Ask the Doctor

Question: What do you suggest is the best treatment for my sinus headaches?

Answer: There can be many potential causes of sinus headaches and treatment often depends on the cause.

For instance sinus headache due sinus infection should be treated with antibiotics. Most headaches are due to congestion, and if this is, because of allergies. I would recommend use on an antihistamine to reduce the congestion.

Regardless of the cause of the sinus headache some generalities can be given. Moisture will help hydrate the nasal passages and help drain the sinuses. You may notice after taking a shower when having a cold that breathing through the nose is easier afterwards.

This can also be accomplished by breathing steam from a pot of water on the stove for five minutes or so.

Sinus rinses are easily available and generally beneficial and I highly recommend this, particularly for people with allergies and frequent sinus infections. Nasal steroid sprays have recently become available over the counter and though drying can reduce the swelling that often accompanies congestion.

As always Tylenol can be very effective at reducing the pain. Symptoms resistant to these general measures should always be evaluated by your primary physician to rule out more serious conditions.

NOTE: Dr. Jennifer Franchuk is a primary care physician at Camarena Health in Oakhurst. Health-related questions can be sent to her at: