There are several types of headaches, which vary in presentation from stinging pain to debilitating pressure. These includes migraines, headaches which can be due to dehydration such as a hangover and also sinus headaches. A sinus headache may cause throbbing pain in forehead, cheekbones and also behind the bridge of the nose.
You have sinuses above the eyes, below the eyes, and behind the eyes. Each one of those is a cavity or pocket that has a window, or an opening. If those windows become congested, swollen, or shut, they put pressure on the sinuses, which can result in infection.
Usually, sinus cavities produce and drain out the mucus. Sinus headaches are often a symptom of sinusitis. This is where the sinus cavities become inflamed from allergies, or other triggers, such as an infection or blockage. But fear not! There are home remedies you can try to relieve these headaches.
Symptoms of sinus headache include pain associated with congestion from a common cold or allergies. You will also have fever, swelling, tenderness in face and stuffy nose. There is constant pain around your eyes, forehead or over your teeth. The pain mostly is worse in the morning due to mucous collection throughout the night. It also gets worse when you bend over.
Instead of popping antibiotics, get relief with simple home remedies. Let’s get right unto it!
Home Remedies for Sinus Headache
So how to get rid of a sinus headache? To get some sinus headache relief, try one or more of the following home remedies.
1. Steam Inhalation
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The dried up mucus in the nasal cavity and sinus passage can form crusts. The easiest way to tackle this problem is to inhale steam which will help the mucus to get thin and get moving.
How to Use
- To do so, simply stand in a steamy shower and breathe deeply. It will help in opening your nasal passage and soothe the sinus headache.
- Alternatively, you can also boil a pot of water.
- Trap the steam by putting a towel over your head.
- Bend over the pot to inhale the steam. Make sure your face is at least 30cms away from the water to avoid burns on your face.
- Now breathe through your nostrils and feel the steam going in them.
Release out from your mouth.
- Repeat this for 5 counts. Now reduce the inhaling and exhaling to 2 counts.
- Continue doing this for 10 minutes or until the water is steaming.
- Make sure to blow your nose during and after the treatment to remove the mucus draining.
- Continue doing this for 1 to 2 minute or until you can tolerate.
- If you wish, you can also add a few drops of essential oils of your choice.
2. Hot and Cold Compress for Sinus Headache
One of the best home remedies for sinus headache is an alternate hot and cold compress. When moist moderate heat is applied on the sinus region it eases the pressure and loosens the thick mucus. Whereas when cold compress is applied, it provides relief from the pain by constricting the blood vessels in the sinus region.
How to Use
- Take some water and heat it. Make sure the temperature is warm enough such that your facial skin can handle it without any burns or other discomfort.
- Soak a wash cloth or face towel in this water and wring out the excess.
- Fold and place the towel on your face covering the sinus region (forehead, nose and cheeks).
- Leave it for 3 minutes.
- Alternatively, remove the face towel and soak it in cold water.
- Wring out the excess, fold and place on forehead for 30 seconds.
- Close your eyes and relax.
- Repeat the process 2 – 4 times in a day.
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties. A hot tea made by steeping ginger root makes for a soothing and also reduces pressure for your sinus headache. It will also help relieve sinusitis symptoms such as a sore throat, particularly if you add some honey. The spicy flavor of ginger can also help reduce sinus pressure pain as it promotes nasal drainage.
How to Use
- Get 1-2 teaspoons of ginger and grate it.
- Boil a cup of water and add the ginger to it.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and sip this tea. You can add a dash of honey for flavor.
- Have three cups of ginger tea in a day.
4. Eucalyptus Oil for Sinus Headache
The cineole component present in Eucalyptus oil holds anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the inflammation. Eucalyptus is also rich in decongestion properties which reduce the mucus production which reduces the congestion in the sinus cavities.
How to Use
- Take hot water in a bowl enough to use for steam inhalation.
- Add few drops of eucalyptus oil into it.
- Bend towards the hot water and cover your head with towel such that no steam escapes. Make sure there is enough space between you and water to avoid burns.
- Inhale and exhale the steam. Do this for few counts.
- Remove the towel and relax.
- Repeat as required.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon help reduce pressure headaches and act as natural decongestants agents. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, while lavender oil is soothing for the mind and body. Lemon oil is an antifungal agent and also an analgesic.
How to Use
- Get 3-4 drops eucalyptus oil, 3-4 drops lavender oil and 3-4 drops lemon essential oil.
- Mix all the oils and pour a drop or two of this mixture on your fingertips.
- Massage it on your face, forehead, temples, and back of the neck with your fingers.
- Breathe deeply to inhale the vapors of these oils.
- Reapply every few hours for maximum benefit.
6. Neti Pot for Sinus Headache
Neti pot increases the mucus drainage, reduces the pressure and also inflammation in nasal passages. In this process, you will irrigate the nasal passages with a saline solution which cleanses the nose and sinus cavities. Once the mucus is drained out, the sinus pressure and headache will automatically reduce.
How to Use
- Take a cup of lukewarm water which is distilled, sterile or previously boiled.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt into it and stir well until it dissolves.
- Fill the Neti pot with the saline solution.
- Now tilt your head over the skin at 45-degree angle.
- Place the spout of the Neti pot into one of your nostrils.
- Gently pour the solution into nostril carefully.
- The fluid starts following though your nasal cavity and comes out through another nostril. Sometimes it may run into your throat. Don’t worry, if it happens jut spit it out.
- Blow your nose to remove any remaining liquid.
- Now refill the Neti pot and repeat the process on the other side.
- As per some studies, it is said that people have achieved complete relief using Neti pot treatment daily. Once the symptoms are reduced, it can be repeated 3 times in a week.
- Alternatively, you can take bulb syringe without needle and irrigate your nostrils using it with saline solution. Do 2 sprays on each nostril for relief.
Note: But be sure to clean all equipment and also make a fresh batch of solution each time you use your kit.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is touted as one of the best herbal teas. Its high antioxidant content and healing powers make it a go-to home remedy for most ailments. It is also effective when it comes to treating sinus headaches.
- Get 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves or green tea bag and a cup of hot water
- Steep the green tea in the hot water for a few minutes.
- Strain and have this tea while it is still warm.
- Honey and lemon are good additions to enhance the flavor of this herbal tea.
- Drink three to four cups of green tea in a day.
Cinnamon is another food with natural anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it useful in sinus headache relief. It can be mixed with honey and ingested to help relieve sinusitis symptoms such as a headache as well as a sore throat caused by post-nasal drip.
How to Use
- Bring a cup of water to boil and add a cinnamon stick.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the flame.
- Let it steep for 10 – 15 minutes and consume it.
- Inhale the vapours from the cinnamon tea for extra relief.
- Repeat whenever required.
- Alternatively, you can a pinch of cinnamon powder to teas, coffee, milk or any other beverages.
- Alternatively, you can combine 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 tablespoon of honey. Consume this mixture daily for at least 3 days to get relief.
- Alternatively, if you do not enjoy the taste of cinnamon, make a paste with water.
- Apply directly to the forehead.
- Proponents of cinnamon paste claim instant relief of sinus headache in the forehead when the paste is used.
9. Cayenne Pepper Tea
As strange as it sounds, there is a reason why cayenne pepper is known to alleviate sinus symptoms. Remember, how we get runny nose after eating hot pepper? Because, it contains an active ingredient known as capsaicin. This is known to be a natural pain reliever, according to some reports. The honey and lemon balance out the spiciness of the cayenne in the tea.
How to Use
- Get 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 small lemon wedge and a cup of boiling water
- Add all the ingredients to the hot water and mix them well.
- Sip this tea while it is warm for instant relief from sinus symptoms.
- Drink two to three cups of this herbal tea in a day.
10. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil contains menthol which has amazing anesthetic, antibacterial, antiviral and also anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to relief sinus congestion and headache.
How to Use
- To a bowl of hot water, add few drops of peppermint oil.
- Take a steam of this solution for few minutes.
- Repeat the process daily whenever required until you get complete relief.
Alternative: Add few drop of peppermint oil in any carrier oil (such as almond oil or jojoba oil). Rub this mixture gently on the sinus regions i.e., nose, forehead, temples and cheeks.
11. Honey for Sinus Headache
Honey is an antimicrobial agent against many bacteria, fungi and also viruses. It soothes the nasal passages and also the throat that are inflamed during a sinus infection. This in turn provides relief for sinus headaches fast.
How to Use
- Get a tablespoon of raw honey and 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.
- Mix both the ingredients and warm up the mixture for a few seconds.
- Consume this mixture.
- Ingest this two times daily to prevent a sinus headache.
12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains anti-bacterial and also antifungal properties. This help fight with the bacteria or fungus causing infection. Its anti-inflammatory properties also reduces the inflammation which helps in draining out the mucus. It also balances the pH in the nasal sinuses.
How to Use
- Combine 1/2 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Bring the mixture to boil.
- Now remove from the flame and let it sit for a minute.
- Cover your head and inhale the vapours through nose. Your nose may sting a little but don’t worry. It will next clear the mucus and slowly drains it out.
- After few minutes of inhaling and exhaling, remove the cover and relax.
- Repeat the process whenever required.
- For extra soothing effect, add peppermint oil.
13. Stay Hydrated
Number one rule when you’re sick: Drink plenty of fluids. The same goes for when you have sinus headache. Because hydration helps the body in numerous ways, and is good for sinuses headaches. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking a lot of water to. Because it helps dilute mucous secretions and also promotes drainage. But you should also avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. Because they can be dehydrating. Drinking alcohol can also worsen the swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose.
In addition to the above home remedies, a fixed daily routine can help manage your symptoms and prevent sinus headaches. These include:
- Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
- Getting enough rest or sleep.
- Avoiding things that cause stress and/or doing things that relieve stress.
- Never skipping a meal and always eat at the same time everyday.
- Getting regular exercise of all types. Aim to get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise 4 to 6 times a week.
Have you tried any remedy mentioned above in the article? If none of the remedies worked, or if you are having severe pain, swelling in face, confusion, fever or stiff neck then consult a doctor right away.
Share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.