Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

These self-help steps can help relieve sinusitis symptoms:

  • Rest. This will help your body fight inflammation and speed recovery.
  • Drink fluids, such as water or juice. This will help dilute mucous secretions and promote drainage. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol, which can be dehydrating. Drinking alcohol also can worsen the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose.
  • Moisturize your sinus cavities. Drape a towel over your head as you breathe in the vapor from a bowl of medium-hot water. Keep the vapor directed toward your face. Or take a hot shower, breathing in the warm, moist air to help ease pain and help mucus drain.
  • Apply warm compresses to your face. Place warm, damp towels around your nose, cheeks and eyes to ease facial pain.
  • Rinse out your nasal passages. Use a specially designed squeeze bottle (Sinus Rinse, others), saline canister or neti pot to rinse your nasal passages. This home remedy, called nasal lavage, can help clear your sinuses.

    If you make your own rinse, use water that's contaminant-free — distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller — to make up the irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with contaminant-free water, and let air-dry.

  • Sleep with your head elevated. This will help your sinuses drain, reducing congestion.

Prevention

Take these steps to reduce your risk of getting chronic sinusitis:

  • Avoid upper respiratory infections. Minimize contact with people who have colds. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before meals.
  • Manage your allergies. Work with your doctor to keep symptoms under control.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and polluted air. Tobacco smoke and air contaminants can irritate and inflame your lungs and nasal passages.
  • Use a humidifier. If the air in your home is dry, such as it is if you have forced hot air heat, adding moisture to the air may help prevent sinusitis. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean and free of mold with regular, thorough cleaning.
July 01, 2016
References
  1. Sinusitis. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
  2. Hamilos DL. Chronic rhinosinusitis: Clinical manifestations, pathophysiology and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
  3. Hamilos DL. Chronic rhinosinusitis: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 11, 2016.
  4. Sinusitis (sinus infection). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/pages/index.aspx. Accessed Jan. 14, 2016.
  5. Complications of sinusitis. American Rhinologic Association. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/complications_sinusitis. Accessed Jan. 14, 2016.
  6. Rosenfeld RM, et al. Clinical practice guideline (update): Adult sinusitis. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;152:S1.
  7. Adult sinusitis. American Rhinologic Association. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/adult_sinusitis. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.