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Sinus headaches - do inhalations help

Sinus headaches - do inhalations help

Kinga Dziwisz (MPharm)

Sinus pain can often be mistaken for a headache. If this pain intensifies when tilting your head and your nose becomes blocked you can assume that the sinuses are the cause of the pain. Can you alleviate the pain by using inhalations?

Sinus pain
Sinus pain is very typical. Mainly, it is centred in the area between and above the eyes i.e. the paranasal area. It intensifies when the head is tilted. It is always accompanied by the feeling of having a blocked or “full” nose where pus accumulates. The sinuses themselves start to become painful as the discharge flow is blocked by a swelling of the tissue lining.

What are inhalations?
Inhalations are procedures based on breathing in a vapor of water with dissolved substances, giving it an aroma and additional properties. The added substances are often essential oils or herbs (in the form of decoction). Inhalations are very helpful in fighting blockages of the respiratory tract. They are safe as long as they are performed on people over the age of four (you must remember that children under the age of four should not perform inhalations, especially containing peppermint oil, as it can negatively affect their respiratory tract).

Which kinds of herbs and oils are appropriate for inhalations?
Oils which positively affect the respiratory tract are the extracts of, e.g. eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor, pine, thyme, or tea tree. Herbal decoctions positively affecting the sinuses are made of chamomile, black elder, primrose or peppermint.

How to perform inhalations?
To do the inhalation you need to prepare a bowl with hot water, a towel, and essential oils - a salt or herbal decoction. The preparation of the decoction is based on pouring cold water on the herbs and then boiling it together. After that, you have to strain the decoction and use it for the inhalation. In case of oils, pour a few drops of it into a bowl with hot water. Inhalations with salt are prepared by dissolving a spoon of common salt in one liter of hot water.

Lean over the bowl with the evaporating solution. Put the towel on your head in such a way as to cover it and cover your arms in order to create the smallest space possible over the bowl. Inhale the vapor with both your nose and mouth for about 15 minutes. You should do this twice a day at least one hour before leaving the house. Be careful not to burn yourself; if the vapor is too hot move back from the bowl.
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This information is provided for your reference only and it is not to be relied upon on its own as instructions for use of this medication. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Other than liability for death or personal injury arising out of our negligence, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise.

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