What Are Some Treatments for Sinusitis?


Quick Answer

People with short-term, or acute, sinusitis can treat it at home by drinking plenty of fluids to thin their mucus, applying moist heat to their faces several times a day, breathing in steam, using saline nasal washes and avoiding alcohol, notes WebMD. People with chronic, long-term sinusitis can use the same treatments to try to keep their sinuses clear. Doctors may prescribe medications to treat more serious cases of sinusitis.

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People with sinusitis should limit their exposure to cool, dry air and can help clear their sinuses by standing in a steaming shower, leaning over a sink of hot water and using humidifiers to raise the level of moisture in the air, states WebMD. They can purchase over-the-counter saline drops or sprays to clean out mucus and bacteria or make solutions at home with distilled water that has been boiled and cooled. Those suffering from sinusitis should blow their noses gently with both nostrils open, as harder blowing can block the sinuses with mucus.

Doctors may prescribe medications for patients with infections that cause sinusitis and to relieve pain and inflammation, according to WebMD. Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, kill bacteria, while decongestants, such as phenylephrine, reduce swelling. Corticosteroids can also help with nasal passage swelling, while mucolytics, such as guaifenesin, help to thin mucus. People who receive antibiotic prescriptions should take them for the period prescribed by their doctors, even if they feel better, to rid themselves of infections completely.

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