Oh, your aching head! If you’re suffering from unbearable nasal congestion and headache, you probably have a head cold. The reason you’re so stuffed up? When you have a head cold, the membranes lining your nasal passages become swollen and produce excess mucus to flush out whatever is causing the irritation, whether it’s a virus or an allergen. You might experience pain in your forehead, under your eyes or in your upper teeth.
The key to easing a head cold is to reduce sinus swelling and help mucus drain from your sinuses. Although it might seem counterintuitive, keeping your nasal passages moist is the best way to clear out congestion—dry sinuses will only result in further irritation. Try these simple tips to clear up a head cold and help relieve headache and sinus pressure.
Use a humidifier
Since breathing in dry air will dry out your sinuses, it’s best to add moisture back into your environment by using a cool-mist humidifier or steam vapourizer. You can also try breathing in steam from a hot shower. Doing so can help soothe the irritated membranes lining your nasal passages.
Reach for a warm compress
A great way to ease a headache and sinus pressure is to place a warm compress on your forehead and nose. If you don’t have a compress, try moistening a washcloth with warm water and applying it to your face several times a day. This will help relieve nasal congestion and relieve your head cold symptoms.
Irrigate your sinuses
Flushing out your sinuses with salt water can help clear out mucus and other irritants (like pollen, dust and bacteria) and reduce inflammation of the mucous membrane, resulting in better drainage. This can be done with a neti pot, syringe or various other products that can be found in drug stores. When using a nasal rinse, be sure to use sterile or previously boiled water, and rinse and dry the device thoroughly after each use.
Try a nasal spray
If a nasal wash isn’t for you, try using a nasal saline spray. Similar to a nasal wash, it can help add moisture to your sinuses and flush out irritants and infectious agents. Look for a mist formula and apply it up to six times a day.
Drink plenty of fluids
There’s a reason chicken soup tastes so good when you have a cold: Sipping lots of liquids can help thin out your mucus and promote nasal drainage. Try drinking water, tea and warm milk.
Take a decongestant
Over-the-counter nasal decongestants reduce blood flow to the nasal membranes, which decreases swelling and congestion. They can help open up your nasal passages and decrease the pain and pressure in your sinuses and head. For fast relief, try DayQuil Sinus Liquicaps
‹the non-drowsy formula contains a pain reliever and phenylephrine, an effective decongestant. If your sinus congestion is worse at night, try NyQuil Sinus Liquicaps
. In addition to a pain reliever and decongestant, it contains an antihistamine to help stop sneezing and a runny nose, so you can get some much-needed rest.