12 Best Ways to Relieve a Sinus Infection Fast
Sinus infections are incredibly uncomfortable. You’re dealing with congestion, runny nose, and all that terrible pain and pressure. Whether you’re faced with acute sinus infections that last a few days or more chronic infections that last weeks or pop up repeatedly throughout the year, the same thing is true: you want those miserable symptoms to go away quickly.
To make that happen, many of us run straight to the doctor for antibiotics.
Though that is sometimes the choice we have to make, it is always best to deal with the sinus problems minus the antibiotics if possible. Too many rounds of antibiotics can destroy our immune systems and leave us with issues of antibiotic resistance.
But even if you do wind up with antibiotics, there are natural ways to speed up the process.
So I’ve gathered 12 of the best antibiotic-free ways to relieve a sinus infection fast. The key here is to get rid of the inflammation, boost your immune system, decongest, and increase your energy. At the first sign of a sinus infection, start each of these tips right away.
12 Best Ways to Relieve a Sinus Infection Fast
1. Drink More Water
Water is the foundation of healing your sinus infection. Not only will proper hydration help knock out the virus, but it will also help thin the mucus. Bone broth and herbal teas (ginger is my favorite) are both fabulous alternatives if you’re getting tired of plain water all day – they each add their own unique healing properties without added sugars.
On the flip side, avoid any liquid (like alcohol or coffee) that can dehydrate you.
2. Add Humidity/Moisture
Running a humidifier or taking a steamy shower/bath can help improve drainage to lessen your sinus congestion. The mucus thins out, so you can more easily blow it out. Hot compresses placed along your sinuses work similarly well. Just put hot water on a washcloth and gently lay it on your sinus areas for a few minutes.
3. Use a Neti Pot
A neti pot, or any form of sinus irrigation, clears out the mucus not only in your nose, but also throughout your sinuses. It is one of the most effective all-natural remedies for sinus infections by helping your symptoms immediately and also decreasing the longevity and severity of the infection.
4. Take a Supplement
While medications like NSAIDs and antihistamines can come with quite a few negative side effects, natural supplements can work fabulously well and leave you without added problems to deal with.
Here are some of my favorite supplements to take when I have a sinus infection and why I love to use them:
- Quercetin: Antioxidant; lowers inflammation
- Boswellia: Lowers inflammation
- Coleus Forskohlii: Acts like a natural antihistamine
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine: Improves respiratory system:
- Butterbur: Acts like a natural antihistamine (studies show it works just as well or better than popular medications like Allegra or Zyrtec)
- Bromelain: Helps de-swell
- Echinacea: Supports immune system
- Vitamin D: Supports immune system and necessary for beating inflammation
- Vitamin C: Supports immune system
5. Eat Healing Foods
What you eat during your sinus infection is crucial for getting better. If you fill up on sugars and processed foods, you will only get more inflamed and weaken your immune system. Instead, focus on:
- Vitamin C foods (berries, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli)
- Lean meats
- Bone broth
- Fermented foods (high in probiotics, which boost your immune system – my favorite is sauerkraut)
It’s often easy to just grab fast food when you’re sick, but here are some meal ideas that are quick and easy, but also going to help heal your infection:
- Unsweetened instant oatmeal with berries
- Roasted veggies (chop, drizzle with oil, and roast…that’s it)
- Boxed/canned soup (find a brand that is non-GMO and organic, if possible)
- Golden milk
6. Eat Spicy Food
Think about the last time you went out for spicy food – your nose ran, right? That same effect can be an all-natural decongestant when you have a sinus infection. Cayenne and horseradish are two go-to spicy ingredients, but you can make any meal spicy.
Of course, if spicy food normally upsets your stomach – skip it! No need to add more discomfort.
7. Diffuse Essential Oils
While essential oils may not be able to heal you of your infection entirely, they can absolutely help clear your sinuses. Think of them as an all-natural vaper rub. My two absolute favorite essential oils for a sinus infection are:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Eucalyptus essential oil
I will either add a few of these to my diffuser or even add a few drops to a hot bath for a nice steamy effect. Sometimes I will add a drop to my palms and breathe in.
Keep Reading: How to Use Essential Oils for Sinus Congestion
It may sound a little strange, but some research has been showing that humming can actually improve the pain you feel when your sinuses are filled and inflamed. The research had participants hum for an hour, so turn on your favorite station and hum away.
9. Massage Your Face
Sinus pain is no joke. In the same way you’d massage any other part of your body that’s hurting, a nice facial massage can help relieve some of the pressure. Put a non-comedogenic oil in your hands – like jojoba oil – and gently rub your face in small circular motions.
Here is a really helpful video that shows you the pressure points you can massage to help drain and relieve your sinuses:
10. Sip Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
ACV can help you with your sinus infection symptoms and improve your immune system function. So either pour a few tablespoons in with your tea, or take a quick shot a couple times a day.
11. Get Rid of Allergens
If allergies give you sinus pain/congestion normally – they are only going to make your sinus infection considerably worse. Wash your sheets, pillowcases, towels, and any other linens. Then make sure you or someone else in your household is vacuuming every other day.
Your body needs sleep to ward off the infection. The more sleep time, nap time, and rest you get, the quicker your infection will leave. Call in sick from work (no need to spread those germs anyway!) and stay in bed. Let yourself drift off whenever you feel like you can.
If the pain or congestion keep you from sleeping, try taking one of those hot baths with essential oils right before you sleep. Then rinse your nose with the neti pot. This will help your sinuses be significantly clearer, so you can be more comfortable.
No More Sinus Pain
If your sinus infection won’t go away or gets worse, you may need to see your doctor and discuss the possibility of antibiotics. If that’s the case, these tips will still help you limit the severity and longevity of your sinus infection.
Read Next: 12 Ways to Boost Your Respiratory Health