What is a Sinus Headache?
Your sinuses are a connected system of hollow cavities in your forehead, cheekbones and behind your nose. Inflammation of your sinuses may cause headache. If you have acute or chronic sinusitis, the chances are you suffer from a headache. However, painful sinuses do not automatically mean you have a sinus disorder, as some other conditions like migraine and tension headaches may also lead to pain in your sinuses in addition to the head.
If your sinuses hurt and you do not know why, do not hesitate to call Eastside ENT Specialists at 440-352-1474. Schedule an appointment with a board-certified ENT Doctor in Madison Ohio.
What Causes Sinus Headaches?
Your sinuses help clean and humidify the air you breathe. They are lined with mucous secreting tissues called mucosa. The mucous is drained through thin channels to your nose and to the back of your throat. Any obstruction in the drainage channels can increase the pressure inside your sinuses as air and mucous gets trapped inside, leading to sinus pain that resembles a headache. A sinus infection, an allergy as well as physical deformity can lead to sinus headaches.
What are the Symptoms of Sinus Headaches?
Patients who suffer from sinus headaches usually complain about sore sinuses, headache between eyes and nose as well as headache front of the head. It is important to accurately ascertain the underlying cause of your headache. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a migraine and a sinus headache. A migraine can irritate your cranial nerve that has branches in the forehead as well as jaws and cheeks, leading to pain in or around your sinuses. Sinus headaches are usually accompanied with some other respiratory conditions caused by a sinus infection like:
- Pain and pressure around the eyes
- Pain in your cheeks and the forehead
- Aching upper teeth
- Facial swelling
- Nasal congestion and stuffiness
If your hay fever or nasal allergies are causing inflammation in your sinuses, your symptoms may include:
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Impaired sense of smell
It is possible to have a sinus headache without other upper respiratory tract symptoms, making a sinus headache difficult to diagnose. One distinguishing symptom of a sinus headache is the increase in pain when you strain your face, bend forward or lie down.
What are the Risk Factors for Sinus Headaches?
If you suffer from any of the following disorders or diseases, your chances of suffering from sinus headaches are increased:
- Recurring or Chronic sinusitis
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated septum
- Allergic rhinitis or hay fever
How is a Sinus Headache Diagnosed?
Following diagnostic procedures can help your ENT doctor to diagnose the causal factor of your sinus headache:
- A physical exam of your nasal passage and sinuses using an endoscope or an otoscope
- A CT scan of the sinuses to determine the extent of sinuses obstruction caused by your chronic sinusitis
- If an allergy is suspected of causing your sinus headaches, an allergy testing may help determine the allergen responsible for your pain and discomfort
How is a Sinus Headache Treated?
If allergic rhinitis, acute or chronic sinusitis is behind your sinus headaches, following sinus headache treatment procedures may be recommended by your ENT specialist:
- A course of antibiotic medications
- Nasal steroid sprays
- Pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- A sinus surgery to remove polyps or to open up the congested sinuses may be needed in extreme cases
In addition to the sinus headache treatment prescribed by an experienced sinus headache doctor, following at-home steps can help relieve your headache:
- A cool mist-humidifier, a steam vaporizer as well as a hot shower can help you access moist and humid air to help with your congested sinuses
- Three minutes of a hot compress across your sinuses, followed by a 30 second cold compress can help open up your sinuses
- A thorough nasal irrigation can help wash out the trapped mucus, pus and allergens and alleviate your pain
Sinus headaches may be difficult to diagnose. A skilled otolaryngologist can accurately diagnose the nature of your headache and prescribe an effective treatment. If your sinuses hurt and you do not know why, do not hesitate to call Eastside ENT Specialists at 440-352-1474. Schedule an appointment with a board-certified ENT Doctor in Madison Ohio.
REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT
We welcome new patients and make it easy to schedule a consultation.
Call to schedule an appointment.
OTHER HELPFUL NOSE, SINUS & ALLERGY FACT SHEETS:
- Allergies and Hay Fever
- Allergic Rhinitis, Sinusitis, and Rhinosinusitis
- Antihistamines, Decongestants, and Cold Remedies
- Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
- Facial Sports Injuries
- Fungal Sinusitis
- Nasal Fractures
- Nose Surgery
- Pediatric Obesity and Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders
- Post-Nasal Drip
- Salivary Glands
- Secondhand Smoke
- Sinus Pain: Can Over-the-Counter Medications Help?
- Sinusitis: Special Considerations for Aging Patients
- Smell & Taste
- Stuffy Nose
- Tips for Sinus Sufferers
- Your Nose, the Guardian of Your Lungs