Do you feel that familiar dull ache around the bridge of your nose and behind your eyes? It’s another sinus headache. Is there a way to avoid these painful episodes?
Board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Nilesh Patel provides expert treatments for sinusitis in his Midtown Manhattan, New York offices. You may be able to use conservative treatments like nasal sprays and decongestants to head off your painful symptoms, and Dr. Patel can prescribe antibiotics for infections.
However, if those methods don’t work, Dr. Patel can perform minor surgery that can work wonders to help you breathe freely and eliminate your pain.
Following are tips to help you beat and treat a painful sinus headache.
Take preventative steps during allergy seasons
If you get headaches from seasonal allergies, start taking medication before the season begins. If grass pollen in your area is highest in April through June, start taking your medication in March to bring your body’s defenses up to speed.
Watch your hygiene
Winter is cold and flu season. Viruses like RSV are popping up. Colds and viruses can develop into sinus infections. Make it a practice to wash your hands right away when you come home and always before you touch or prepare food.
Avoid touching your face. Studies on how often you touch your face were recently performed in several countries, including the United States, because of the spread of the coronavirus. Incredibly, the studies found that people touch their faces about 69 times per hour on average. Even doctors who have been trained against the practice touch the face 23 times an hour on average.
Use a wedge in your bed at night
Invest in a wedge that you place under your mattress at the top of your bed, or place an extra pillow under your head when you sleep. It’s easy for mucus to build up in your sinuses when you’re lying flat at night. Keeping your head above your heart helps avoid excess mucus in your nasal passages.
Use a saline nasal spray or drops
If you’ve maxed out on steroid sprays or want to try a more natural approach, purchase a bottle of saline drops or nasal spray from the drugstore. Salt is a natural cleanser. It thins the heavy mucus buildup in your nasal passages so that you can breathe again.
Use warm compresses on your face
Place a moist, warm washcloth on the parts of your face that hurt and reapply as needed. You inhale the moisture, which helps calm your symptoms.
Invest in a vaporizer
Perhaps you had a vaporizer in your room when you were a child. Your mom knew what she was doing. Vaporizers are old technology, but they’re still around because they work.
Vaporizers humidify the air around you. The steam droplets calm the irritation in your eyes, nose, and throat. A vaporizer can help clear the congestion in your sinuses and allow you to get more peaceful sleep at night.
Surgery for chronic sinusitis
If conservative treatments and prescription medication don’t work, Dr. Patel can perform surgery to relieve chronic sinusitis.
Dr. Patel diagnoses the cause of your repeat infections. Perhaps you have nasal polyps or a deviated septum. Both can be ameliorated with minor surgery. You may benefit from balloon sinuplasty and/or turbinate reduction to expand your sinuses if they’re chronically blocked.
Call the offices of Dr. Nilesh Patel or book a same-day appointment online for relief from your sinus problems.