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Sinus Infection

Self-Care at Home

Home care can help open the sinuses and alleviate their dryness.

  • Promote drainage
    • Drink plenty of water and hydrating beverages such as hot tea.
    • Inhale steam two to four times per day by leaning over a bowl of hot water (not while the water is on the stove) or using a steam vaporizer. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes. Taking a hot, steamy shower may also work. Mentholated preparations, such as Vicks Vapo-Rub, can be added to the water or vaporizer to aid in opening the passageways.

Thin the mucus: Expectorants are drugs that help expel mucus from the lungs and respiratory passages. They help  thin mucous secretions, enhancing drainage from the sinuses. The most common is guaifenesin. Over- the-counter (OTC) liquid cough medications or prescription tablets can also combine decongestants and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms as well as to eliminate the need for the use of many medications. Read label ingredients to find the right combination of ingredients or ask the pharmacist for help.

Relieve pain: Pain medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation. These medicationshelp to open the airways by reducing swelling. Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever but does not help with the inflammation.

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