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. There is no scientific evidence to
support the use of home treatments in sinusitis, but you may find one or more
of them helpful.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your
- Apply moist heat (using a hot,
damp towel or gel pack) to your face for 5 to 10 minutes, several times a
- 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.
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 at a pharmacy or make your own saline solution at
home. It may also help to gargle with warm salt water by using one teaspoon of
salt per pint of water.
nonprescription medications such as pain relievers and
decongestants (for example, nasal spray) to relieve symptoms. Do not give cough
and cold medicines to a child younger than 2 unless your child’s doctor has
told you to. If your child’s doctor tells you to give a medicine, be sure to
follow what he or she tells you to do. Be careful when using some nasal-spray
decongestants. They usually should not be used for more than about 3 days.
Longer use can lead to further swelling of the sinus membranes after the
medicine wears off (called
rebound congestion), which makes pressure and swelling
worse. You may end up dependent on the medicine if you start using more and
more of it to get rid of the pressure and swelling.
- 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
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.
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