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Sinus Headache (cont.)

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What is the treatment for a sinus headache? Do home remedies work?

The treatment goal for sinus headache is twofold. The first step is to decrease the inflammation within the sinuses to help them drain. Once drainage occurs and the pressure is relieved, the pain should subside. The second aspect is to make the patient comfortable while treating the underlying problem.

There are mechanical ways to help decrease congestion within the nasal passages. Drinking plenty of fluids will help with the general hydration in the body. Humidified air and salt water nasal spray will help with congestion as well. Neti pots are an alternative way to get humidity into the nasal passages and assist with drainage to prevent inflammation and infection.

Over-the-counter medications are available to help decrease inflammation within the sinuses and promote drainage. Brand name and generic drugs may be considered, but many contain pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), a medication that is related to adrenaline. People with high blood pressure, or who have heart conditions or are pregnant, should consult their health care professional or pharmacist to assess their safety before taking these medications.

Some nasal sprays, other than salt water sprays (Ocean Nasal Spray), may be used, but only for a short period of time because of side effects and complications. For example, Afrin nasal spray should be used for no more than 3 days in a row; otherwise, rebound inflammation may occur. With rebound inflammation, when the spray medication is stopped, the linings of the nasal passages may swell and potentially cause even more drainage complications.

For those whose sinus headaches that are due to allergies, inhaled nasal steroids may be helpful in decreasing inflammation within the nasal passages to treat or prevent sinusitis.

If a bacterial infection is suspected, the health care professional may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and at the same time make suggestions to treat the underlying inflammation. If the inflammation does not resolve before the antibiotic course is complete, the bacterial infection may recur.

If the sinus headache persists, and repeated courses of treatment fail to relieve the sinusitis, surgery may be an option. Otorhinolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat [ENT] surgeons) may be able to widen the openings that allow the sinuses to drain and decrease the risk of recurrent inflammation that may obstruct the sinuses from draining.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/28/2014

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Sinus Headache - Cause Question: What was the cause of your sinus headache?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/sinus_headache/article.htm

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