How Are Sinus Headaches Diagnosed
Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, its really a migraine. So, its important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:
- Computed tomography scan.
- Nasal endoscopy .
Drink As Many Liquids As You Can
Liquids include water, broth, and hot tea. Stay away from sugary beverages, coffee, and alcohol, as these dehydrate your system and will cause your mucus to thicken. The idea is to drink as many liquids as you can so as to dilute the mucus as best as possible.
When diluted, it has an excellent chance of running into your nose, and you can expel it. If it remains thick, it will clog inside the sinuses, and you will need to take some extreme measures to flush it out. These include a visit to your doctor who will squirt salted water in there so as to flush everything out. Therefore, its best you drink as much water as you can.
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.
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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
What Does Sinus Pressure Feel Like
Pain or pressure is felt not just in your head, but anywhere in the sinus area. Where you feel pain depends on which sinuses are affected.
While pressure is most common behind and around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, it can extend forward to the teeth and backward to the back of the head. These areas will often be sensitive to touch.
Sometimes sinus headache can also give you a feeling of fatigue or aching in your top jaw. Redness and swelling of the cheeks, nose, or forehead can occur.
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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.
Whats Happening In My Body
Most sinus infections come from colds that start in the nose.
A lot of sinus infections are caused by coronaviruses.
These viruses replicate in the nose. Your immune system then kicks off an inflammatory response to help kill the virus. This can cause swelling in the sinuses, leading to your symptoms.
Unlike bacterial infections, viral infections dont respond to antibiotics and usually just need to run their course. But you dont have to take it lying down!
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What Are Sinus Pressure And Congestion
If youve experienced bad congestion, you know it can take over your life both night and day. It can keep you up, make your head feel like a fishbowl and, if you use a sleep apnea machine, it may even interfere with that as well.
Sinusitis an infection of your sinuses is when inflammation occurs in different airspaces within your face. When this happens, your sinuses get clogged up and air cant flow freely. As your sinuses are lined with tissue and constrained by the structure of your bones, this sinus congestion can also cause a fair amount of discomfort.
When these spaces get clogged up, it can really cause some pain, says Dr. Vyas. So, thats why a lot of people report having pain in their face.
Sinus congestion doesnt just affect your nose it also affects other areas of your face and body, such as:
- Above your eyebrows.
- Between your eyes.
- Even your teeth!
Nasal congestion is no joke and, especially if its dragging on, you need to have some go-to remedies in your tool belt.
Rinse Everything Off With Salt Water
For this treatment regarding sinus pressure relief, you will need a Neti Pot. Its a ceramic device which usually retails for about $10 and which was specially designed for clearing out your sinuses. You can buy saline solution over the counter from the pharmacy, or you can make it yourself, at home. However, if you decide for the latter, make sure you use sanitized water, seeing as the one from your tap is not clean enough to pour into your nose.
Mix the hot water with a few teaspoons of salt, pour the concoction into the Neti pot and, using its elongated nozzle, pour it into one of your nostrils. Tilt your head to the side a bit, so as to allow the water to flow through your nose and come out through the other nostril. Blow your nose hard after youve finished and be careful not to inhale through your nose while you do this. Sinus pressure relief is guaranteed.
Use Grapefruit Seed Extract
This is a natural antibiotic produced by grinding grapefruit seeds into a very fine powder. It can be administrated in a nasal spray format so as to remove the mucus and aid in the sinus pressure relief process. Apart from that, it can also rid you of microbes and bacteria that may settle into the mucous membrane and cause inflammation.
Nasal spray enriched with grapefruit seed extract is available for purchase at approximately $5. You can also buy liquid concentrate which you can then mix with water to create your own treatment.
Pressure Points To Relieve Sinus Pressure
There are various pressure points on the face, all of which are known for alleviating sinus pressure. Find out where these sinus pressure points are and how you can apply the right amount of pressure to them.
1. Between the Eyes
The first pressure point is located between the eyes and just above the bridge of the nose, as shown in the image below:
You can do one of two things: tap the point or press it for about two minutes. You can use any of your fingers. This helps the mucus to run out instead of drying up and creating infection in the sinuses. This pressure point can also help alleviate the discomfort brought about by a cold.
2. Both Sides of the Nostrils
First, locate the two points on either side of your nostrils as shown in the picture below:
Next, use your index fingers to press both points firmly and at the same time. Your fingers should be at right angles to the point in question. This is particularly effective for any pain behind the cheeks. Keep pressing for a minute at a time, in order to allow the sinuses to drain out without getting dried up and getting inflamed. Using this pressure point also helps prevent respiratory illnesses.
3. Bridge of the Nose
These are two points located just at the edge of the bridge of the nose, right where the nose connects to the two ends of the eyebrows. The picture below explains the exact location of the points:
4. Under the Cheeks
5. The Philtrum
This is the spot located right under the nose, as seen below:
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Sinus Headache Home Remedy: Over
Sinus infections are often misdiagnosed, says Dr. Rubin. Misdiagnosis is dangerous, it may mean that you take antibiotics when you dont need them. For that reason, it makes sense to first treat what you think may be a sinus headache with over-the-counter medication. An anti-inflammatory drug, like an NSAID may be best for dampening pain, according to Harvard Medical School. Other OTC medications such as Afrin could help clear up nasal passages and sinuses during colds and sinus infections. Make sure to follow the instructions and take anything as directed since there are some hidden dangers of taking OTCs.
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.
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Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Yet another great natural home remedy for sinus pressure relief is apple cider vinegar. When mixed with hot water and drank three times a day, it will liquefy all the excess mucus and relieve the congestion. If you find you cannot drink it as it is, you can always mix it with a bit of sugar, honey or Stevia.
Differentiate Between Sinus Headache And Migraine Headache
Many people who assume they are having sinus pain due to sinus pressure are actually having a migraine headache. Migraine pain can involve the same nerves as the sinus cavities and is frequently accompanied by nasal congestion, nausea, and aggravation by bright light. “If sinus pain is caused by a migraine, the best natural treatment is lying down in a dark, quiet room,” advises Das.
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Natural Sinus Headache Remedies
Some people prefer to go the natural route when treating a sinus headache. Most herbal solutions for nasal pain and congestion work by helping to prevent an infection . So the goal should be five lifestyle changes that can help keep an infection from developing and prevent what feels like your next sinus headache.
How Is Sinus Headache Prevented
If you have reoccurring headaches as a symptom of sinusitis or seasonal allergies, you may need to consider prescription medication to manage the condition.
Lifestyle changes to reduce congestion, like avoiding allergens and incorporating aerobic exercise into your routine, might decrease how many headaches you get.
In cases of chronic sinusitis, a nasal surgery like a balloon sinuplasty might be the only way to stop getting more sinus headaches.
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Sinus Pain Has A Variety Of Causes
If your head is throbbing and you feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks, or forehead, you could have a sinus headache. “Many factors can cause a sinus headache,” says Subinoy Das, MD, chief executive officer and interim medical director for the U.S. Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Columbus, Ohio. The most important factor is swelling of the lining of the nose and sinuses, causing pressure and pain on in the face and head.
Symptoms of sinus pain and headache include pain associated with congestion from a common cold or allergies pain around your eyes, forehead, or over your teeth pain that is worse in the morning and pain that gets worse when you bend over. Some of the more natural methods of relieving sinus pain that reduce swelling, thin mucus secretions, and improve sinus drainage are often very helpful.
Over The Counter Medications
For help alleviating sinus pressure and pain, try ibuprofen and a decongestant. Some medications include a combination of pain reliever and decongestant.
Mild antihistamines like Claritin and Allegra are helpful in moderation. Strong antihistamines like Benadryl are often way too drying. Be careful not to take antihistamines too often.
Even though you want your nose to stop running, too many antihistamines can make it more likely that youll get sinus infections in the future.
Drugs like Mucinex and Flonase can also be helpful in thinning the mucus in your nose and sinuses.
If you use Afrin, make sure you stop after three days. Though it can seem like a miracle drug, using it more than three days in a row can lead to something called rebound congestion. In other words, when you stop using the Afrin after continuous use, your nose becomes more congested than it was in the first place!
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Stay Away From Pollen
Pollen allergies like hay fever causes nasal congestion. To get relief we suggest you minimize your contact time with the allergens. A good way to do this is to take your shoes off before you enter your home. Change your clothes and brush your hair or shower. Wash your face. Pollen can trigger allergies around your eyes and its good to clean that out. Regularly wash your sheets and pillow cases. Another tip is to keep your windows closed. You want to keep the pollen out.
Saline Spray And Sinus Rinses
Using a saline solution, rinse your nose and sinuses with a neti pot or other irrigation system.
You can buy saline solution over the counter or make your own at home with distilled water and saline packets. Saline spray also comes in small bottles that you can spray directly into your nose.
Sinus rinses like these work by flushing mucus out of the nose and sinuses to keep things flowing freely.
Saline also has a natural decongesting effect, meaning it shrinks your swollen nasal tissues and makes it easier for you to breathe through your nose!
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Make The Sinus Pain And Mind
“Techniques that take advantage of the mind-body connection, such as deep breathing practices and relaxation exercises, can be very effective for relieving sinus pain,” notes Das. These practices rely on the mind’s ability to influence pain perception and are especially helpful with chronic or recurrent pain that is often seen with sinus pressure. Some examples include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and hypnotherapy.
How To Give Yourself A Sinus Massage
If you have sinus pain, doing a sinus massage may help. Massaging your sinuses can help drain them and relieve pressure and pain.
Here’s how to do a general sinus massage:
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Applying Warm Wet Towels
A warm, wet towel held against the face may help relieve the swelling and inflammation of sinus congestion.
It may also help keep the mucous membranes moist by breathing in moist air, which can help it function properly.
People can also soak a towel in warm water, wring it out, and drape it over their face in a way that is still comfortable for them to breathe through their mouth.