Sinus pain occurs when the sinus membranes get swollen and congested as a result of the presence of viruses, allergens and bacteria. The swelling and congestion is what causes the pain in the sinuses, making for a very uncomfortable condition. Some of the symptoms of sinus pain in addition to the inflammation include increased mucus production, sinus headaches and nasal blockage.
In extreme cases of sinus pain, affected persons may experience pain in the ears as a result of the blockage of the Eustachian tube that links the ear to the nose and throat. Due to the proximity of the sinus membranes to the nasal membranes, most of the home remedies for sinus pain are similar to those used to manage a host of conditions that cause nasal blockage. While there are over-the-counter medications for the treatment of nasal pain, a handful of home remedies can help ensure you feel better with minimal side effects.
1. Nasal Flush:
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: Saline solution and a netipot. Alternatively, use ¼ teaspoon of salt and warm water to prepare your saline solution.
One of the undisputed home remedies for the management of sinus pain is saline water used for nasal flushing. The inclusion of salt in the remedy helps to thin the mucus so that it is possible to drain the mucus down the nasal passages and ease the congestion.
This is also helpful when the sinus pain is caused by the presence of allergens as the saline solution helps wash them away too. Some of the allergens that are likely to lead the sinus pain include dust, pollen grains, dirt and food particles. A saline rinse, also referred to as nasal lavage, is an effective and simple home remedy that you can use to manage sinus pain. Follow the directions below to get the most of this home remedy.
- Put the saline water in the neti-pot. If you are preparing your own saline solution, simply dissolve the salt in the warm water and stir for complete dissolution then transfer to the neti-pot.
- Lean over, preferably over the sink and tilt your head sideways so that your forehead and chin are tilted as well. This is important because it helps to manage the amount of saline water flushing through the nasal cavities.
- The next step involves pouring the saline solution in the nose, all the while breathing through the mouth to ease the process. This also allows the solution to drain through the lower nostril.
- Clear the nostrils and then tilt your head in the opposite side so that you can repeat the process with the other nostril.
- Repeat this procedure twice daily. Avoid overusing the saline solution however, because it can easily dry up the nasal passages, which in turn creates a new set of challenges.
- It is important to note a few things however, if you opt to prepare your own saline solution, make sure you use sterile water. Water sourced directly from the tap may be laden with microorganisms which easily introduce infections in the nasal cavity.
- Additionally, remember to rinse the neti-pot using the sterile water for the same reason.
2. Steam Therapy:
Time Required: 20-30 Min
What You Need: Boiling hot water, a basin/ sink and a clean towel. Eucalyptus oil/ menthol (optional).
Difficulty: Moderate (this is because of the risk of scalding)
Steam therapy has quickly gained popularity as one of the most effective home remedies for the treatment of sinus pain. This works well because the steam coats the sinuses with a layer of moisture and prevents them from drying up which is common during inflammation. In addition to these benefits, the steam loosens up the mucus, making it easy to get rid of.
Add eucalyptus oil or menthol to this remedy for the ability to provide much needed relief from the pain. Eucalyptus oil is rich in a compound known as cineole whose anti-inflammatory properties are credited with the oil’s healing properties.
NOTE: This remedy is categorised as moderate in difficulty because the use of boiling hot water means that there is always the risk of scalding. In line with this, it is important to note that steam therapy is not recommended for kids and those who suffer from diseases that affect the nervous system. Caution is also recommended for expectant women using this remedy.
- Pour the boiling water in a basin. Alternatively, fill the sink with piping hot water.
- Add a few drops of the menthol or eucalyptus oil which help in relieving the sinus pain.
- Lean over the steam that rises from the surface of the water.
- Make sure you drape the towel over your head so s to contain the steam and allow efficiency.
- Take in a deep breath, allowing the steam to contact the sinus membranes and reduce the pain. This also helps deal with the nasal congestion and reduces the discomfort.
- Note that if, at any point, the steam creates an intense burning sensation, you should remove the towel to allow the face to cool down.
- Steam for about 10-15 minutes at least 3-4 times daily depending on the intensity of the sinus pain.
3. Hot Compress:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A clean towel and hot water. You may also include a cold compress that constitutes a few ice cubes and a clean towel to wrap.
A hot compress does wonders in providing pain relief from sinus inflammation. The heat from the compress not only loosens and dislodges the mucus, it also soothes the nasal area to alleviate the discomfort. While the hot compress may be used on its own, it helps to alternate it with a cold compress for quick relief. The cold compress works by keeping the swelling down to help manage the symptoms that accompany sinus pain.
- Soak the towel in the hot water for a few minutes and then squeeze to get rid of the excess water.
- Place the hot towel at the front of your face, preferably on the nose and press gently for a couple of minutes.
- Do this until the hot pack loses heat before switching with the cold compress.
- For the cold compress, wrap the ice cubes in the towel and use the pack to massage the forehead and the nose. Avoid the shortcuts of applying the ice directly on the skin since this damages the skin’s upper layer. In the absence of ice cubes, simply soak the towel in cold water and continue with the next step.
- Do this for a couple of minutes and then repeat the same procedure with the hot pack.
- Do this alternately at least twice daily to help manage sinus pain.
7. Eucalyptus Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of eucalyptus oil, a dropper, 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil. You may also use a clean handkerchief.
Eucalyptus oil may be combined with steam therapy to treat sinus pain as described above. In this remedy, the oil is mixed with carrier oil and used directly without adding to hot water. It has the same benefits as the oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which are required for the natural treatment of sinus pain. Some of the preferred carrier oils include coconut, olive or almond oil. The purpose of the carrier oil is to prevent irritation of the sinus membranes.
- Using a dropper, add 2 drops of the eucalyptus oil to 1 tablespoon of the choice carrier oil.
- Mix the two oils well before applying to the sinus areas. Sinus areas include the nose, forehead and cheek areas. Applying the oil mixture to these regions goes a long way in relieving the sinus pressure. Take care not to allow the oil to come into contact with the eyes to prevent eye injuries.
- Alternatively, place a few drops of the eucalyptus oil on a clean handkerchief and place it close to the nose. Inhale the oil’s aroma as and when you need to get relief from sinus pain.
8. Peppermint Oil:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A few drops of peppermint oil, a dropper and choice carrier oil.
Peppermint oil is very rich in menthol whose amazing healing properties provide much-needed relief from sinus pain and nasal congestion. The anaesthetic properties, coupled with its excellent anti-inflammatory properties make for an excellent and easy-to-use home remedy. Just like with eucalyptus oil, you will need a carrier oil prior to topical application. Almond, jojoba, coconut and olive oils are excellent alternatives for carrier oils.
- Add a few drops of the peppermint oil to the carrier oil and mix well.
- Apply the oil mixture to the sinus areas, focussing on the nose, temple region, cheeks and forehead.
9. Raw Ginger:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Raw ginger, a cup of hot water and raw honey. Alternatively, prepare a paste using raw ginger and water. Ginger oil (optional)
Ginger is rich in a compound known as gingerol, and it is this compound that comes in handy in the treatment of sinus pain. Gingerol is a potent anti-inflammatory that reduces the pain and inflammation in the sinus region. This goes a long way in easing the pressure and congestion. Raw ginger is recommended for this remedy. Ginger oil may be applied topically as an alternative to the use of raw ginger.
Using Raw Ginger
- Peel and cut up the ginger so that you have thin slices of the herb. Do this to increase the surface area for the production of gingerol.
- Place the ginger slices in a cup of hot water and cover for 5 minutes. This allows the ginger to steep and release its healing powers.
- Stir in the honey at this point. Honey not only acts as a natural sweetener, it also
- Enjoy the ginger tea while still hot, making sure you inhale the herbal tea’s aroma.
- You may also chew on the raw ginger for added benefits, though you may want to note that ginger creates a stinging sensation in the mouth. Strain and discard the ginger if you prefer not to eat it.
- Take at least 3 cups of ginger tea daily until the sinus pain is eliminated.
Using Ginger Oil
- Massage a few drops of the ginger oil on the sinus areas to deal with sinus pain.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of sandalwood powder and warm water.
Cinnamon is a popular herb in the world of home remedies, thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. All these healing traits come in handy in treating sinus pain. The antibacterial and antiviral properties are important because they help treat any potential infections leading to the pain in the sinuses.
The warm sensation created by the cinnamon is particularly helpful in unblocking the nasal passages to get rid of the congestion. Prepare the paste as follows, the n apply topically on the sinus regions.
- Combine the cinnamon and sandalwood powders so that you have a fine mixture.
- Add just enough water so that you have a paste for easy application. Avoid adding too much water because this makes the remedy too runny. Too little water on the other hand, results in clumps; add just enough water to get a consistent paste.
- Apply this paste on the sinus regions and massage for about 5 minutes.
- Rinse the paste off using warm water.
- Use this remedy regularly until you are able to get rid of the sinus pain
- You may also opt to prepare cinnamon tea and inhale the aroma for relief from sinus pain.
11. Red Pepper:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Herbal tea of choice (cinnamon, ginger, chamomile) and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Red pepper is a spicy addition to any food, but more importantly, has excellent healing properties that help treat sinus pain. Red pepper is a potent anti-inflammatory, and its fiery hot taste helps clear the nose to get rid of the accumulated mucus. Below are some of the simple ways in which you can incorporate pepper in your arsenal of home remedies against sinus pain.
NOTE: Do not use this remedy on small children as they may not be able to handle the pepper’s hot taste.
- Prepare your preferred herbal tea and add the red pepper before drinking the tea.
- You may also add the pepper to soups, broths and gravy.
- If you can, chew on the red pepper. This will cause teary eyes, but it is good measure to get rid of nasal congestion.
- It also helps to consume spicy foods for the purposes of triggering mucus drainage.
Other home remedies for the natural treatment of sinus pain include apple cider vinegar for its anti-inflammatory properties, holy basil which eliminates nasal congestion as well as tea tree oil. It also helps to get a humidifier to increase the amount of moisture in the air and help keep the sinuses moist. Remember to seek medical attention if the sinus pain is accompanied by high fever, blurred vision, stiff neck and any significant swelling in the sinus regions.