A person breathing in steam.
One of the best ways to treat a sinus headache naturally is by breathing in steam, as moisture and heat can thin out mucus.

Natural Remedy for a Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are headaches that you feel in the sinuses, usually around your forehead, cheeks and eyes. Sinus headaches happen when the sinuses become congested, typically due to a cold or seasonal allergies. However, in some cases, sinus headaches are a symptom of an ongoing sinus disorder, chronic sinusitis, or the result of nasal polyps or a deviated septum. While medicine may help, there is a natural remedy for a sinus headache.

There are various treatment options available for sinus headaches, including over-the-counter and prescription medications, natural remedies and surgical treatment options.

How Does a Sinus Headache Differ From a Migraine?

Sinus headaches and migraine headaches are often confused as the signs and symptoms of both are quite similar. In many cases, sinus headaches turn out to be migraines. In fact, the American Migraine Foundation reports that 50% of migraines are misdiagnosed initially as sinus headache. The problem is, that sinus headaches and migraines are treated differently, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can receive effective treatment.

Sinus headaches and migraine headaches both involve pain that is often worsened when leaning forward. Additionally, both types of headaches may include facial pressure and/or pain, congestion and nasal discharge. However, migraine headaches typically involve dizziness, nausea, light and/or noise sensitivity, whereas sinus headaches do not include these symptoms. Sinus headaches often occur after a cold or upper respiratory infection and include yellow or green nasal discharge, cheek or upper teeth pain and decreased sense of smell, whereas migraine headaches do not include these symptoms. Furthermore, sinus headaches tend to last for days, while migraine headaches typically last from several hours to a day or two.

Natural Remedies for Sinus Headache

In addition to over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies and prescription medications, there are various treatment you can try at home to help manage your sinus headaches, including:

1. Use Steam

Dry air can increase sinus pressure and contribute to headaches. Adding moisture into the air via a hot shower or bath, or with a humidifier, can help to thin out the mucus in your sinuses by moistening them.

2. Saline Wash

Saline spray helps to moisturize your nose and decrease sinus pressure.

3. Apply Pressure

Gently apply pressure or tap on your sinus points at the bridge of your nose between your eyes to help loosen trapped mucus in the sinuses. Lean forward after applying pressure to blow your nose. Additionally, applying pressure under your eyes, at the top of your cheekbones, may also help to relieve sinus pressure.

4. Get Adequate Sleep

Restful sleep helps the body to heal itself as sleep helps to stimulate the release of hormones that promote tissue growth and also helps the body to produce more white blood cells that are crucial to fight off infection.

5. Elevate Your Head

Laying flat can increase the buildup of mucus in your nose, increase pressure in your sinuses and impede sleep. Try propping your head up on pillows when sleeping to prevent mucus buildup and promote better breathing.

6. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can dry out your sinuses and increase facial pressure. Increasing your fluid consumption can help to decrease sinus buildup and relieve sinus pressure.

7. Exercise

Exercise helps to increase the circulation of blood and can help to relieve sinus congestion and improve breathing.

8. Relax

Learning relaxation strategies such as meditation and deep breathing can help to relieve muscle tension in your face, head and neck, and may help to reduce the pain and pressure associated with sinus headaches.

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Symptoms of Sinus Headache

If you are suffering with a sinus headache, you will likely feel constant pain and/or pressure in your forehead, bridge of your nose and/or cheekbones that may worsen if you move your head suddenly or lean your head forward. Sinus headaches can be felt on one side of your head or on both. Additional symptoms of a sinus headache include:

  • Head throbbing.
  • Runny nose (sometimes with yellow or green discharge).
  • Fever.
  • Facial swelling and redness.
  • Ear fullness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Aching jaw.
  • Pain in the upper teeth.
  • Decreased sense of smell.

Preventing a Sinus Headache

If you suffer from recurrent sinus headaches that are the result of allergies or chronic sinusitis, you may need to take prescription medication to help prevent sinus headaches. If you suffer with chronic sinusitis, you may need surgery (balloon sinuplasty) to get your sinus headaches under control. If you suffer with nasal polyps or a deviated septum, you may need surgery to prevent sinus headaches.

Additionally, there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce the frequency and intensity of your sinus headaches, including avoiding known triggers and exercising regularly.

In Conclusion

Sinus headaches can be painful and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are various treatment options available, including home remedies, to help manage symptoms and get you feeling better

If you are suffering with prolonged pain or pressure around your sinuses, pay attention to accompanying symptoms including discolored nasal discharge, fever, etc. to help determine if what you are experiencing is actually a sinus headache. If your headache does not subside, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis so you can get effective treatment to relieve your symptoms.