Sinus headaches can be debilitating, making it difficult to focus on or think about anything else. We'll look at trusted home remedies for stubborn sinus headaches.
The sinuses are located in four areas of the face: the forehead, and cheeks, between/behind the eyes, and along the back of the head. A sinus headache feels like pressure in any of these areas, due to blocked nasal passages as the sinuses cannot drain, causing inflammation and pain in the head, nose, and face.
Sinus headaches can be caused by the common cold or seasonal allergies like hay fever, and most usually get better in up to ten days with some home remedies. However, if after this period you still feel the symptoms of a sinus headache, consult your doctor for further assistance.
Check out our seven home remedies for stubborn sinus headaches to assist in opening nasal passages and increasing comfort.
1. Stay Hydrated
As with many illnesses drinking a lot of fluids and staying hydrated is important when experiencing a sinus headache. It will help to thin mucus and reduce blockages in the sinuses, you should avoid becoming dehydrated as this will add increased pressure and pain to the face and head.
Warm or cold water and juice can be consumed throughout the day, as well as soup broth (like vegetable broth or ramen broth) and warm drinks like tea. But caffeinated drinks like coffee, alcohol, and soda should be avoided as these can lead to further dehydration. Another way to increase your water intake is to suck on ice cubes or consume water-based fruits and vegetables such as watermelon or cucumbers.
2. Stock Up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C works at reducing inflammation in the body and it is full of antioxidants that strengthen immunity. Consuming vitamin C can reduce the duration of a sinus headache or common cold and provide relief to blocked nasal passages.
Fruits high in vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, as well as strawberries and blackcurrants. Vegetables high in vitamin C include broccoli, potatoes, and brussels sprouts. These can all either be eaten directly or made into juice. Don’t throw away those orange peels, check out these nifty orange peel uses for your skin and home.
3. Rest is a Home Remedy for Sinus Headaches
Sleep is important for the body to rest and repair, it can also assist in alleviating sinus headache symptoms. When sleeping, ensure that your head is propped up enough so that your head is above your heart — this will reduce mucus buildup in the nasal passages and reduce sinus pressure, allowing you to breathe more comfortably.
Allowing your body to rest before sleep assists in a good nighttime routine, avoid drinking caffeine or doing over-stimulating activities before bed, such as vigorous exercise. Check out these 7 yoga poses for better sleep.
4. Spice Things Up
Certain foods can assist in thinning and drying out the mucus in the sinuses. Try adding a touch of spice to meals by using hot sauce, wasabi, mustard, or horseradish sauce as a dressing. If this doesn’t suit your pallet other recommended foods include onions, celery, cucumber, cinnamon, and garlic, as well as citrus fruits like lemons and limes. Spice up your life with this homemade Chinese hot sauce.
Some foods can increase mucus production, so should be avoided. Examples include wheat, bananas, peanuts, sugar, dairy products, and other fatty foods.
5. Home Remedy for Sinus Headaches: Take a Steam Bath
Steam inhalation is an effective way of loosening mucus and relieving a sinus headache. The simplest way is to run a hot bath or shower and breathe in the steam. You don’t have to have a bath or shower; just get close enough to the vapors to breathe them in.
Alternatively, place a bowl of boiling water on the table and sit in front of it, placing your face directly above the water and a towel over your head. Breathe normally and continue for 10 to 15 minutes, carefully topping up the boiling water a few times when it stops steaming. Be careful not to make this one mistake with steam inhalation.
To alleviate pain, place a warm, wet dish towel on your face and lie back for a few minutes then replace it with a cool dish towel.
6. Use Saline Drops
Saline drops inserted into the nose can assist in loosening mucus that causes a sinus headache. Make your own saline drops at home and use them as follows:
- Mix one teaspoon of non-iodized salt with a teaspoon of baking soda, two cups of distilled or boiled, and then cooled water.
- Use a pipette or squeezy bottle to put three drops in each nostril when lying down, then blow through one nostril while blocking the other one.
- Repeat throughout the day when the nose becomes blocked again.
If you don’t have any non-iodized salt, use bottled water or boiled and cooled tap water. Check out these other top 5 remedies for a dry nose.
7. Relax and Do Light Exercise
Deep breathing exercises can help to reduce sinus pain, as well as meditation and light exercise. Physical activity increases blood circulation which can provide relief to blocked sinuses and open up nasal passages. Light exercise includes yoga, aerobics, or a moderate walk, to get the blood pumping around the body. Check out these 6 best meditation apps to calm your mind. If yoga is not for you, try some yoga alternatives.
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