The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection

In the big scheme of things, a sinus infection is usually a short-lived nuisance and is not that big of a problem. But when you're in the middle of it, curled up on the couch with a throbbing headache and congestion, it sure feels like it.

Sinus infections, or sinusitis, can be either viral or bacterial and occur when the sinus tissues become irritated and inflamed. Christie Barnes, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center says, "Most sinus infections are viral, so supportive measures are hugely important. The typical symptoms that you would expect are congestion, stuffiness, facial pain or pressure, and lots of drainage" (via Health).

In most cases, sinus infections generally go away on their own in about a week without any special treatment, but there are things you can do to help speed up the healing process.

First, stay hydrated. Getting plenty of fluids from water, tea, fruit juice, or broth is important to both help your body flush out the virus, as well as break up mucus.

Next, add moisture. Using a humidifier at night, inhaling the steam from a hot shower or bath, or leaning over a bowl of boiling water with a towel covering your head can help. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil for even more relief (via Healthline). 

Drinking lots of fluids can help speed up healing

Eat foods with antibacterial properties like garlic, ginger, and onions, as well as spicy foods to help break up mucus and fight infection (via Healthline).

Take vitamin C. This may help reduce the length of symptoms, reduce inflammation, and promote healing (via Allina Health).

Finally, get plenty of rest. Take it easy and give your body the time and energy it needs to put into healing.

Usually, sinus infections clear up on their own with a little TLC. But if symptoms linger beyond ten days, are getting worse, or if you find you are getting repeated infections, it's time to see your doctor. Ear, nose and throat specialist Raj Sindwani, M.D., states via the Cleveland Clinic, "This is rarely necessary because sinusitis often goes away by itself. But if it hangs on, you want to see your doctor. If you don't get better, we start thinking there's a bacterial component. That's when we pull the trigger on an antibiotic."