, but, according to my experience, it seemed to work when I added cabbage leaves on my painful cheekbones on the first days. The cabbage leaf should not be very could. Warm it up a little before with your hands. You can also hammer it gently with the meat hammer, so it softer.
Put a little honey on the cheeks so that the cabbage leaf stays there better and keep it until you see that the cabbage leaf is already dry and withered. You can repeat the cabbage leaves compression several times a day until you feel you no longer need it.
Cabbage leaves have anti-inflammatory effect.
10. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids in order to help thin mucus.
During the runny nose, the nose tends to flush around and be painful, so it makes it painful to snuff. If the skin is already severely affected, then the Bephanten ointment can help with it.
But to prevent redness, soreness and broken skin around your nose lubricate your skin as often as you can with fragrance free cream.
12. Other relief methods
- A humidifier. This can help keep the air moist.
- Saline nasal sprays. Use them several times a day to rinse and clear your nasal passages.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) nasal corticosteroid spray. Sprays such as fluticasone propionate (Flonase) can reduce intranasal and sinus inflammation.
- Sleep with your head elevated. This encourages your sinuses to drain.
The treatment above is a combination of conventional medicine, natural remedies, and sober mind. Where all the puzzles are carefully put together so your body will be stronger at any given moment. It is not a scientifically proven method of treatment – but has been successfully tested. According to my experience, the first signs of healing should signal on the third day and you should be completely healed within about seven days.
Since you have greatly boosted your immunity and restored your body’s own medical skills, you can be sure that the next virus will not beat you up so badly anymore.
However, if you feel that you do not have enough energy or possibilities to follow everything carefully, I suggest you consider other treatment options, including antibiotic therapy.
Stay healthy & be healed!
Written by: Maria-Helena Loik
Pictures: Pixabay.com, Pexels.com, Shutterstock.com