Getting a sinus infection is incredibly uncomfortable. You can barely breathe through your nose, and the pressure in your sinuses and forehead can be very painful. Sinus infections are even worse if you get them regularly instead of as a one-off occurrence. Luckily, there are effective options for treating your chronic sinus infections. Here are three things to try:
A Sinus Irrigation System
A sinus irrigation system flushes your sinuses with the help of gravity, warm water, and saline. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your sinus irrigation system as it can be a little tricky to figure out the first time. While sinus irrigation systems vary, the general concept behind them all is that when you tilt your head to the side and pour warm saline water into one side of your nose, it flushes away the bacteria, irritants, allergens, and mucous causing your congestion and inflammation.
You then repeat on the other side and enjoy the relief of clear, soothed sinuses.
For particularly aggressive sinus infections, a sinus irrigation system may provide relief temporarily but not be enough to entirely knock out the sinus infection. Your doctor may prescribe steroids, either in the form of a nasal spray or a pill. Steroids help get rid of persistent sinus infections by minimizing inflammation, and can usually be used in conjunction with sinus irrigation systems for the most dramatic results. Steroids can have harsh side effects if used long-term, so be sure to only use them for the prescribed and doctor-recommended amount of time.
Sinus Cavity Surgery
In very severe cases, when sinus irrigation and steroids are not effective, your doctor may recommend sinus cavity surgery. The surgery may involve removing a blockage, slightly widening your sinus passages, or shaving away a tiny part of the cartilage inside your sinuses to allow for better airflow and circulation.
Most commonly, a doctor will suggest surgery after other treatment options fail to help get rid of your chronic sinus infections, and after an exam and x-ray show that something about the anatomy of your unique sinus passages is making it impossible for your sinuses to drain easily. While sinus cavity surgery is usually minor, it will be performed under anesthesia and you will need to take time off of work to recover.
Talk to your doctor about your options and consider getting a referral to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in order to experience long-term relief from your chronic sinus infections.