There is nothing worse than a sinus headache. You feel in pain, uncomfortable, irritable and tired. And it seems like there is nothing you can do that will make it better.
How to get Rid of a Sinus Headache
There are many things that you can do to help ease the pain and discomfort of a sinus headache.
1. Knowing the Causes Firstly
The first thing that you will need to do is think about what might be causing it. Do you have a cold? Flu? Do you think that you could be allergic to something? The best way to get rid of a sinus headache is to find out what is causing it in the first place.
If you think you have flu or a serious allergy then you must consult a doctor for the proper medication.
Meanwhile for relief from your symptoms you can try ibuprofen for pain relief. Many people take ibuprofen because they believe it will cure their sinus headache. This is not he case. It will offer temporary pain relief but it will probably not be able to cure what is causing it. You could also try either paracetamol or aspirin if you are over 18 years of age. Do not take any of these medications at the same time as each other and always follow the dosage instructions. Do not give paracetamol or aspirins to infants.
2. Keeping Head Elevated While Resting
When you are sleeping or resting try to keep your head elevated. A big cause of sinus congestion and sinus headaches it fluid accumulating whilst you are lying down. And once it has settled in the facial area it can be hard to remove. Elevate your head with a couple of extra pillows or a V pillow.
3. Use of Saline Nasal Spray
To ease the discomfort you could try using a nasal spray or decongestants to rid your sinuses of the congestion. But you must not use these for more than three days. If you do you may experience something called rebound hyperemia. This is where prolonged use of decongestants and anti inflammatory drugs cause the muscles of the nasal passages and the blood vessels to swell. As a result you will need more and more decongestants to produce the same effects.
4. Relaxation Techniques
Use some relaxation techniques like stretching for the head and neck. You can also use facial massage as a natural way to relive your discomfort.
– Inhaling steam 2 to 4 times per day.
– Take a warm bath or shower. The heat of the water opens the blood vessels, as well as helping rigid muscles relax.
– Darken your environment. Extreme light sensitivity is a hallmark of this kind of headache.
– Put something cold on the pain. Unopened frozen vegetables really do make a great ice pack, conforming to rounded areas.
– While holding a cold compress to your head, put your feet in warm water.
Please note that if your symptoms continue for more than three days then you should consult your doctor.
Home Remedies for a Sinus Headache Relief & Prevention
As most people in natural health believe, the purpose of using essential oils, aromatherapy, herbs and homeopathics is to help your body do what it already knows how to do. These modalities are there to aid, not to medicate. They nourish your body and give it the extra it needs to perform the healing process. Let’s go on some of these remedies as below:
Wintergreen or Mint Oil
One of the quick fixes is rubbing wintergreen or mint oil on the temples and along the sinus line under the eyes, being careful to not get it in your eyes. Sometimes just taking a sniff of one of these oils releases a lot of pressure. If you are really blocked up and in terrible pain, rubbing warm oils on the bottom of your feet can give nearly instant relief. Because the soles of our feet are so porous, using this trick for any ailment that needs immediate attention can be very helpful as the oils’ medicinal circulate through your body quickly this way.
Along with a “spicy” oil, you can try using a combination of fenugreek and thyme in capsule form. Taking a couple of capsules from a reputable company every two hours is more effective than taking a large quantity every 4-6 hours. Just like food nourishes the body, these herbal supplements aid the body, helping it to release mucus and lubricate dry sinuses. Fenugreek and thyme make a nice combination for helping with both. I have had a lot of clients, including myself, find that taking this combination once or twice daily for a few months prevents any recurrence of sinus infections.
Drinking a hot cup of herbal tea helps your sinuses to release and drain. Even if you are just experiencing a typical, non-sinus, headache, an herbal tea with chamomile or valerian do wonders in helping you relax. We often tense our whole bodies when one part is in pain. This only makes the pain worse. Learning to relax is key to pain management.
Use of a Humidifier
During these winter months, when the heater is running more than it is not, it is important to keep your sinuses moist. Running a humidifier helps to keep the air in your home at a reasonable humidity. Instead of using a commercially produced vapor rub, putting a couple of drops of wintergreen or mint oil in some petroleum jelly where indicated in your humidifier also works well. I remember my mom using a vapor rub this same way. It worked very well and was much nicer than having that gunk rubbed on my chest.
As with any ailment, here are a few dietary notes that can be helpful in preventing headaches. If you are one who suffers from frequent headaches, it is a good idea to keep a food journal for a while. There are often key contributors like nuts, nitrates, preservatives and sugar.
Caffeine is one of those things that our body loves to hate. In moderation, it is wonderful. Over time we build up a love-hate relationship. In terms of headaches, it can become a contributing factor. Too much or too little can cause a terrible headache. My advice is to be aware of just how much caffeine you have each day and to wean off if you are having more than a cup of coffee a day. Your body could be trying to tell you through your headaches that it really doesn’t like the caffeine.
With sinus headaches, avoiding dairy and wheat can make a huge difference. Dairy products encourage the production of mucus and bogs your body down in its efforts to get rid of it. Wheat can inflame your joints and your sinuses. Eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables is always best along with lean meats, in moderation, and whole grains.
Start and end each day in prevention mode. Have a glass of fresh squeezed lemon and purified water before breakfast then get your circulation going with a brisk walk or a jog on the treadmill. End each day with a hot cup of herbal tea and prop your head up on a couple of pillows to help your sinuses drain through the night. In the middle of all of that, find ways to relax throughout the day and enjoy what life has to offer.