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Home Remedies for a Sinus Headache

Updated on April 20, 2014
NateB11 profile image

Like most people, I'm concerned with the practical needs of everyday life, and therefore research issues of health and livelihood.

I live in an area of California, deep in the valley, in which all manner of pollen and molds get trapped; during Spring and Summer months, the pollen count gets particularly high and it is not uncommon for the average resident to feel the sinus pressure and pain and start getting headaches.

Consequently, I've had to find relief from sinus headaches at least yearly if not more often. I've found a few remedies that are, at least, useful for relief of these headaches; though, if the problem is more severe, like a sinus infection, you'll have to consult a health care professional (whoever that might be for you) to deal with the problem a little more thoroughly.

However, these measures I outline here are very good for relieving much of the pain of sinus headaches.

Areas of the face affected by sinus headache.
Areas of the face affected by sinus headache. | Source

Symptoms of a Sinus Headache

I thought I'd start with some of the symptoms of a sinus headache, so you know that's what you're dealing with.

Much of the pain of a sinus headache manifests itself in the face, where the sinuses are located (of course). You will feel pain in the forehead, at the top of the nose where it meets the brow, in the inner part of the cheeks where they meet the nose. Also you are going to feel pain at the top of the head, along the sides of the middle of the skull. I have also found that sinus pain leads to neck pain.

Of course, you are liable to have all the other symptoms of allergic reactions and colds: Runny nose, congestion, post-nasal drip, sore throat, itchy and watery eyes, coughing. Look for these signs too to determine whether your sinuses might have something to do with your headache.

Are you a victim of the yearly allergy season?

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Some more good pressure points for relieving sinus headache

Pressure Points for Sinus Headache Relief

So, basically, those areas of the face that are affected by a sinus headache can be used as pressure points for relieving the headache.

The point at the top of the nose where it meets close to the brow is one I use often when relieving a sinus headache. Basically, you use your thumb and index finger to pinch this area; you will know you got the right place because you will feel relief instantly. You can do this for a minute or so, it will have a major effect on relieving the pain.

Also, using your fingers, putting intermittent pressure on the inside of the cheeks near the nose can stop much of the pain of the headache.

This one's a big one, for me. On the top of the head, just outside the center of it, running from front to back, if you press your fingers intermittently along those lines, you are going to feel some major release from the pain of a sinus headache. I've also found, strangely, that this will release pressure on the neck. If I stretch my neck after hitting these pressure points, by tilting it from side to side, I find the pain in my neck is relieved too. Massaging the neck also offers relief from a sinus headache.

Woman dealing with a major headache.
Woman dealing with a major headache. | Source

Pressure points for a sinus headache:

  • Top head just outside center of head
  • Top of the nose where it meets the brow
  • Inside of cheeks

Ice Pack for a Sinus Headache

I've found, also, that applying an ice pack to those points is effective in relieving the pain. I've put the pack on my forehead so that part of it touches that point at the top of the nose at the brow; I've put the pack on top of my head so that it's on those points along the top of the skull. I've also used the ice pack on the back and side of my neck.

All of this gives very decent relief from a sinus headache.

Relief from Sinus Headache

Pressure Points
Ice Pack
Steam from Hot Water
Salt Water
at top of nose near brow
On top of head
Cinnamon and Honey
Breathing steam from pot of hot water
Flushing nasal passage with salt water
inside of cheeks
On forehead
Green Tea
sides of center of top of head
On neck
Herbal Tea

Teas for Sinus Headache

Green tea is generally good for you and is an antioxidant and works well for relief of sinus pressure. The teas generally used for colds are also helpful, like peppermint tea and tea with lemon grass.

One of my favorites, as an all-around good tonic to make me feel good, is hot water with honey and cinnamon. I've found it to do wonders for breathing and energy, so, consequently, relieves a sinus headache. Honey has many nutrients in it that are good for battling various ailments and cinnamon seems to have properties that help breathing and circulation.

Woman getting pressure points of the face massaged.
Woman getting pressure points of the face massaged. | Source

Salt Water for Sinus Headache

A solution of salt water flushed through the nasal passages is effective for treating sinus problems. You use about a half or quarter teaspoon of salt mixed into about a half cup of warm water. You get a little bit of the solution, like about half teaspoon, in the cup of your hand and sniff it up your nose; then you let it drain down through the back roof of your mouth so that it can go through the nasal passage and drain into and out of your mouth. Might seem a bit weird if you haven't done it but it's good practice anyway if you have sinus and allergy problems. It's a good way to keep the nasal passages clear and clean.

Breathing Steam for Sinus Headache

You boil water in a pot. You put the pot on a chair or table, somewhere where you can sit and lean over it so that you can breathe in the steam. You drape a towel over the back of your head to act as a sort of tent, so that all that steam goes up into your face and you can breathe it in. This is an old remedy for clearing the sinuses when you are congested. It works wonders.

Eucalyptus and Menthol Vapor Rubs and Oils

If you can get a hold of some eucalyptus oil and put it under your nose, it can open up your breathing passages and relief the headache. Also good old fashioned Vick's Vapor Rub is pretty good for kind of de-congesting your sinuses. Just rub some on your chest and neck and breathe it in.


So, basically being tortured by allergies and dealing with a sinus headache is mainly a matter of waiting for it to go away. The main idea here is to get relief from the symptoms. You might want to avoid going immediately for antibiotics because it is often not really what you need, because much sinus pain is caused by viruses and not infections, and because antibiotics can compromise your immune system and make battling viruses more difficult.

You might be better off waiting it out, getting some rest, drinking plenty of water, hitting those pressure points, flushing the nasal passages with salt water, drinking some good teas, using an ice pack, or using a vapor rub or oils.

Don't give up!


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    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Rebecca. I'm glad you found this information valuable.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good ideas for sinus headaches without the drugs.Thanks!

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      I agree, ologsinquinto. People ought to be able to take care of themselves as independently as possible. Thanks for the vote and share and for stopping by and reading and commenting.

    • ologsinquito profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      It's so good that people are beginning to discover home remedies again.Voted up and shared.

    • NateB11 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nathan Bernardo 

      6 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, Rachael. I agree eucalyptus and menthol vapor rubs work wonders; I use them too. I also try to avoid pills for the same reason, because of their side effects. Yes, flushing the nasal passages is a bit awkward, I have to admit, and I don't do it too often either. I'm very glad that you stopped by.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 

      6 years ago from United States

      I use eucalyptus lozenges and menthol vapor rub and they both work fine. The menthol rub doesn't endear me to anyone in close proximity but it relieves my symptoms. lol

      My doctor wants me to use a netipot saying it would prevent as well as treat, but I really have never gotten the hang of using a netipot. I have been known to take allergy and/or sinus medication on days I don't work because the drowsiness affects my work performance, but I'm not a pill taker so that is only out of desperation. lol This is a great hub. Voted up and shared.


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