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Sinus Headaches: Prevention and Relief

To help prevent sinus headaches

  • Stay hydrated. Drink enough fluids to keep mucus thin. This helps it drain more easily.

  • Manage allergies Identify and stay away from allergy triggers may help prevent sinus-related issues. Take allergy medicines as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • Treat colds promptly. Address cold symptoms right away to help prevent sinus congestion.

To ease the pain

  • Keep your sinuses open and free of mucus. Try over-the-counter saline nasal sprays.

  • Use a nasal decongestant as directed to reduce the inflammation and congestion.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help mucus drain.

  • Apply warm compresses over your nose and forehead to help pain and pressure.

  • Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower to help pain and pressure.

  • See your healthcare provider if your sinus headache lasts more than 2 weeks. You may need medicine for a sinus infection or to reduce inflammation. Further evaluation may be needed to check for other headache conditions, such as migraines.

Front view of face showing sinuses and proper technique for using nasal spray.
When using nasal spray, keep your chin down and angle the spray away from center.

Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Sabrina Felson MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sravani Chintapalli
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2024
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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