Sinusitis is one of the most common infections that affect the nasal passages. One of its main symptoms is a nagging headache. Sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotics, but there are simple home remedies that can help with sinus headaches too.
What is sinusitis
Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses. The main causes of this infection are allergies, common cold, problems in structure of nasal cavity or a compromised immune system. When this infection occurs, it causes collection of mucus and blockage of the sinus cavities. The mucus presses against the sinus walls, resulting in headache.
Depending on which sinus is affected, headache can occur below or above the eyes. Sinusitis can be acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis usually lasts around seven days, and it is characterized by mild but persistent headache. Chronic sinusitis usually does not cause headache, and its main symptoms include chronic coughing and recurrent ear infections.
A sinus headache is characterized by constant pain in cheekbones, forehead and the bridge of the nose. The pain worsens with any movement of the head, and especially if the head is bowed down,, facing the floor.
Other symptoms of sinusitis include cough, bad breath, nasal congestion, fever and slight change in voice.
Home remedies for sinus headache
While antibiotics are usually prescribed to cure the infection of the sinuses, there are many effective ways to relieve frustrating sinus headaches. In some cases the infection goes away even without antibiotics, and in those cases it is important to be able to relieve the symptoms at home.
One of the best ways to cure sinus headaches is to drink plenty of warm water. Water loosens the mucus and makes it easier to evacuate from the nasal passage and to remove the blockage.
Warm soups are also highly recommended. It also helps to make them extra hot and spicy, using chili powder or pepper. Spices help clear out nasal passages and consequently the headache.
Steaming is also very effective. For those who are prone to sinusitis it is highly recommended to inhale steam from hot water or to simply turn on the hot water in the bathroom and spend 10 to 15 minutes in there. If using a steamer or if inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water, it may help additionally to add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to it.
Doctors recommend increasing the intake of vitamin C during sinus infections. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it boosts the immune system and improves the body’s response to infection.
Ginger also helps, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It works best if added to warm tea.