Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Sinus InfectionFaizan Khan
With the winter approaching, many people find themselves shopping for jumbo-sized tissue rolls and lozenges.
Without considering the causes and preventive measures, we have taken common cold and flu for granted. But do you know you can save a lot of time and energy (some money too) by following a simple routine this winter?
Nasal congestion and headaches are the most common indications for a sinus infection. But what exactly is a sinus infection, and how can you treat it?
There is no agent greater than hydrogen peroxide when it comes to combating infection. Especially if the infective agent is present over the body. The disinfecting properties of hydrogen peroxide are second to none!
Therefore, a question arises: Can you use hydrogen peroxide to treat and prevent a sinus infection? We will be diving into all of these questions and answering them in the light of research.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
The Role of Hydrogen Peroxide in Battling Infections
The single greatest property that hydrogen peroxide offers is its indiscriminate capacity to kill all types of germs over various surfaces and objects.
Hydrogen peroxide contains lone oxygen in its structure, released whenever it comes into contact with air and sunlight. This reactive oxygen is then responsible for all kinds of chemical reactions, disinfection being one of them.
As oxygen is organic and non-specific, it can react with vital microbes and bacteria cell components and change their composition.
Therefore, hydrogen peroxide can be selected to eliminate bacteria and viruses. Even the nasty fungi stand no chance against the reactive power of oxygen!
Sinus Infections – What You Need to Know!
Before we get into what sinus infections are, we first have to know what exactly the words “sinus” mean.
Sinuses are hollow spaces within the bones, e.g.… They can be the hollow space in the eyes, behind the cheekbones, or forehead.
The basic task is to make mucus that keeps those spaces moist and, therefore, protect against foreign dust particles, allergens, and pollutants.
Inflammation in these parts is called sinusitis or a sinus infection. The normally air-filled sinuses become clogged with fluid, which provides a growth medium for germs.
There are four distinctive ways to divide a sinus infection based on time duration:
- Acute sinusitis: Last for 2-4 weeks. They usually begin as cold-like symptoms, including stuffy or runny nose and pain.
- Subacute sinusitis: 4-12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: If the sinus symptoms last for more than 12 weeks, they are regarded as chronic
- Recurrent sinusitis: happen several times each year
Conditions that lead to mucus blockage inside the nose or make the epithelial lining susceptible to microbial attacks are the causes of sinuses. They include:
- The common cold is the most common cause of nasal congestion and sinusitis.
- Allergic rhinitis leads to increased mucus production inside the sinus in response to certain allergens.
- Nasal polyps are tumor growth inside the epithelial lining of the nose and block mucus.
- Deviated septum may shift the nasal structure and, in turn, block the flow of mucus.
The nasal congestion manifests in many forms, known as sinusitis symptoms. Some of them include:
- Stuffed-up nose
- Facial Pain or Pressure (due to excess mucus)
- Runny nose
- Loss of smell
- Bad breath
- Dental Pain
Most of the treatment plans for sinusitis revolve around relieving the symptoms. However, as acute sinusitis gets better in some time, managing the associated symptoms is the best way to go.
One way of doing that is nasal corticosteroids. These medications help to control the inflammatory response going on in your sinus and relieve some of the congestion you may be facing.
Allergy medications can be another great way of helping your sinus infection. These medications are especially noteworthy if the sinus is caused due to an allergic response such as rhinitis.
However, by far, the best way you can manage your sinus infection is via nasal sprays. They may include saline nasal sprays or, even better, the ones reinforced with some disinfecting agent such as hydrogen peroxide.
The saline solutions help ease your congestion, and the hydrogen peroxide present will help you fight off the microbial growth in the mucus.
Hydrogen Peroxide in Treating Sinus Infections
Hydrogen peroxide was recommended when we mentioned reinforcing the nasal spray using disinfecting agent while treating sinus infections. Why is that so?
Hydrogen peroxide is the only disinfecting agent that’s compatible with the human body and effective in killing germs.
Other disinfecting agents such as bleach and ammonia may be strong and potent in fighting microbes.
However, they have adverse side effects when used on the human body. More so, if these are exposed to sensitive surfaces like mucosa of the nose.
Does it Work? – What Does the Research Indicate?
Hundreds of articles online suggest hydrogen peroxide as a high-risk chemical to be used over the body, and a hundred more say it is the salvation in all germicide-related procedures. Who should you believe?
The best way is to count on research. And same goes for the claim that hydrogen peroxide treats sinusitis and other sinus-related problems.
According to this British article, hydrogen peroxide has many advantages over ordinary disinfecting agents such as carbolic, bin iodine, and perchlorate solutions.
That’s because it liberated completely non-toxic chemicals as byproducts: water and oxygen.
The oxygen liberated from hydrogen peroxide has an array of functions inside the body. The most highlighted of which is the germicidal action on the sinus infection.
This phenomenon was used by these British scientists to check the potency of hydrogen peroxide in treating sinus infections in well-over thirty cases.
The patients were irrigated with a “5-volumes” solution of hydrogen peroxide at a rate of ten to twenty drops per minute.
These scientists used the same apparatus to deliver hydrogen peroxide to the deepest part of the sinuses for a total of four hours (two in the morning and two in the afternoon).
The treatment showed satisfactory results in not just appendix abscesses but also empyema and tuberculosis sinuses in soft tissues and bones.
Therefore, it is safe to say that hydrogen peroxide effectively treats sinusitis without any risk of detrimental side effects.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Sinus Infections
The ear is another sinus that is very commonly infected. So much of the nasal and sinuses from other body parts, ear sinuses store mucus and have a damp atmosphere inside the cavity.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for people who suffer other types of sinuses, face this one too.
Ear infections are aggravated by the fact that the ear, nose, and mouth are connected through a common duct (larynx). So sinusitis in any part of this triad may lead to infection of the other two.
So can you treat ear sinuses using hydrogen peroxide as well?
Does it Work?
Ear congestion or sinusitis is characterized by moderate to severe blockage of your ear canal. The ear canal, also known as the Eustachian canal, runs from the outer aperture of your ear to the beginning of the eardrum (middle ear)
The main purpose of this canal is to transmit sound waves from outside to inside the body. Apart from that, it also helps in normal balancing of the body as well as blocking any bacteria and germs from entering through this canal (and humidifying the air) through ear wax.
Therefore, whenever the Eustachian canal gets blocked or congested, you feel pressure and “fullness” inside your ear. Muffled sounds and ear pain are also some of the associated symptoms.
So judging from the etiology of the ear sinusitis, we can see that the main task of resolving this issue is removing germs and inflammatory debris from this canal and relieving the congestion.
Hydrogen peroxide drops can be very helpful for relieving ear sinusitis. Not only does hydrogen peroxide kill off germs in the infection, but it also oxidizes the excess ear wax to open up the ear canal.
How to Use
Now that we know exactly how excess sinus fluid can lead to ear compression, we can discuss how to clean this off.
For this procedure, all you will need is a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and a towel! Commonly available alcoholic ear drops are optional for the last part of the procedure.
- Start by draining out the superficial fluid present in your ear. Jiggle or tug on your ear lobe with your ear tilted towards the congested ear canal
- Then allow the ear fluid to drain against gravity by clenching your ear lobe towards the shoulder.
- Move on to using hydrogen peroxide ear drops in the congested ear and lie down at the same side for a few minutes.
- Drain the hydrogen peroxide off fully by using a hot compress for 30 secs. Rest for a minute, then apply a hot compress again for 30 secs and repeat the process four to five times.
- To finish off the procedure, use commonly available alcohol ear drops to dry out your ear canal.,
Performing this procedure 1-2 times a day can dramatically decrease your ear sinus symptoms and help your body recover quickly.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Nasal Sinus Infections
You have been waiting for hydrogen peroxide for nasal sinusitis for the segment.
From the above data and procedures, we have seen that hydrogen peroxide is very effective in combating common germs and inflammatory debris present inside an infection. And the same goes for nasal sinus infections.
Does it Work?
Nasal sinuses are present between two nasal bones inside the skull. Given its central position and regular exposure to the environment, it is one of the most commonly infected parts when it comes to sinuses.
Whenever a bacteria or germ infests this sinus, it produces high amounts of mucus along with feelings of headaches and fever. As a result, a runny or blocked nose is one of the most common symptoms people face all year, especially in winter.
Hydrogen peroxide is one of those chemicals that can clean nasal sinuses without any risk of damage.
However, one thing to watch out for is the concentration of hydrogen peroxide you are using. Higher than 3% hydrogen peroxide is not compatible with the body’s normal use.
Using the same oxidizing phenomenon of hydrogen peroxide mentioned in the above sections can kill nasal bacteria, clear off inflammatory debris and crusts, and maintain healthy homeostasis inside your nose.
How to Use
Now that we know exactly what leads to nasal sinusitis and how hydrogen peroxide is effective in treating it, we can discuss the complete procedure.
The great thing with hydrogen peroxide is how easy it is to use and how it makes long and strenuous procedures into one simple step: applying hydrogen peroxide.
So for this procedure as well, all you need is one bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, rinse bottle, and salt.
- Pour ⅓ of hydrogen peroxide into ⅔ lukewarm water and 1 g salt per 100 ml water and make a solution.
- Take a rinse bottle and pour this solution inside.
- To irrigate your nose using this solution, move your head into a comfortable position in the shower or over the sink.
- Put the tip of this rinse bottle and push it while aiming towards the crown or top of your head.
- The squeezed solution will flush out your nose, and fluid will circulate out of other sinus cavities.
- You may feel fluid draining into your mouth or from the opposite side of your nose.
- Do not swallow large quantities of this debris and spit it out
- Make sure your rinse bottle is clean. Sterilize it weekly using the same hydrogen peroxide.
And that’s about it. Make sure to rinse your nasal sinuses using hydrogen peroxide 2-3 times a day if you are experiencing a blockage. You may also perform the procedure as a preventive measure in winter seasons by rinsing your sinuses 1-2 times a day.
You Can Also Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Prevent a Sinus Infection on Top of Treating One!
We have thoroughly gone over all the ways you can use hydrogen peroxide to relieve different sinus infections. But, more than that, now we can begin the discussion as if it can be used to prevent other sinus infections that are both important and relevant with modern times.
One of the most widespread and dangerous respiratory infections is the SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by the infamous COVID-19 virus.
Since its advent in 2020, scientists have thoroughly researched and discussed its wider implications and treatment methods. Most prominent of which is using hydrogen peroxide to kill off the coronavirus.
A recent article published points to the same question we have at hand, the use of hydrogen peroxide in the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. This article recommends using 3% hydrogen peroxide for oral washing and 1.5% for nasal irrigation to prevent any sinusitis related to the COVID-19 virus.
Another article researched the use of nasal and oral washing of hydrogen peroxide to prevent the COVID-19 virus and found amazing results.
The hospital staff who regularly came into contact with the infected patients showed no symptoms of the virus, and the infected hosts showed a speedy recovery.
Therefore, we can conclude that hydrogen peroxide is a viable option for preventing all types of sinusitis, to say the least.
What Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide is Best for Sinus Infection?
While it is debated what concentration of hydrogen peroxide is best for irrigating your sinus infections, it is universally acclaimed that higher than 3% hydrogen peroxide should be avoided for the use of the body.
Moreover, seeing the sensitive nature of mucus surfaces, even 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration at higher amounts may be irritating.
The best way to go is to buy a 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it 1:1 with water for irrigating your nasal and ear sinusitis.
3% hydrogen peroxide is very commonly available and economical. Moreover, it can be used in an array of other procedures.
If you feel mild irritation while performing the procedure, make sure to discard your current hydrogen peroxide solution and make a less concentrated one.
Take These Safety Precautions at all Times!
The foremost safety protocol that needs to be addressed while using hydrogen peroxide is making sure that the concentration of hydrogen peroxide you are using is adequately concentrated.
The middle-ground when it comes to hydrogen peroxide concentration is 3% hydrogen peroxide.
We have already discussed how at this concentration, hydrogen peroxide is strong enough to eliminate all types of germs and mild enough to prevent any mucus damage or skin burns.
Another factor you should be careful about is making sure that the batch of hydrogen peroxide is freshly made. Hydrogen peroxide is somewhat fragile when it comes to exposure to the environment.
So always make fresh batches of hydrogen peroxide every day and discard the previous.
One last thing you should be wary about is the expiration date on your hydrogen peroxide bottle. Generally, a hydrogen peroxide bottle lasts for three years if it is not opened.
The lifespan subtracts down to mere six months after the bottle cap is open. So make sure to store hydrogen peroxide in a dark and cool place to avoid any unwanted wasting.
The Bottom Line
Sinus infections are some of the most widespread ailments that usually occur in winter. In addition, almost ⅓ of people are affected by the common cold and flu.
So instead of giving in to this disease and taking it for granted, we can recruit hydrogen peroxide to battle these agents for us.
As we can see from data, hydrogen peroxide is especially proficient in fighting off sinus bacteria and viruses. Moreover, it has shown its capacity as a possible preventive measure against the notorious COVID-19 virus.
With the winter and sinus infections approaching, grab your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!