Best Over The Counter Medicine For Sinus Infection & More About Sinus Infection

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While you could have heard about the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection, have you ever wondered why millions keep falling to sinusitis (sinus infection / rhinosinusitis) every year?

According to Centre for Disease Control (CDC), 29 Million Americans (1 in every 7 adults) fall to this menace each and every year!

That’s huge and that’s why we felt that it’s the high time we tackled this Dragon head on.

In this post, I will be talking about what exactly is a sinus infection, how to know when you have it, how long it lasts, how to treat sinus infection, how to relieve sinus pressure among others issues.

Even before proceeding, I want to thank our own Dr. Stuart Lamond, for sacrificing himself and patiently answering all my questions about Sinusitis. I owe you one!

Let’s start by knowing what a sinus infection is:

Simply put, it is an inflammation of your sinuses.

Sinusitis begins with cold symptoms before developing into pain plus pressure in your sinus cavities.

Symptoms include headaches, pain in your face, sore throat, Halitosis (bad breath), plugged nose, coughing, thick nasal mucus, fatigue, facial swelling/tenderness, ear pain, eye pain, toothache, loss of smell, fever and hoarse voice.

Rhinosinusitis Can Be Acute Or Chronic…

According to Dr. Lamond, you have acute rhinosinusitis if you suffer for less than four weeks and chronic sinusitis if your infection extends beyond 12 weeks.

But It Could Also Be Subacute Sinusitis…

This is the transitional sinusitis lasting around 4-12 weeks as your condition moves from acute to chronic…

Recurrent Sinusitis.

If your infection repeats several times in a year, then yours is a case of recurrent sinusitis.

In all these cases, symptoms largely remain the same but acute sinusitis happens to be more common.

So, What Causes Sinus Infection?

For the majority, Sinusitis is brought about by:

  • An infection of body tissue
  • Asthmatic conditions
  • Nasal polyps
  • Weak/suppressed immunity system
  • A Virus
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • An allergy
  • A bacteria
  • Air pollution(inhaling chemicals which irritate air cavities)
  • Deformations or swelling in your nose
  • Drainage ducts being blocked

In kids, the condition may be caused by:

  • Pacifiers
  • Allergies
  • Sipping at their bottled/drink-cans while sleeping
  • Smoke in their surroundings
  • Illnesses from fellow kids at school/day-care

How To Relieve Sinus Pressure.

When you get stuffy, it is important to keep your nasal passages moist and don’t forget your sinuses.

Also, avoid dry air as it irritates the breathing ducts further.

That way, you will reduce pressure and pain around affected areas.

Here is our simple guide on how to survive the runny nose days in the office or home;

  • Take lengthy, warm showers
  • Don’t use chlorinated pools as they will further irritate your nasal openings.
  • Always sleep in an elevated position. You may place several pillows below).
  • To open up your passages and reduce discomfort, press a towel (warm and wet) against your face.
  • Use your humidifier or vaporizer frequently.
  • Prepare a pot with warm water and breathe in the steam
  • To thin out mucus and prevent blocked sinuses, drink litres upon litres of fluids

Can You Prevent A Sinus Infection?

Well, doctors say it’s hard to run from a sinus inflammation 100%. But there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting an infection.

This is what my friend suggested;

  • Avoid Smoke / Stop Smoking

Dr. Lamond says that cigarette smoke makes you prone to sinusitis as it gradually messes up your mouth, nose, throat and your respiratory system’s protective elements.

  • Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands helps especially during winter and flu seasons. This is because your hands will be free of viruses or bacteria that can irritate your sinus.

  • Treat That Allergy

It could that your allergy is the one causing sinusitis. So, why not talk to a specialist and have it treated?

According to my friend doctor, this could mark the end of your sinusitis.


Best Sinus Infection Treatment | How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection.

The question of what to do for a sinus infection has several answers. Here we cover some of the best medication for sinus infection

  • Time (Watchful waiting)

If your acute sinusitis is brought by a virus, it cannot be affected by antibiotics. So, the best thing is to observe and wait for at least 10 days.

But if your situation doesn’t improve, you can think of over the counter antibiotics.

  • Antibiotics

When your sinusitis takes longer, or is painful, or comes with a skin infection, then it may have been caused by bacteria. An anti-biotic such as amoxicillin/clavulanic acid(co-amoxiclav) could be a good starting point.

You’ll most likely take them for between ten and fourteen days to get relief.

Don’t overuse antibiotics because of the risk of developing resistance.

Always consult your physician before using any antibiotic

  • Pain Killers

Some Pain killers like naproxen  are recommended to help with your symptoms. In the same line, doctors may also advise you to take Corticosteroids (nasal steroids)

  • Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation helps to cure the symptoms of acute as well as chronic sinusitis.

If you will use tap water, boil it first then let it cool. Alternatively, use your water filtration system.

You can also buy distilled water or go for premixed solutions (over the counter).

To make a nasal solution, mix one cup of clean warm water with a half teaspoon of baking soda, and table salt.  Then use a nasal sprayer to spray it into your nose.

Another option is to by pour into your nose using a Neti pot or a sinus rinsing system.

This should clear discharge from your sinuses, flush allergens on top of relieving dryness.

  • Herbal Medications

In some countries, the sinus infection medicine of choice for both chronic and acute conditions is a mixture of essential oils and a variety of roots.

  • Nasal Sprays

Nasal drops are also good local treatments against congestion because they are directly and quickly assimilated through your nose.

  • Antihistamines

If you suffer from any allergy, your best sinus infection medicine could be a decongestant that contains an antihistamine.

  • Surgery

When yours is chronic or recurring sinusitis and every other effort has hit a brick wall, nasal surgery could be an option for your doctors.

  • Decongestants

If you have a serious nasal congestion, doctors will prescribe the best decongestant for sinus and perhaps saline nasal washes.

These help decongest your nasals.

Never use otc meds for sinus infection beyond 3 days, because your condition may worsen.

Also, decongestants could be dangerous for people suffering from high blood pressure, prostate problems, glaucoma, or sleeping difficulties.


So, What Is The Best Medicine For Sinus Pressure?

I requested my good Doctor to suggest the best sinus medicine, his preferred nasal spray for sinus infection, the best sinus decongestant and the best over the counter sinus infection medication.

Editor's RatingImageName & Link
Best High-EndSinuPulse Elite Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigation System.
Best Mid-RangeVicks Personal Steam Inhaler V1900.
Best InexpensiveHealing Solutions Sinus Relief Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil.

Here now are the suggested best over the counter medicine for sinus infection

1.   Alkalol Company Mucus Solvent and Cleaner.

This is a nasal wash and a mucus solvent that helps clear all blocked nasal passages on top of providing pain relief and decongesting all your nasal passages.

It is also good in eliminating all nasal related irritations.

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Features

  • Drug-free
  • Has invigorating extracts
  • Includes essential oils

Pros

  • It is very powerful in decongesting
  • Works within a short time
  • Good with allergies
  • It has a soothing effect
  • has a refreshing fragrance

Cons

  • For the first instance, it burns really strong

Verdict

If you are looking for an effective nasal wash/mucus solvent that knows how to clear and decongest all your nasal passages, then this sinus infection treatment otc could be the real deal.

It relieves discomfort and opens nasal passages.


2.  SinuPulse Elite Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigation System.

I previously highlighted that instead of recommending the best nasal decongestant for sinus infection, doctors may advise you to go for a nasal irrigator for your sinusitis.

One of the most popular Sinus Irrigation systems is the SinuPulse Elite Nasal Irrigation System.

This is an alternative treatment formulated from saline powder sodium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride and has a pressure control that you can adjust to your optimal point.

It gives you relief within one minute.

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Features

  • Calibrated pulse rate
  • Intellipulse technology.
  • Hi-capacity water tank
  • Throat irrigator tips(tongue cleaner attached)
  • Hypo allergenic design
  • Sinumist function
  • Atomizer spray
  • Measurement scale,
  • Leak resistant
  • LED display
  • EZ touch button
  • Adjustable pressure control
  • Saline mix Ingredients: calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium bicarbonate,

Pros

  • Acts in under one minute
  • It doesn’t leak
  • Its hypo allergenic so great with people who have allergies
  • It’s gentle on your duct openings
  • Has a fully adjustable pressure control to allow you set it where it’s more effective
  • It’s safe and hygienic for everyone
  • This is a soothing and drug-free device
  • Handles multiple sinus related complications
  • Very clear user guide

Cons

  • The Motor is a bit loud

Verdict

The SinuPulse Elite Nasal Irrigation System is among the best and most advanced nasal irrigation system.

It delivers a gentle, pulsating spray of mist in effect giving you soothing relief and cleansing your sinuses.

It also massages your nasal cilia back to its normal, healthy state. This competes with even the very best otc sinus medication.


3. Ayr Saline Nasal Gel, With Soothing Aloe.

When the inside of your nose dries out, you feel very uncomfortable. In extreme cases, you will have difficulties breathing.

A Saline gel is a smart way of moistening your nose and to reduce pressure on your sinus.

Made of Aloe Vera, the Ayr saline nasal gel keeps your nostrils moist and soothes the inside of your nose to help you breath better and keep the irritation low.

And it’s compatible with most nasal membranes.

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Features

  • Aloe Vera based
  • Gluten free
  • Non-medicated
  • Doctors endorsed

Pros

  • Leaves your delicate nasal tissue intact
  • It’s gentle on all nasal membranes
  • Can be used on babies
  • Provides excellent, long-lasting moisturization
  • You can use it during the day or at night
  • It’s a natural product so safer
  • Aids breathing difficulties

Cons

  • Its aloe fragrance may feel a little strong
  • Your nose may feel a burn sensation

Verdict

Even as you wait for the best medicine for sinus infection, it’s important to keep your nasal passages hydrated, soothed and pain-free.

There isn’t a better way of doing this than using a natural gel. The Ayr saline nasal gel is one of the most recommended nasal gels by ENT doctors.

They trust its powers in soothing dryness and easing breathing problems.


4. Ocean Saline Nasal Spray.

A saline nose spray is so valuable during winter, and any other time when the surrounding air is extremely cold and dry.

Remember that you will always experience a stinging sensation whenever you have a sore nose.

The ocean saline nasal spray is a pharmacist-recommended moisturizer and is superb for keeping your irritated nasal passages humid during freezing weather or as a result of a sinus infection.

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Features

  • Natural, non-medicated
  • Spray
  • Have preservatives

Pros

  • Helps you breathe easier
  • It’s a safe, natural, non-medicated medical aid
  • It’s very effective in decongesting nasal canals
  • it can be used for infants
  • Moisturization lasts fairly long

Cons

  • Some users have complained about its taste/smell

Verdict

This is a natural, non-medicated pharmacist-recommended nasal moisturizer that offers total relief from dry and itching nasal passages.

It has been mentioned in the same breath with the best otc for sinus infection because of its ability to thin mucus and offer gentle relief instantly.


5.  Neil Med Nasa Mist Multi-Purpose Saline Spray.

For sinus relief, a bottle of salty water (as little as 3-ounce) may prove to be just as powerful as a giant-size humidifier.

That’s because saline mist sprays moisturize your nose just like humidifiers do whenever you find yourself in dry conditions.

The good thing about them is that they are definitely more portable.

The Neil med multi-purpose saline spray does more than just humidifying- it soothes, moisturizes and cleanses using its three special nozzles.

My doctor says it’s one of those sprays that reach the deepest part of your nasal passages.

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Features

  • 3 Specially built Nozzles
  • Ultra-Gentle Mist Tip
  • Ultra deep pressure

Pros

  • Its Ultra Gentle
  • It has higher salinity hence more effective
  • Reaches the deepest corners of your nasal openings
  • It’s easier to use
  • It’s multipurpose- cleanses, offers relief and moisturizes
  • Can be used by the young ones- from as little as 1 year

Cons

  • It’s not refillable.
  • The solution isn’t warm so you might warm it first

Verdict

By reaching deeper into your nasal canals to cleanse, moisturize and massage, the Neil med multi-purpose saline spray is without doubt another of the very best sinus infection medicine.

It’s even more satisfying to see that since it’s supposed to serve people all ages, it has three special nozzles- each optimized for a specific age group.


6.  Zicam Ext Congestion Nase Size.

Over the counter decongestants are also good according to Dr. Lamond.

These medications work by squeezing blood vessels that ordinarily cause your nose to be runny.

However, they have a drying effect, so always drink a lot of fluids or use a saline spray whenever taking decongestants.

The zicam ext congestion nase is based on the Soothing Aloe Vera and temporarily eliminates nasal congestion caused by common cold, hay fever, sinusitis, and upper respiratory allergies.

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Features

  • Aloe Vera based
  • No-drip gel formula

Pros

  • works within a short time
  • Effects last longer- up to 12 hours
  • It does not burn your nose
  • It doesn’t contain harmful chemicals
  • Makes you breathe even in congested spaces

Cons

  • Costs more

Verdict

The zicam ext congestion nase is a powerful sinus decongestant that rapidly opens up your nasal passages to enable free breathing.

It also massages and eliminates any irritation for up to a respectable 12 hours


7.  Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler.

Steam inhalers are fabulous drug-free alternative treatments to the best medicine for sinus congestion.

Have you ever noticed that you normally feel much better after a steamy shower?

Steam inhalers (vaporizers) provide similar high level relief from nasal congestion caused by sinus infection, colds, and even flu.

So, why not get this inhaler instead of first going for the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection?

You will find it nice-smelling, very effective, travel-ready and designed to be used for many years.

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Features

  • 5-15 minutes treatment
  • On/off indicator light
  • Plastic hood
  • Variable steam control
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Soft, flexible hood
  • Dual scent pad openings

Pros

  •  Simple to use thanks to the adjustable control
  • Soothes and treats your throat naturally.
  • Has a nice, refreshing vicks scent.
  • Works within 5-15 minutes
  • The inhaler is very small so Highly portable
  • It’s overall design makes it very comfortable to use

Cons

  • It is not kids friendly (the spill hot water on themselves)

Verdict

This vicks personal steam inhaler does well to restore moisture to your lungs and respiratory tract.

It’s contoured to have your face breath in comfortably will normally deliver results within 5- to 15-minutes.

This compact inhaler could be all you need to make your cavities feel clearer


8.  Healing Solutions Sinus Relief medicine.

Another alternative to the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection is essential oils.

They are especially good when you are suffering from other conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or allergies because they don’t interact with your other medication.

The healing solutions sinus medicine comprises of several therapeutic essential oils such as french lavender, health shield, peppermint, breathe blend, and head relief blend

It relieves swelling and opens nasal passages naturally and quickly.

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Features

  • Made of therapeutic essential oils
  • Great natural scent
  • Compact bottles

Pros

  • Price is way cheaper
  • The scent is very sweet
  • They work fantastically in your diffusers
  • You also get relief from cold and flu
  • The oils are of great quality
  • They are portable so you will still enjoy your travels

Cons

  • The bottle lids seem weak and could lead to oil leak especially when you are moving

Verdict

If you have an allergy or some other conditions like heart problems and you still want to treat your sinus infection, your best meds for sinus infection could be essential oils.

And, the therapeutic healing solutions sinus medicine could be a great starting point.


9.  Aromafloria Sinus Help Inhalation Beads.

If you are still not satisfied, Dr. Lamond suggests you try inhalation beads. Yes!

The Aromafloria sinus Inhalation beads are created by following homeopathy principles and heal by releasing measured dosages of therapeutic essential oils via vapor transfer.

The beads are formulated from eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint, and are suitable for everyone.

You simply fill the included pouch, and then hold it to your nose while sniffing and inhaling deeply for 3 – 4 times a day.

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Features

  • Beads
  • Homeopathic treatment
  • Reusable pouch
  • Non-toxic, Non-medicated

Pros

  • Good for everyone- can be used by both kids and adults
  • They are safe-non-drug and non-toxic.
  • The aroma isn’t tough to inhale
  • Decongests and also cools your stuffy nose
  • Portable remedy
  • Reduced dosage does much more

Cons

  • You may not like the smell

Verdict

These homeopathic beads are another natural sinusitis medication with fantastic decongesting and cooling properties.

They help clear runny nose, promote breathing and are an additional aromatherapy aid when you want to make peace with nature


10.  Dr. Christopher’s Sinus Plus Caps.

If you prefer vegetable based capsules as your sinus infection remedy, you can go for Dr. Christopher’s sinus caps.

It is 100% vegetable based and effectively cleanses, nourishes and heals your nasal passages.

In treating sinusitis, it acts as a decongestant and also a natural antihistamine hence it’s a nice medication to try if you are allergic.

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Features

  • 100% vegetable based caps
  • Antihistamine properties

Pros

  • It’s a Natural vegetable based decongestant
  • Fights allergies on top of healing sinusitis
  • It also treats other multiple ailments for example, whooping cough, and fever
  • Very easy to swallow
  • Protects for longer
  • It has no side effects

Cons

  • It is not guaranteed to work with everyone

Verdict

This is an effective vegetable based decongestant and a natural antihistamine which is effective on a number of ailments including asthma, sinusitis, whooping cough, hay fever, adenoids-polyps,  allergies and other sensitivities.

It could be the herbal supplement that finally solves your conundrum.


Treatment For Children.

For kids, talk to your Childs’ doctor. They could recommend nasal sprays, saline solutions, and pain killers for acute sinusitis.

For children under 2 years, never administer over the counter medicines or decongestants

The good news is that almost 90 percent of infected children recover without requiring antibiotics.

But your doctor may still recommend antibiotics if it’s a severe case of sinusitis.

In case your child is not responding to treatment or has developed chronic sinusitis, you might be sent to an otolaryngologist specializing in ENT (ear, nose, and throat).

They will inspect your baby’s nasal passages to see if they have a structural problem causing chronic sinus problems.


Factors To Consider When Buying Best Over The Counter Medicine For Sinus Infection.

If your sinus was infected by a virus (acute sinusitis), do remember that the best solution is to give it time.

Else, you may decide that the only way out of your sinus symptoms is by countering it using the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection.

In that’s the case, put the following matters in your mind;

  • Form

Your sinus infection medicine could be an inhaler, a spray, a capsule or an irrigator. If you travel a lot, inhalers are the best followed by nasal sprays.

The worst is the irrigator as it needs more preparation time and the could inconveniences when on the move

  • What Other Conditions Do You Have?

If you have pre-existing conditions like asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease and such complications, you will need a treatment for sinus infection that can’t interact with your other medications.

Examples include essential oils, antihistamines and other herbal supplements.

  • Side effects

Some of the best sinus medicine has ingredients which cause nausea and have lingering bitter taste in your mouth.

Check to understand what side effects (if any) your sinusitis treatment has…

  • Ease Of Application

If it’s a capsule, how easy is it to swallow? And what about your irrigator? Is your inhaler treatment user-friendly?

Go for sinus infection treatment otc if you won’t struggle with its application.

  • Effectiveness

Of what is it if it doesn’t work? Make sure that it actually does what it claims to do…

What does your doctor say? As we said earlier on, it’s always a good idea to get the opinion of your physician before commencing on treatment

  • Your Medical History

If antibiotics have always worked for you, you should stick to them. Otherwise, a lot of experimenting with the best medication for sinus infection could lead you to trouble.

Obviously, you need to avoid that which has never worked.

  • Others

You may also want to know if it has a bad smell, if it’s natural or an artificial medication, or whether the effects are long-lasting or not.

  • Conclusion

The consequences of ignoring the best over the counter medicine for sinus infection when infected could sometimes be grave.

Ordinarily, you will experience pain and numerous discomforts until your sinusitis starts clearing.

But again we have cases (though rare), when untreated sinusitis leads serious ailments like meningitis, an infection of your bone or brainabscess

When we come to treatment, it’s always advisable to talk to your doctor even before you ask for the best over the counter sinus medicine and especially with children.

And remember that using the medicine for duration longer than indicated may worsen your infection.     

Otherwise, the best thing for sinus infection is the knowledge that at the end of the day, both acute and chronic sinusitis can be treated either at home or at by your doctor regardless of what caused it.

We have seen the causes, the symptoms, the treatments and even sampled for you the best otc sinus medicine and the alternative treatments.

So, if it attacks you, confront the dragon head-on.  After all, sinusitis is a winnable battle!


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