Sinus pain and congestion often follows an upper respiratory tract infection or allergic reaction that has lingered for more than seven days. Congestion includes a feeling of facial pain and pressure, frontal headaches, nasal congestion with discharge and occasional difficulty with smelling scents. Fever higher than 102 degrees F, heavy green or yellow discharge and severe facial pain will need to seek the attention of a doctor immediately.
Take an oral temperature to determine if fever is present. Determine a possible cause of the congestion. A recent cold or flu can also cause problems. Being around pet dander and cigarette smoke will also cause congestion in some people. Food allergies should not be overlooked.
Should any of the irritants be present, look to reduce exposure or remove the cause of the allergens. Have a humidifier in the bedroom at night to help with congestion. For those with recurrent problems, an air filtration system in the home may be necessary.
Drink enough water until your urine is light in color. Water is especially helpful when your body needs to remove toxins and irritants from the system.
Heat 1 to 2 quarts of water to boiling. Set boiling water on a heat-resistant surface, where you can sit in front of it. One to two drops of eucalyptus or camphor can be dropped into the water. Placing a towel over your head, lean over the pan, around 5 to 6 inches away from the water and slowly inhale through your nose. Inhale steam for five to 10 minutes or to tolerance. Blow nose as needed.
Massage to promote drainage. Seek help for the massage or pressure points if needed. Perform massage for five to 10 minutes. Start at the center of the forehead with both thumbs or fingertips. Sweep away from center and down over the eyebrows, onto the temples and down in front of the ears. Do several passes, getting wider each time. For the pressure between the eyes, begin at the bridge of the nose and sweep under the eyes along the bone, out to the ears and then down the jaw bone. Progressively get wider or narrower.
Perform a nasal lavage. Add ½ tbsp. table salt per 2 cups warm water. Stir until dissolved. Stand over the sink or tub and use cupped hands or a wide shallow bowl to help you inhale water into one nasal passage at a time. Do not swallow any water than runs down throat. Try to let the water run out of the nose. This will be uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier with practice.
If congestion does not ease following home treatment within seven to 10 days, make an appointment with your doctor for other treatment options like nasal specific, Argyrol applications or prescription drugs. Allergen testing can also be done with your doctor.
- Sinusitis and Sinus Pain; Steven Oliver, BS, D.C., et al; 2000.