How To Get Relief From A Sinus Headache

in Healthy Living


Sinus headache relief can be elusive, and for some it may seem unattainable. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention each year roughly 30 million people are afflicted with sinus headaches. Desperate for relief, sufferers of sinus pain flock to their doctors and some even visit the emergency room. Sinus headache treatment often consists of a two pronged approach that combines sinus headache medicine with alternative therapies. Being able to identify a sinus headache, and understanding the tell tale symptoms will enable you to know how to get rid of sinus headache before it becomes a nuisance.

Identifying Sinus Headache Symptoms

The primary difference between a sinus headache and other types of headache are the symptoms that go hand and hand with them. Congestion, cough, sore throat, fatigue, sneezing, post-nasal drip and runny nose are often accompany the pain and pressure that come with the headache. Some people may even notice that their mucus has a slightly yellowish-green, or blood tinged hue.

The pain you experience with a sinus headache is also localized; centering around the cheeks, nose and forehead. Some people may notice that the pain from a sinus headache stretches across the forehead, around the eyes, across toward the temples. This is because people have two sinus cavities, one on each side of the head.

What Is The Difference Between A Sinus Headache and Migraine?

It is not uncommon for people to confuse a sinus headache for a migraine. Knowing the difference between the two is very important because migraine and sinus headache are treated very differently. Sinus headaches occur when the membranes of the sinus cavities become inflamed. The inflammation causes pressure and it prevents mucus from draining properly. Medical professionals refer to this as sinusitis. Sinusitis can be caused by a cold, flu, allergic reaction, or environmental irritants such as dust, mold, or smoke. Certain medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis and asthma can also cause sinus headaches.

Although migraines and sinus headache are different, they do have some similarities. For instance, both may cause pain behind the eye. However, with a migraine headache the pain may worsen with movement. Migraine pain also tends to be localized in the temples and typical only occurs on one side of the head. Additionally, those who suffer from migraines may also find that they are sensitive to light and noise, which is not a problem for people who have sinus headaches.

Sinus Headache Treatment

Doctors use sinus headache medicine and alternative remedies to treat sinus pain. In some cases medication alone is not effective. When sinus headaches become chronic, endoscopic surgery may be used to remove obstructions in the sinuses such as bone spurs, or polyps. If sinus problems are caused by nasal passages that are too narrow doctors may recommend a procedure to enlarge the sinuses. These procedures are done by an ENT, or ear, nose and throat doctor.

Common Sinus Headache Medicine

Both prescription and non-prescription medication can be used when treating sinus headaches. Over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil, or Motrin (ibuprofen) may help with sinus headache relief. However, these types of medication only treat the symptoms of sinus headache and not the cause.

Antihistamines and decongestants may be used in conjunction with pain relievers. Antihistamines will help if your headaches are caused by allergy because they help block your bodies natural reaction to allergens. Decongestants are useful because they help shrink the blood vessels in the nasal passages, which reduce the inflammation allowing congestion to be expelled freely.

Doctors may use some other medications to help you achieve sinus headache pain relief. Nasal sprays that contain corticosteroids may effectively relieve pain because they reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. Triptans, often used to treat migraines, may also be used in the treatment of sinus pain. Triptans help constrict blood vessels to reduce inflammation. Antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection of the sinuses is suspected.

Natural And Home Remedies For Sinus Headaches

Many natural home remedies can be used to treat sinus headaches. In fact, it is not uncommon for doctors to promote the use of natural sinus headache relief. Humidifiers and saline nasal sprays can help keep the nasal passages irrigated and open, which helps prevent and relieve inflammation and congestion. Using a sinus cleanse, or Netti pot can also help get rid of sinus pain as either one will help disinfect the sinuses and flush away any irritants.

Supplements and herbs can also be used to treat sinus headaches. Some work by reducing inflammation, while others help prevent things that cause sinus pain such as illness, or allergy. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, can reduce inflammation to relieve sinusitis. Quercetin, a plant pigment found in fruits and vegetables, acts as a natural antihistamine to reduce allergy related sinus headaches. Before you use an herb, or supplement for sinus headache relief it is important to consult a healthcare professional as they may interact with other medications, or cause undesirable side effects.

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