Types of Sinus Infections and How to Treat Them

It’s common to experience sinus pressure after you have allergies or a cold. This pressure is the result of blocked nasal passages; when the sinuses cannot drain, it causes inflammation and pain in the head, face and nose.

You have four pairs of sinuses, located…

  • In your forehead (frontal sinuses)
  • Between your eyes and across your nose (ethmoid sinuses)
  • In your cheeks (maxillary sinuses)
  • Behind your eyes and along the back of your head (sphenoid sinuses)

Types of Sinus Infection

Woman holds her eyebrow to relieve pressure

There are two types of sinus infections: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis lasts no more than eight weeks, but usually closer to four. It is usually the result of hay fever or a viral infection and can be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.

Chronic sinusitis can last from about 12 weeks to over a year. They are more difficult to treat due to higher levels of inflammation, though the symptoms tend to be less severe than acute sinusitis. If not treated, chronic sinusitis can lead to complications that may require surgery.

Remedies for Sinus Pressure

Whatever type of sinus infection you suffer from, you’ll certainly want to try some home remedies to relieve the pressure.

Steam

Dry sinuses, especially when the air is dry, can increase sinus pressure and headaches. Steam adds moisture to the air and your nasal passages, which helps thin out mucus so it can drain.

Try taking hot showers to reduce pressure, and invest in a humidifier to run near your bed while you sleep. You can even add eucalyptus oil, which contains cineole, an ingredient that can help speed up healing of acute sinusitis by reducing nasal stuffiness.

Saline Rinse

A saline rinse is a common treatment for sinus pressure and congestion. There are a few ways you can rinse out your sinuses. You can purchase saline spray to increase moisture in the nose and reduce pressure, or you can make your own using baking soda, distilled water and iodine-free salt.

The most effective way to rinse the sinuses is with a Neti pot, which entails pouring saline into one nostril so it can flush out the sinuses and drain out the other nostril.

For more information or to be evaluated by an expert ENT physician, call Topeka ENT today.

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