At-home remedies for sinus headaches (and when it's time to see a doctor)

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Everybody experiences headaches from time to time.

Everybody experiences headaches from time to time. But if you've ever had a sinus headache, you know how annoying they can be. You might experience pain or pressure in your forehead or face that gets worse if you bend forward or lie down, congestion, and fatigue.

You have sinuses above the eyes, below the eyes, and behind the eyes. Each one of those is a cavity or pocket that has a window, or an opening. If those windows become congested, swollen, or shut, they put pressure on the sinuses, which can result in infection.

Sinus headaches are often a symptom of sinusitis, where the sinus cavities become inflamed from allergies, or other triggers, like an infection or blockage. But fear not! There are at-home remedies and over-the-counter treatments you can try to relieve these headaches:

1.Flush the sinuses. Nasal irrigation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent and treat sinus problems. Using a neti pot, nasal syringe, squeeze bottle, or a saline rinse, lean over a sink, insert the tip of the syringe or bottle into one nostril, and squeeze. The water will run back out of the opposite nostril and into the sink. Repeat on the other nostril. The salt in the spray or the saline mixture moisturizes the nose, reduces sinus pressure, and helps to dislodge mucus.

2.Take an antihistamine. If your allergies cause your sinus headaches, over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, and Rytan can relieve pressure and congestion.

3.Buy nasal steroids. Over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays like Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort are another effective treatment for allergy-related sinus headaches. They decrease congestion in the nasal passages and sinuses, relieving sinus pressure. Unfortunately, they don't immediately go to work - it may take a few weeks of use to be effective.

4.Use a humidifier. Dry air and dry sinuses can increase sinus pressure. Setting up a humidifier in your home will add moisture to the air and to your sinuses, even thinning out mucus and helping with congestion. If you don't have a humidifier, taking a hot shower and breathing in the steam can also provide relief.

If your headaches are severe or last longer than a week, it's time to see Dr. Turner Wright ENT at Wright Sinus Choice. He may prescribe antibiotics, steroids, or a simple CT scan to diagnose the best treatment for you.

Time to consult a professional about your sinus headaches? Contact Dr. Turner Wright ENT at Wright Sinus Choice by calling 956-998-6673 or visiting www.wrightsinuschoice.com.

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