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The Best Home Remedies For Sinus Infection, According To Science

All articles are thoroughly researched and reference high-quality studies and information to support the subject matter.


Sinus infection is a collection of infections in the sinuses, typically beginning with one of three different bacteria. All of the sources below are recommended by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH).

Blocked sinuses

Blocked sinuses are a condition in which an infected section of your sinus cavity fills with pus. This is the most common cause of sinus infections.

A special type of infection that occurs when your sinuses are infected—called pharyngitis—involves inflammation and swelling of the facial bones and sinuses.

Septic sinus infections are the result of bacteria that cannot be killed by normal drugs or vaccines, and tend to result in serious health problems, including death.


1. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Doctors say the most important symptom to watch out for is having antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics tend to wipe out infection-causing bacteria, but in cases where resistance is occurring, it can wipe out all your antibiotics, too. If you’ve been taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection, but notice some funky bug-like symptoms, it’s time to get back on your antibiotics.

2. Shivering, sweats, chills and aches

Not to be a buzzkill, but sinusitis can be really uncomfortable and even painful. Sinusitis is basically an inflammation of the sinus area. While this is a great thing for our body to do, it can often feel pretty painful and cause inflammation throughout the entire skull.

Sinus Infection
Sinus Infection


How to deal with that pesky sinus infection you just came down with

I have chronic sinusitis, or chronic rhinosinusitis, and it sucks. It doesn’t matter how much I look forward to humid summer days, or how much I pine for winter because of that extra three months of fresh air, it’s my excuse to wear my fleece sweatpants, a hooded sweatshirt, and oversized socks.

And I wish that the ridiculous sinus infection didn’t require me to take ten cold medications a day, three inhalers, and a nasal spray. I hate that I’ve got to use a Neti pot every morning to keep my sinuses clean, and I wish that I could just be in full “sick mode” without all the self-care.


Sunscreen and bug spray: Sprays containing DEET or Picaridin should be used on exposed skin when outside and sunscreen should be reapplied, even on cloudy days, or if one is spending a lot of time outside.

Diet: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is more nutrient dense, and antioxidant rich, than dry fruits and vegetables.

Exercise: Activities that engage the nasal cavity will help dislodge congestion.

Drink water: Keep hydrated to avoid sinus infection.

Miscellaneous: Avoid tobacco, especially smokeless tobacco and cigarettes.


Certain medications and pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of developing a sinus infection.


I must be honest with you all. I’m still sorting through the evidence and looking at all the studies. The truth is, I’m not nearly as sure as some of my colleagues.

One study found that soy milk seemed to reduce or eliminate cold symptoms. However, there were no baseline variables for soy intake in the study. And this study showed soy’s effectiveness to be the same regardless of soy milk intake.

I’ve had two people I know recently get sick from milk. They each had drastically different diets and took completely different vitamins. So, I have no idea if any of the previous studies are reliable.

However, there is a lot of scientific research supporting the use of cranberries, apricots, and matcha.

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