What causes sinus headaches?
Sinus headaches are a misunderstood type of headache. You may have sinus pressure, which can be from a sinus infection, or from migraines, but there’s no true “sinus headache.”
“You really have to have a sinus infection, which would include nasal discharge and fever, to have a true sinus headache,” says Susan Rubin, MD, neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Sometimes, however, people think they have a sinus headache, but their sinuses are actually clear, Dr. Rubin explains. Most of those cases are actually migraines or tension headaches unrelated to your sinuses. Sinus pressure from a sinus infection, on the other hand, could cause pain similar to a headache. So if you do have a true sinus headache, treatment includes managing symptoms of sinusitis, as well as pain and pressure relief. You can try one or more of the following home remedies.
Sinus headache home remedy: neti pot
If you have a sinus infection, you can use a neti pot to clear nasal congestion, says Dr. Rubin. By cleaning the nasal passages using distilled water and salt, mucus can drain more effectively. Using a neti pot can be tricky at first, but with patience and practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Make sure you clean it as directed and use boiled water if possible. (Check out these neti pot safety tips before you use one.) Here’s what else to do if you wake up with a headache.