Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 50 percent of migraine misdiagnoses start with a person thinking they have sinus headache. Up to 90 percent of people who go to the doctor for sinus headache find out they have migraine instead.
People with migraine may develop symptoms similar to sinusitis, like a runny nose or congestion. Migraine headaches also cause pain along the trigeminal nerve, which interacts with the sinus passages. People experiencing migraine may think this pain is related to the sinuses.
If you dont have any of the symptoms that come specifically with a sinus headache, you may be experiencing a migraine. Migraine is treated differently from sinus headache. Symptoms specific to migraine include:
- sensitivity to light and sound
If youre experiencing symptoms specific to migraine, youre likely experiencing a migraine attack and not a sinus headache.
Sinusitis directly causes sinus headaches, so they share the same causes and triggers. These include:
- Viral infection. This is the most common cause of sinusitis and sinus headache. About
How Can I Get Immediate Relief From Sinus Pain: 10 Sinus Pain Home Remedies To Try
Doing one or more of the things below can provide some temporary relief, but dont use it as a substitute for seeing a doctor, especially if its a recurring problem. Things like bacterial sinus infections can get worse over time if not treated with the proper medication.
Sinus Relief The Natural Way
Sinus pressure and pain can be mild or quite severe. The cause of these symptoms is often a cold, allergies, or sinusitis . Regardless of what causes your symptoms, relief may be closer than you think.
In the following slides, learn how to treat sinus problems with natural remedies and home remedies. We provide a variety of strategies to combat nasal congestion, from neti pots and saline nasal sprays to hydration and avoiding irritants, starting with humidifying your air.
Breathe Moist Air
You may be wondering how to relieve sinus pressure. For sinus pressure relief that lasts for hours, try keeping a humidifier on in your bedroom or other rooms where you spend a lot of time. Dry air can irritate your sinuses, but keeping air moist can help reduce congestion. Inhaling steam two to four times a day may help, too. Sit in the bathroom with the door closed and the shower running. Make sure the water is hot.
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Relieve Sinus Pain Naturally
Sinus pain and swelling is enough to make anyone miserable, but traditional methods of treating this problem like prescription antibiotics, anti-inflammatory meds, steroids or even surgery, dont always help and typically come with a long list of unwanted side effects that can make it difficult to function. The good news is that there are a number of natural ways to treat this painful problem.
Drink plenty of fluids
As sinus passages and thick mucus in the nose can form crusts that prevent sinus drainage and trap viruses, getting more fluid into your body can naturally help to thin the mucous and get things moving again. Drink lots of liquids like water and herbal tea. Thyme tea is known to be especially effective for battling sinus problems. Taking steamy showers and using a humidifier also helps to thin mucus and allows it to drain more easily.
Apple cider vinegar
At the first sign of sinus pain or infection, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a cup of water. You can add a teaspoon of raw honey to sweeten it if youd like. Drink this concoction three times a day for five days to thin congested mucus.
Use a neti pot
Hot and cold compresses
You may want to try combining several natural treatment methods for maximum relief in the quickest period of time. Adding deep breathing exercises as well can be especially helpful for chronic or recurrent pain thats often seen with sinus pressure.
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What Prescription Drugs Cure A Cough
When cough is severe, over-the-counter medications and home remedies may not be enough to relieve symptoms, and prescriptions may be needed.
- Codeine and other narcotic medications are often prescribed as effective cough suppressants. Many times these are combined with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, or the expectorant guaifenesin.
- If cough is due to whooping cough, bacterial pneumonia, complicated bronchitis, or sinusitis it is usually treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalosporins, or azithromycin .
- For cough due to allergies, such as hay fever, inhaled nasal steroids may be prescribed.
- For postnasal drip that does not respond to OTC drugs, nasal inhalers such as ipratropium bromide can help.
- If cough is a result of asthma, prescription inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled steroids help decrease inflammation of the airways. Short-term oral steroids, which help reduce inflammation, are sometimes prescribed to relieve chronic cough.
- pantoprazole .
Your primary care provider such as a family practitioner, internal medicine specialist, or pediatrician may diagnose and treat a cough. If cough is severe an emergency medicine specialist may see you in a hospitalâs emergency department.
Many times cough symptoms will worsen at night. This may be due to postnasal drip or acid from the stomach backing up into your throat from acid reflux. There are some strategies and home remedies you can use to help ease nighttime cough:
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Easy Natural Remedies Help Mucus Flow
In many cases, sinushome remedies including those things your mother told you to do can effectively improve inflamed sinuses, says Anthony Del Signore, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.
These treatments sooth irritated passageways and increase the flow of mucus so you dont feel so stuffed up, he explains.
Do These Things Work For Kids
Sinus infections make everyone miserable, children as well as adults!
Most of the tips above also work for kids, but antihistamines arent recommended for young children.
Young children cant blow their noses well, so helping them thin and clear the mucus from their nose is beneficial.
A nasal aspirator or a product like the Nose Frida can be a lifesaver in helping young children breathe through their nose.
A warm bath can help clear the sinuses and take a childs mind off their illness.
Kids are often fascinated by the condensation that forms on surfaces in a steamy room. To occupy them while a hot shower runs in the bathroom, try tracing pictures with them on the mirror!
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Is The Neti Pot Safe
Research has found that the Neti pot is generally safe. A small number of regular users experience mild side effects, such as nasal irritation and stinging. Nosebleeds can also occur, but they are rare. Reducing the amount of salt in the solution, adjusting the frequency of Neti pot use, and changing the temperature of the water may help to reduce side effects.
To help prevent infection, always use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water. Also, it’s important to properly care for your nasal irrigation device. Either wash the device thoroughly by hand, or put it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher-safe. Follow by drying the device completely after each use.
If you experience side effects or develop an infection, talk to your doctor.
How Is A Sinus Infection Treated
- Over-the-counter medications: OTC medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen can help relieve symptoms such as pain and fever.
- Nasal decongestant sprays: Nasal sprays like oxymetazoline can reduce swelling and congestion, relieving the nasal obstruction. But, they should not be used for too long as long-term use of these sprays can damage the nasal mucosa. Hence, should be used after consulting with a doctor.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor to get rid of the infection faster and prevent complications.
People may be able to treat a sinus infection at home by relieving painful symptoms and taking steps to allow the immune system to fight off the infection.
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Is It A Sinus Headache Or Migraine
If you have sinus pain with no congestion, you may actually have a migraine. If you are congested and have an extremely painful headache, you may have either a migraine OR a sinus headache.
Migraines are more common, but sinus headaches do occur and can be just as painful. Thats why were explaining how to get rid of sinus pain.
What Causes Sinus Pain
Sinus pain happens when there is inflammation or irritation in your sinus cavities.
Your sinuses are hollow spaces in your facial bones that are lined with membranes that secrete mucus. Sinus pain is often a result of inflammation that blocks mucus from draining and leads to pain.
Sinus swelling can follow viral illnesses, including the common cold, or it can be due to mucus production from allergies or breathing in polluted air that leads to irritation. It can also happen if there are nasal blockages due to abnormal growths called nasal polyps or structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum, that make you prone to congestion.
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What Causes A Sinus Headache
Inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses is the primary cause of a sinus headache. The inflamed tissues swell and produce secretions that clog the normal drainage system of the sinuses, causing a build-up of fluid and secretions. The pressure of this fluid build-up causes the pain of a sinus headache. Inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis. The inflammation may arise due to an
- allergic reaction such as hay fever, or
Most commonly, infectious sinusitis is due to a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections of the sinuses can also occur. Since the maxillary sinuses are located in the cheekbone, infections of the upper teeth can spread into these sinuses. In very rare cases, benign or malignant tumors can invade and block drainage in the sinuses and lead to a sinus headache.
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Irrigate Your Sinuses To Help Ease Symptoms And Prevent Sinus Infections
Nasal irrigation is basically a method of using a saltwater solution to force out germs and plugged-up mucus residing in the sinus passages. Other terms for this are nasal wash, nasal douche, or lavage. Some people refer to it by one of the popular devices used to get the water in, a neti pot.
A small number of studies has found irrigation can improve symptoms, including one review published in September 2016 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Experts caution that it is important to use distilled or sterile water to avoid the rare possibility of introducing a parasite into your sinus passageways.
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How To Prevent Sinus Pain
There are also steps you can take to prevent sinus pain. Pay attention to triggers for allergies and nasal irritation and try to reduce or prevent those exposures whenever possible. Common irritants that can cause sinus pain include:
Cigarette smoke: Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are common triggers for sinus pain and sinusitis. Quitting or reducing exposure can alleviate symptoms.
Pollution: When you breathe in air pollutants, such as industrial chemicals or paint fumes, they are absorbed by the nose and can lead to irritation of the nose and sinuses.
Allergens: Allergies are a major culprit of sinusitis and sinus pain. Common allergens include pollen, mold, pets, and dust mites. An allergist can give you an allergy test to help identify what’s causing your symptoms so that you can take steps to reduce exposure.
What Are The Complications Of Sinus Headache
In rare cases, complications around the eye area can happen, resulting in the area being swollen and inflamed. This may even affect your vision.
If you have a high fever that persists, discolored nasal discharge, rattling in your chest, or difficulty breathing, see your doctor about these symptoms. While a sinus headache might seem like a harmless health condition, its important to determine its cause.
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What Causes Sinus Symptoms
If you find yourself frequently dealing with sinus pain and sinus pressure, finding the cause is an important step toward finding sinus relief. Any time the tissue in your nose and sinuses gets swollen and inflamed, it can lead to sinus problems. Here are a few sinus problem causes to consider:
- Temperature changes
How To Do A Nasal Rinse
Nasal saline rinses are a good way to treat discomfort and congestion. They can help flush out mucus, debris, and irritants, and soothe nasal passages.
A neti pot can be used to do this. You fill a pot with a saline rinse that you can buy.
- Place the spout of the pot against one nostril.
- Tilt your head to the side.
- The saline will pour out of the lower nostrilthanks to gravity.
- Repeat steps with the other nostril.
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When To Seek Medical Care
See a doctor if you have:
- Severe symptoms, such as severe headache or facial pain.
- Symptoms that get worse after improving.
- Symptoms lasting more than 10 days without getting better.
- Fever longer than 3-4 days.
You should also seek medical care if you have had multiple sinus infections in the past year.
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see a doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning.
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to a sinus infection, including:
- Seasonal allergies
Sinus Pain Home Remedies
There are a variety of home remedies that can help with the congestion to relieve sinus pain and pressure. Home remedies that you can try include:
- Drinking water: Staying hydrated can help to thin nasal secretions. Drinking plenty of fluids is also important in your recovery from viral illnesses.
- Neti pot: A neti pot is used to irrigate the nasal passageways and can help to control congestion and nasal secretions.
- Saline nasal sprays:Saline nasal sprays are sold over-the-counter at most drug stores. They are used to loosen nasal secretions and thereby decrease congestion by allowing it to drain. They can be used many times per day.
- Cool mist humidifier: The humidity loosens nasal secretions and the cold air can help to decrease inflammation. If you do not have access to a cool-mist humidifier, several hot, steamy showers per day can also help to loosen nasal secretions.
- Warm compress: Use a warm rag or heating pad over your sinuses to ease the pain. Do this several times per day.
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What Is The Treatment For Chronic Sinus Infection
When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, theres no one-size-fits-all solution. While several treatment options are available, what works for one person may not be appropriate for the other. Hence, we tailor the treatment to each individuals needs, symptoms, and whether or not other conditions are also at play.
The goals of treating chronic sinusitis are to address the allergic causes, minimize inflammation, promote free sinus drainage, and eradicate the infection .
Here are a few potential treatment options for chronic sinusitis. We will likely try out a combination of two or more of these options to see what works best for you.
Complications Of Chronic Sinusitis
Serious complications of chronic sinusitis are rare, but may include:
- Vision problems: If your sinus infection spreads to your eye socket, it can cause reduced vision or blindness that can be permanent
- Infections: People with chronic sinusitis may develop inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord
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How To Tell If These Remedies Are Not Working
You will know if these remedies are effective because you will begin to feel better and your sinuses will be less congested.
However, unlike with antibiotics where symptoms start to diminish quickly, natural remedies typically take longer to work. So you should continue to do these remedies regularly for at least a week or two before determining if they are working.
Ways To Relieve Sinus Pain
A cold makes it hard to breathe. When your sinuses get blocked, you might hurt too, especially around your forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nose. The pain might get worse when you touch your face or hold your head down.
You don’t need a doctor to deal with sinus pain caused by colds. It tends to get better along with your other cold symptoms. Sometimes, though, bacteria in blocked sinuses can lead to an infection known as bacterial sinusitis. Sinusitis from a bacterial infection might cause pain longer than the week of a typical cold. Your doctor may give you antibiotics and other medications to help you feel better.
Whether your sinus pain is caused by a cold or a bacterial infection, here’s how you can relieve it:
WebMD Medical Reference
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