A migraine is a pounding headache that is felt at one or both sides of the head. A sinus headache is felt as tenderness or pressure within the sinuses, which are located near the eyes and cheeks. It is helpful to know what kind of headache you are experiencing to know how to get rid of it. Once you have determined whether you are experiencing a migraine or a sinus headache, proceed with the following steps.
- See the doctor. Underlying health problems may be causing your headaches. Go to the clinic to get a check-up so that the doctor may determine the cause of your pain. He may treat your headache after assessing your health condition and performing some tests. He may prescribe you some medications.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Analgesics lessen the pain of a migraine or sinus headache. Though these medications may be bought without a prescription, make sure that taking them is safe for your health. It is still best if you consult your doctor before using any kind of drug. If you have health conditions, such as hypertension, heart complications and other disorders, don’t take medications unless approved by the doctor.
- Apply topical menthol to the affected areas. A cooling cream or gel relieves sinus headache pains and may constrict dilated blood vessels which cause migraines. Using ice packs or applying damp cloth to your eyes may work as well.
- Get rest. Stress is a major factor which contributes to migraines and headaches. When stressed, find time to relax. Learn relaxation methods, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation. Get plenty of good sleep at the hours that are in accordance with your natural body rhythm.
- Stay away from irritants. Avoid things that cause headaches, such as odors, bright lights, loud noises and the like. When you have a migraine, stay in a dim and quiet room. Use a handkerchief or mask to ward off unpleasant odors and strong fragrances. Use eyeglasses and earplugs to block lights and noise. Stay away from foods and substances which may cause migraines, such as caffeine, alcohol, smoking, certain drugs, preserved meat, aged cheese, monosodium glutamate, and so on.
- Take decongestants. These clear up blocked sinuses that cause a sinus headache. Before using them, know the potential side-effects and whether it is safe for you to use the drug.
- Use nasal sprays. A sinus headache is caused by inflamed sinuses and mucus buildup within the nose. A nasal spray helps soothe irritated sinuses and loosen up sticky mucus. However, these drugs may only be used for up to three days. More than that, the inflammation becomes worse.
- Take antibiotics or antivirals. Antibiotics kill bacteria while antivirals destroy viruses. These eliminate the germs that are causing your sinus infection. Take note that there are some antibiotics or antivirals that are harmful for unborn children. If you are pregnant, consult your gynecologist before taking medication.
- Get surgery. In some cases, surgery is necessary to get rid of migraines or sinus headaches. Discuss with your doctor or surgeon regarding this, and ask if there are alternative treatments for you.
Each remedy has its pros and cons to it. Know all you can about any remedy you’ll take. Pay attention to its effects upon your headaches and your general health, and take note of what works for you and what doesn’t.