Thursday, November 15, 2012

Relieve a Basic Sinus Headache: Go To the Source!

Someone was using a jackhammer on my head.

At least, that's what it felt like.  First thing in the morning, my brain decided to say "good morning" with a very loud, very agonizing headache.  It wasn't the worst headache I'd ever had... not even in the top ten, really, but it was painful, nonetheless.

The good news?

It was a sinus headache.  Not a migraine.  Those don't go into the good news category.  It was a simple sinus headache.  They feel horrible, but they're also the easiest to get rid of.

See, sinus headaches come out to play when your sinuses get clogged.  Unclog those sinus cavities, and you're good to go.

Of course, when your sinuses are clogged well enough to give you a headache, blowing your nose doesn't do the job.  You can't.  Your mucus has turned to glue.  The kind of glue that Gorilla Glue looks upon with envy.

It. Just. Won't. Let.  Go.


Most people reach for their big container of pain-relieving pills.  This is fine, and it may do the job for a little while, but all pain relievers really do is block the pain receptors.  That means that since they do nothing to fix the source of the problem, the headache can return.

You need to start at the source.  In this case, the source is the blocked sinuses.  Sure, there are meds that can take care of that... usually.  But they don't always work, as we all know.

So what do you do?

Start simple.  Do the environment a favor, and instead of using something that was created in a pollution producing factory, then packaged in something created out of petrochemicals, do something much more green.

In this case, use water.

No, seriously.  Steam is the number one way to reduce sinus blockage.  It works better than drugs, and costs less by far.  The heat has a softening effect, while the vapor helps moisten everything for easy release.
Steam not only helps loosen the mucus, but does the same for ear wax, as well.

Many times, ear wax buildup can help make these sinus headaches even worse.  I mean, think about it.  It's wax.  Wax used to be used to seal letters, after all!  Sure, it's a different type of wax, but it shares a common name for a reason.

So, how do you use water to fix that sinus headache?

Go take a shower!

A nice long one.  A hot one.  I'm Queen of the 5-minute showers, and even I will tell you to take a long one. Let all that yuckiness drain out.

If you still have a headache after you're done, then you can go ahead and take those pain relievers.  You've done your job and attacked the problem at the source.  The pain you're feeling now is simply residual.  It's real pain, of course, but blocking those pain receptors for a little while will help you get through it. I won't be disappointed if you choose to take those meds now.

But you may not have to.

If you've managed to relieve your sinuses early enough, the pain will simply go away.

Water, not medicine, is the best way to fight a basic sinus headache.  To cure something, after all, you need to fight the cause, not the symptoms.


  1. You know, for many years, I have noticed that my ears are much MUCH easier to clean out my ears after a shower, but it never occurred to me that it was the same reason that it was easier to clear out my sinuses. Thank you for teaching me a fun fact!!

  2. You're very welcome! Crazy, isn't it? It amazes me just how much a nice amount of hot water can do!