A sinus headache is an uncommon form of a headache. It is caused by inflamed sinuses. A sinus headache is usually felt as a dull, sore pain in the upper face.
Signs and Symptoms of Sinus Headache
The most common symptoms of a sinus headache are:
- Throbbing pain in the area behind your eyes;
- Face is tender to the touch;
- Pain that gets worse when you move your head;
- Pain that gets worse in the morning, because mucus collects and drains over the night;
- Sudden changes of temperature that worsen the pain (as going out from a warm room to a cold);
- Runny or congested nose, and/or
- A headache usually begins when you have a cold or after.
Other symptoms that are related to a sinus headache, or sinusitis, include:
- Pain in upper teeth
- Swollen, red nasal passages
- A sense of not feeling well
- Green or yellow discharge from the nose
- Sore throat
Sinus headaches can be accompanied by nasal congestion or nausea. They can feel worse when you bend forward.
A sinus headache can be caused by inflammation and sinus congestion, medically known as sinusitis. Healthy sinuses consent mucus to drain and air to circulate through the nasal passages. But, when sinuses are inflamed, these areas are blocked and mucus can’t drain. In that case, they provide a place for viruses, fungus, and bacteria to live and grow fast. Though a cold is usually the reason for sinus headaches, sinusitis can be caused by everything that stops the sinuses from draining.
- History of allergies, especially asthma, or hay fever
- Flying or climbing to high altitudes
- Frequent diving or swimming
- Swelling or nasal polyps in the nasal passage, facial or nasal tumor, nasal bone spurs, cleft palate, or deviated septum
Natural Treatments for Sinus Headache
Following, you can find the best treatments that can help you treat a sinus headache effectively.
#1 Foods for Sinus Headache Cure
WATER – drink plenty of water through the day. Plus, include more other fluids like vegetable juice every 2-3 hours, in order to prevent dehydration and eliminate toxins.
CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN – aids avoid fluctuations in blood sugar that can easily cause a headache. Moreover, pick organic protein sources. Good sources of clean lean protein are soy, poultry, fish, nuts and eggs.
HIGH FIBER FOODS – try to consume at least 35 g per day from fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts in order to reduce constipation and pain;
FOODS RICH IN MAGNESIUM – green leafy vegetables, bananas, and nuts are great sources of magnesium.
FOODS HIGH IN HEALTHY FATS – these foods can help you reduce inflammation. Good sources of healthy fats are seeds, coconut oil, and caught fish.
#2 Herbs for Sinus Headache
Although studies are lacking, herbs have been used traditionally to heal headaches:
It can help reduce the duration and severity of headaches. Consume feverfew tea 2-3 times a day. Alternatively, you can take feverfew in a supplement form. The recommended daily dose of feverfew is 250-500 mcg.
- Willow Bark
A willow bark can help reduce the pain and soothe the symptoms. Drink willow bark tea 2-3 times a day, Alternatively, you can take willow bark in a supplement form. The recommended daily dose is 225-240 mg.
- Chinese Skullcap
It will give you a great relieve and calm your pain. You can drink Chinese skullcap tea once a day, or use an extract of Chinese skullcap. A few studies have found that this herb can have adverse effects on the liver. So, do not consume more than the recommended daily dosage, which is 3-9 g per day.
- Holy basil
This herb can reduce stress and relieve a headache. You can drink basil tea 2-3 times a day, or use it in a supplement form. The recommended daily dosage is 500 mg.
Butterbur can reduce inflammation and soothe the symptoms of a sinus headache. You can consume butterbur tea 3-4 times a day, or take it in a supplement form. The recommended daily dosage is 150 mg.
- B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B complex (or the B vitamins — B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) are involved in the neurotransmitters formation as serotonin that can be deficient in people who have migraines. You can take B-complex vitamins pills or supplements in order to get rid of a headache.
Note: Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, or people who take blood thinners, shouldn’t take these natural herbs. People allergic to aspirin should also not take willow bark in any form. If you consume medications consult your doctor if you want to include feverfew in your treatment. Moreover, if you are allergic to ragweed – you will be allergic to feverfew, too.
#3 Chiropractic Treatment for Sinus Headache
You can start regular Chiropractic treatment to get rid of regular headaches for good. The tension in the shoulders and neck can cause certain spinal misalignments, which cause headaches. These treatments will eliminate this spinal pressure that can help reduce headaches often in a short period of time.
#4 Essentials Oils for Sinus Headache Relief
Lavender and peppermint essential oils mixed together with coconut oil will help you release pain. So, mix a few drops of lavender and peppermint oil into a ½ cup of coconut oil and massage your shoulders and upper neck. This will improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and therefore, quickly relieve a headache.
Pregnancy and Sinus Infection
A sinus infection usually occurs during pregnancy. There are numerous medications and natural remedies that pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t use. You need to consult your doctor if you want to use some of these herbs or supplements in case you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When to Visit Your Doctor
Visit your doctor if your headache does not improve after one week of treatment, keeps coming back, or gets even worse. Your doctor can recommend antibiotics, antihistamines or corticosteroid spray or drops.
In some cases, your doctor might refer you to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist to find the underlying cause of your headache symptoms.
Many people assume they suffer from a sinus headache when actually it is much more likely to be either a tension headache or a migraine. In case you are not sure which type of a headache you are experiencing or your headache is persistent for more than a week you should consult your doctor. Home remedies can help you reduce the pain and symptoms of a sinus headache, however, if you want to use them – you need to consult your doctor in case you are pregnant, breastfeeding of already taking other medications.