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Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

If you’ve ever had a sinus headache, you know what a real pain it is (literally and figuratively speaking). There are many over-the-counter medications you can take to help relieve a sinus headache, but you may want to think twice before you resort to those all the time. Why? Because even though these options may cover up the symptoms of your sinus headache temporarily, they’re not the best for treating it long-term and don’t address the real issue at hand.

What a Sinus Headache Feels Like

Sinus Headache

    A sinus headache will feel as though you have a tight clamp on each side of your head, and you’ll feel this due to pressure caused by a build-up of fluids. You’ll also usually feel your nasal passages clogged and likely have problems with mucus in your throat. You may find yourself constantly coughing or trying to clear your throat with corresponding tension headaches when suffering (whether daily or occasionally).

    It’s not exactly what you’re suffering from? Then you need to check if you have one of the following headaches instead and learn about how to deal with it:

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    Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

    Cluster Headaches: How To Deal With The Worst Headache

    How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

    Causes of Sinus Headaches

    Research shows that sinus headaches are the result of overall body inflammation – not actually from allergies alone. Other possible causes of sinus headaches include a respiratory infection, congestion due to mucus build up in the body or an illness such as the flu. Allergies can also trigger sinus headaches or exacerbate existing ones.

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    Normal sinus pathways allow mucus to drain and air to circulate through the lungs and nasal passages, but when inflammation occurs in the body, these pathways and processes don’t work as they normally would. This can lead to a host of negative issues because blocked nasal passages are the perfect breeding ground for harmful viruses and bacteria that can affect you long-term.

    Colds are a common culprit for triggering sinus headaches, but those who swim frequently, suffer from asthma or hay fever, and those with nasal polyps or facial tumors may also be more susceptible than other people.

    Natural Options for Relieving a Sinus Headache

    Sinus Headache

      First, you’ll want to check with your doctor to make sure you have a sinus headache and not something else. Once he or she diagnoses you, here are natural remedies you can do at home to relieve inflammation and even the possible cause(s) of your sinus headaches:

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      1. Remove all possible allergenic foods

      Many people are allergic to certain foods they are eating which is causing the inflammation and mucus build-up. Common allergens are gluten (wheat, barley, rye), just wheat, dairy, soy, and although it’s not an allergy, excessive refined sugar intake can also lead to inflammation and mucus build-up. Consider removing these from your diet to see which ones may be causing issues for you, and then reintroduce each one, one at a time to see if the food is causing mucus build-up for you or overall inflammation. Check labels on all foods you buy, and consider an elimination diet which may also be effective.

      2. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive caffeine and sugar.

      Excessive caffeine and sugar intake can trigger inflammation as well as headaches due to the way they affect blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels when they leave the bloodstream. Be sure to drink plenty of water which is your best option for getting your lymph fluids flowing. Warm (low-sodium) broths may also be helpful as well.

      3. Use a humidifier to help you breathe more easily.

      Place a humidifier in your room each night and let it run while you sleep. This can help you wake up a little clearer in the morning because it helps get mucus moving through the body so you can breathe more easily.

      4. Use cold packs on your head to relieve pain.

      Ice packs can help dispel the pain from your head by triggering a unique process in the bloodstream and nerve pathways to help relieve pain. You can make cold packs from ice yourself with ice cubes and cloth or plastic baggies. Or, you can buy ice packs at your local drugstore. Place the ice pack on your head ensuring it covers the sides of your head and nose for at least 30 seconds. Consider taking a hot bath each night as you do so for greater effects.

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      5. Rub peppermint oil on the sides of your head.

      Rubbing peppermint oil on your the sides of your head can help relieve pain quickly and the menthol will also help you breathe more easily. Be sure to rub it in for a few minutes, gently massaging the sides of your head as you do so.

      6. Drink some warm lemon ginger tea.

      Make your own warm cup of tea with fresh ginger root and lemon slices. Just let them steep in boiling water for at least 5 minutes, then strain and drink the tea a few times a day. (You can also just make this tea in a French press.) Lemon and ginger both help relieve inflammation, pain, and can clear mucus from the body.

      7. Use over-the-counter sprays as the last option or as a complimentary treatment.

      If you need additional care when you’re trying to survive your sinus headache, use saline sprays as a last option or complimentary treatment. Just be mindful that these don’t treat the actual cause of your sinus headache even though they do serve as helpful aids.

      Everyone suffers from sinus headaches for various reasons, so do your best to address the real cause of your sinus headache, and speak with a trusted naturopath or medical professional who is willing to help you through the process.

      To learn more about natural options to relieve general headaches, check out these options that can help you do so without medication.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr / Gonzalo Malpartida via flic.kr

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      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

      Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

      Why is this so critically important to you?

      The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

      Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

      1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

      Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

      When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

      • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
      • The man facing the judge.
      • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
      • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
      • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
      • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

      These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

      Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

      Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

      2. Accept Your Fear

      Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

      We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

      And here’s what can be done.

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      3. Get Some Perspective

      I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

      And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

      That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

      We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

      So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

      • Are you really at risk?
      • Will this kill you?
      • Which leads us on to..
      • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

      4. Hold a Hand

      As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

      Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

      We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

      Ask yourself:

      • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
      • Could that really happen?
      • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
      • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

      By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

      5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

      This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

      Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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      The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

      It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

      For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

      Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

      6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

      I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

      Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

      Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

      Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

      Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

      Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

      7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

      Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

      I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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      It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

      One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

      Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

      It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

      8. Assume the Worse

      If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

      Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

      • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
      • Think about how they feel about champagne?
      • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

      And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

      When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

      Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

      9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

      If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

      Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

      Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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      10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

      One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

      11. Go with Fear

      When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

      I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

      Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

      One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

      However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

      We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

      12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

      And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

      The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

      What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

      13. Own Your Fear

      Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

      We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

      You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

      More Resources About Fighting Fear

      Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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