The ultimate home remedy to get rid of Sinus Headache
Sinuses are the air-filled spaces inside your cheekbones, forehead, and behind the nose. When they get infected due to an allergic reaction or an irritant, they swell, produce more mucus, and the channels which helps in draining them gets blocked.
These sinuses experience pressure in them due to which the headache is caused. The degree of pain of the headache is determined by the severity of the sinus infection.
Symptoms of Sinus Headache
Of course, it is obvious that headaches just has a common symptom that is: the aching of head. But here are some distinctive ones that can help you determine if the headache you are experiencing is caused due to the infection in your sinuses.
- A sinus headache, usually, is a pain felt in the face around, cheeks and forehead and eyes. This pain is mostly constant and felt in one side. It generally is worse at morning and gets better with time.
- The pain worsens as you move your head, bend down, or when there is an extreme changes in temperature in your surroundings. The pain, when severe, can also spread to your teeth, jaw and different parts of your head.
- You may feel like your face has swollen and there may be green or yellow mucus discharge from your nose and fever.
- Though the headaches caused by migraine or tension are similar to it, there is usually fever and nasal discharge in case of sinus headaches which makes it distinguishable.
Causes of Sinus Headache
Here is what causes the sinus infection and the sinus headache. When any kind of infection caused by any germs (Bacterial or viral), the upper airways and sinuses get infected, for instance, with a cold – this can spread to the sinuses and make them to swell. And when in these processes, the small opening from the sinuses to the nose gets blocked, there is a build-up of pressure inside the sinuses. This condition is known as sinusitis.
Sinusitis is the root cause of sinus headache as most people with sinusitis experience this headache. The pressure built-up can get very high due to which there is pain and headache occurs known as sinus headache.
There might be some discomfort but the feeling goes away once you no longer have the infection inside you or once common cold is healed. Sinusitis and sinus headaches might last much longer in case the bacteria has infected the trapped mucus, or your sinuses have repeatedly swollen up due to an allergy.
Diagnosis of Sinus Headache
As the headaches caused due to migraine and sinuses or any other huge diseases may have similar effect on the patient and hence can be difficult to diagnose.
If the headaches persist and it is difficult to diagnose, these physical exams can be taken to determine the problem. You doctor will suggest these:
CT scan: It is a process of examining the brain and the head by rotating x-ray around them such that cross-sectional images of the brain can be made and a precise diagnosis can be done.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): In MRI, instead of x-rays, magnetic field and radio waves are used for producing cross-sectional images of the parts of your brain.
Prevention of Sinus Headache
Here are some tips on how to not let sinus headache happen to you in the first place.
- Wash your hands: Washing your hands regularly keeps you away from germs and there are less chances of you getting an infection. Especially in cold weather, as the viruses can live longer in the places we touch frequently, this is necessary.
- Flu shot: You can prevent from getting a flu with the flu shot and this decreases a chance of you getting an infection in your sinuses and hence prevents the sinusitis headache.
- Balanced diet and Exercise: Doing regular exercise and easing a healthy diet can be quite good in keeping you fit and healthy and you won’t have sinus infection this way.
- Quit Smoking: We know smoking is injurious for health and it is no surprise that quitting the habit of smoking can really decrease the chances of you having a sinusitis headache.
- Cleanliness: Use vacuum to wipe down all surfaces regularly for decreasing or removing the dust from surfaces to keep the room clean.
If you couldn’t prevent it from happening, no worries here are some treatment methods that might help you with the betterment of your sinus infection.
Treatment of Sinus Headache
While treating sinus headache, there needs to be a treatment for its root cause that is sinus infection and the goal of the treatment is to relieve your symptoms and treat that infection efficiently. Antibiotics, antihistamines, or decongestants will help for a short time. The inhaled nasal decongestants can only be used up to 3 days or the problem might just get worse.
You may take pain relievers too, and in case they don’t work, your doctor can prescribe you some kind of corticosteroids that will help ease the inflammation in your sinuses. If you have sinus flare-ups due to an allergic reaction, you might have to get a preventive allergy treatment.
Taking a lot of decongestant and pain-relieving medicines too often might back fire. There are chances you might get medication-overuse-headaches. If this happens, you should take suggestion from doctor and your doctor can suggest alternatives. Decongestants are also known to raise your blood pressure, so beware if you have high blood pressure, and consult a doctor before taking one.
Home Remedies of Sinus Headache
Nothing is better than treating your problems at home.
Try these 6 natural remedies for sinus pain relief to help break the sinus pain cycle:
- Flushing: You can flush your nasal passages with saline spray and washes. A saline wash helps in thinning mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages. Saline washes should be the first line of defense against sinusitis because they are quite effective. Not just in case of a sinus infection, saline sprays helps in reducing the effects of other common diseases like common cold, nasal discomfort, etc.
- Steam: Take a steam has always been a best idea to treat sinuses as hot water vapor moistens the sinuses. Sprinkling some drops of menthol in the shower can increase its effect. A hot, steamy shower or bath helps loosening of the mucus and debris stuck inside your nose
- Stay hydrated: Keep your body with enough liquid. Even your sinuses must be moist enough. Drinking water throughout the day regularly is mandatory. You should stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic drinks because these cause dehydration. You can know if your liquid intake is up to the required amount by the color of urine. Make sure your urine is clear or you should increase your liquid intake.
- Spices: Spicy foods like hot peppers, curry, mustards, wasabi, and horseradish may help clear sinuses. If you like spices, adding some “hot” spices to your meals will help opening your nasal passages.
- Humidifier: Humidifier helps in keeping the air moist, as long as it is clean itself, as a dirty humidifier can breed mold. Use a humidifier only during dry month because it has no use when there is natural humidity. The humidity level in the room should be maintained to about 35 to 50 percent and try not having the humidity too low or too high. You’ll know when the humidity level is too low and if your windows look foggy that means the humidity is higher than it should be.
- Warm compresses: Warm compress will help in keeping the nasal tissues moist so you should try using them. Or alternatively, you can fill a deep pot or bowl with steaming water and breathe the steam in by putting a towel over your head. Make sure you don’t burn yourself. A warm compress followed by a cold compress can help you relieve sinus pain too.
Avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Using antibiotics right away after you’ve just started experiencing the symptoms is not such a good idea. It can lead the germs to get antibiotic resistance and the development of superbugs and antibiotics are not so effective in treating most cases of sinusitis. Most of the sinus infections are caused due to viruses and not bacteria. And as antibiotics are effective only against bacteria and cannot kill viruses, taking an antibiotic may not be such a good idea. The best idea to eliminate the viral infections are to carry out the home remedies mentioned above in the home remedies section as they have no side-effect and are quite effective.
If the sinus infection persists after all the above mentioned ways and ways suggested by your doctor, you might have to remove polyps and treat it the hard way. Doctors might suggest you to have sinus surgery for removing the polyps or opening up the swollen sinuses.
So, these were some brief methods of treating the sinus headache which included some background concepts about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, etc. of sinus infection for keeping you aware about your body. Do not leave it untreated because persistent sinusitis problem can be quite annoying. So, it is better to visit a doctor and have a thorough examination.