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Sinusitis

Self Treatment

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 13:00

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

As long as the symptoms go away within a few days, a doctor's care for sinusitis is not necessary. However, if there are high fever or chills, difficulty with vision, thick yellow or green mucus discharge, or a temporary loss of consciousness, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Those who suffer from chronic sinusitis or frequent attacks of acute sinusitis often treat themselves with nonprescription medications and nasal sprays during a short duration of symptoms. However, chronic sinusitis that occurs frequently can cause permanent damage to the sinuses and should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

How-To Information:

Treating Yourself

You can care for yourself at the onset of a cold, allergy attack, or sinusitis symptoms by doing the following:

  • Drink more water.
  • Keep the nostrils moist with saline nasal sprays, a humidifier, or by breathing steam from a basin of hot water. A saline rinse can be made at home by mixing one cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. A bulb syringe like those used to clear the nose and throat of babies can be used to rinse the sinuses with the saline solution.
  • Discontinue eating dairy products, such as milk and cheese, until symptoms subside, since dairy products contribute to mucus production in the body.
  • Avoid substances that dehydrate the body, such as spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee.
  • Avoid excessive forceful nose-blowing.
  • Avoid swimming or diving, which can put undue pressure on the sinuses.
  • Avoid air travel, or use a decongestant nasal spray if a flight is unavoidable.
  • Consult a doctor immediately if a fever or thick yellow or green mucus is present.

Sinusitis