How are sinus headaches treated?
Treatment of sinus headaches is usually done to relieve your symptoms and treat the infection. Treatment might include antibiotics for the infection, as well as a short period of antihistamines or decongestants to treat the symptoms. If you take decongestants but do not have a true sinus headache, the medication could make your headache worse.
Other medications to treat sinus infections include analgesics (such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen) and vasoconstrictors (drugs which narrow blood vessels). Corticosteroids may be prescribed for some people if the pain continues even after the use of analgesics. When an allergen is causing the sinus flare-ups, preventive allergy therapy is often needed.
Decongestant medications can be used to relieve headaches associated with sinus infections. Decongestants help relieve headache symptoms because they constrict blood vessels that cause headache pain. However, decongestant use can be habit-forming. If your headaches seem to be relieved by decongestants but you do not have a sinus infection, you may actually have a migraine or tension-type headache. These need treatment with different medications.
For treatment of chronic sinusitis, warm moist air may help relieve sinus congestion. Using a vaporizer or inhaling steam from a pan of boiling water (removed from heat) may also help. Warm compresses may relieve pain in the nose and sinuses. Saline nose drops are also safe for home use.