Home Remedies for Sinus Headache : Commonly confused with tension headaches or migraines, sinus headaches, which is a side effect of sinusitis, occur when the lining of the sinus membrane becomes inflamed and swollen with the presence of pressure surrounding the forehead, eyes and cheeks. This causes pain and sensitivity to the affected area, particularly upon touching. When you visit a doctor for a sinus headache, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics which may not always be effective. Fortunately, you can alternatively treat this problem with a number of home remedies which are 100% natural and safe, along with your medications for the best results!
Home Remedies for Sinus Headache
Home Remedies for Sinus Headache | How to Get Rid of a Sinus Headache?
Here is a look at some of the most amazing home remedies to help you gain relief from sinus headaches.
1. Steam Inhalation– This one relieves nasal congestion caused by sinusitis, common cold and other sinus and respiratory conditions. When warm air is introduced into your nose, the hot steam moistens the nasal passages. This in turn helps in clearing up your blocked nose and opening up your congested sinuses. Not only does it drain the mucus out, but also assists you to breathe easier.
How to Use:
- Prepare a big bowl of hot water (preferably freshly boiled).
- Add a few drops of anti-inflammatory essential oils, like peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, etc. The essential oil is optional.
- Lean forward over the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel in such way that the steam does not escape. However, remember to maintain a distance of at least 30cm to avoid burning your face (yes, steam can burn your skin).
- Breathe through your nose, and inhale the steam.
- Do this for 1 to 2 minutes, or for as long as you can tolerate it.
- Remove the towel and relax until you feel cool and comfortable.
- Repeat the inhalation process again.
- At any point, if the steam makes you uncomfortable or should you feel a burning sensation, remove the towel immediately and let your face cool down.
- Make sure that you take precautions to avoid burns, especially if you are using it for children, the elderly or pregnant women.
This is one of the best remedies for sinus headaches as it reduces inflammation of the sinus passages to drain the mucus. This automatically reduces pressure that causes the painful headaches.
2. Alternate Hot and Cold Compress– When there is a blockage in the sinus, it causes pressure on the face, around the nose and forehead, which later causes the throbbing headache. For sinus headaches caused by this pressure, alternate hot and cold compress serves as most effective remedy. While the warm moist heat applied directly to the sinus area helps in easing pressure and loosening thick mucus, the cold compress helps in constricting the blood vessels in the sinus region, relieving pain caused by the pressure.
How to Use:
- Take some hot water in a bowl. The temperature should be tolerable by your facial skin without causing any discomfort or risk of burns.
- Soak a face towel in the water and wring out excess water.
- Now fold the towel and place it over your face, covering your nose, forehead, and cheeks – areas where you feel the pressure.
- Leave it in place for 3 minutes or so.
- Remove the towel and soak it in cold water next, wring out excess water and place it over your forehead.
- Leave it on for 30 seconds.
- Close your eyes and relax.
- Repeat this 2 to 4 times every day.
This is an effective home remedy that is tried and true. If you want to relieve sinus headaches caused by pressure, use this process and you will find that it works wonders.
3. Ginger Tea– Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and will effectively reduce swelling in the sinuses. The active component in ginger, namely the gingerol, is similar to piperine or capsaicin – the same compounds that give peppers their spiciness. It works on inflammation and drains mucus, which in turn clears up the sinuses.
How to Use:
- Slice ginger into 1-inch pieces and place them in a cup.
- Pour boiling hot water into the cup.
- Allow it to steep for 10 minutes.
- Drink the ginger tea as it is. There is no need to drain it.
- While you sip your ginger tea, breathe in consciously so that you inhale the steam coming out of your cup.
- If you can handle the spicy flavor, chew the ginger slices for immediate relief.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of the tea every day.
- Additionally, you can add sliced or grated ginger to soups and broths. You can also massage your sinus area with ginger oil for relief from sinus headaches.
4. Saline Solution– A saline solution can help in cleansing your nasal passages and sinuses. Once the mucus gets drained out, it will relieve the sinus pressure and this will in turn ease your headache. Using a saline solution has many benefits. It clears sticky, thick mucus and also reduces the symptoms of post-nasal drainage, although only temporarily. It also helps in getting rid of nasal congestion as well as pollen and other contaminants or irritants that invade your nostrils and sinuses. Irrigating your nasal passages also does away with nasal dryness. It will help you breathe easily and freely and reduce coughing that occurs after nasal drip. And of course, when your nasal passages get cleared up, it will naturally eliminate your headache. Although saline nasal sprays are readily available in stores, you can easily make it at home too.
How to Make:
You will need:
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon
- Warm water – 1 cup
- Dropper/waterpik/squeeze bottle/neti pot
To make the saline solution:
- Add the salt and baking soda to the warm water.
- Fill this solution in a container you think will be easy to irrigate your nasal passages with.
- Squeeze the solution into your nostril, one drop at a time, and drain it out. The water will drain out the mucus and clean your nasal passages and sinuses.
- Discard the solution you have not used.
How to use a Neti Pot:
Neti pots too are a great way to relieve a nagging sinus headache naturally. The use of this age old remedy helps in increasing drainage and reducing inflammation in the nasal passage associated with sinus headaches.
How to Use:
- Start by filling your Neti pot with warm water. Add a few pinches of salt to it.
- Next, tilt your head to your right and gently lift up the pot to the opening of the higher nostril.
- Allow the saline water to enter the higher nostril and flow out through the lower. Breathe through your mouth while doing this.
- Do this twice a week for relief from a bad sinus headache.
5. Cinnamon: This kitchen spice can do more than making sumptuous dishes. It can alleviate the worst of sinus headaches in a jiffy. What’s more? It is an inexpensive yet highly effective remedy.
- Mix a tbsp. of powdered cinnamon with half the quantity of pure sandalwood powder. With a few drops of water, make a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste to your head. And let it stay on till it dries up.
- You can repeat this remedy till the headache is gone.
6. Spice up your diet: Spicing up your diet will also do the trick. Add mustard and peppers to your cooking daily and watch your headache disappear. Studies suggest that capsaicin is an active ingredient in peppers that alleviates pain without side effects.
7. Hum Away: Did you know that humming your favorite notes can help in reducing sinus pain? It’s not the song of course, it’s the humming itself. Some Swedish doctors opine that humming helps in increasing the airflow in your nostrils and sinuses. It is also said to elevate the levels of nitrous oxide in your nasal passage. And this in turn helps in reducing the pain associated with a sinus headache and mitigates the risk of contracting sinusitis.
8. Maintain a diary: As tempted as you may be, avoid getting into the vicious circle of nasal sprays. Yes, they do provide relief, but it is only temporary. Within a few days, these sprays will worsen the sinus pressure and congestion. Maintain diary to understand what triggers a sinus attack, and steer clear from those pain triggers. When you have a sinus allergy avoid swimming, flying and even diving.
9. Massage: Massaging is a sure shot way to chase a sinus headache away. If you cannot get someone to massage your head for you, use your fingertips to gently massage the areas of your head that are stricken with pain. Your thumbs in particular can help reduce the pain considerably.
How to do:
- Place your thumbs just above your eyebrows.
- While applying a little pressure, pull your thumbs down towards your hairline.
- Use this technique to massage your forehead gently.
Other Tips and Tricks:
There is no denying that a headache can incapacitate you and leave you writhing with pain. But armed with a few tips and tricks, you can reduce the pain naturally without having to resort to OTC drugs and sprays.
- Rest when you get a sinus headache. The more you rest, the sooner you will get back on your feet.
- Use aromatic oils to massage your forehead. You can also use oils such as lavender and lemon grass in your bath or even inhale them. This will give you considerable relief from sinus pain.
- Have at least two or three long steamy baths if you suffer from recurring sinus headaches. This will help open up the sinuses and give you relief from pain.
- Wash your hands as often as you can, as this will reduce the risk of sinus infections and upper respiratory issues.
There are many simple home remedies that can help you get relief from sinus headaches. However, keep in mind that if your headache lasts more than a week and is accompanied by fever, you should immediately consult an ENT specialist as it may be necessary for you to get a more aggressive treatment than what natural remedies can provide.