Those who have had infrequent sinus headaches cannot even imagine having one everyday. The painful symptoms and pressure in your eyes and face are excruciating. Maybe you have chronic sinusitis, or is it something else?
Causes And Symptoms Of Sinus Headaches
Causes of a real sinus headache are an infection in your sinuses known as sinusitis. It may feel like the following:
- Pressure and fullness in your cheeks, forehead, and brows.
- Bending over causes increasing pain
- Stuffy nose
- Ache in your your upper teeth
- Swollen or puffy face
Sinusitis usually occurs after a respiratory viral infection or cold. There is normally a thick discolored mucus, a reduced sense of smell, and in a nutshell, with a sinus headache your whole face hurts.
You may develop a sinus headache from the common cold, a deviated septum where there is not sufficient air flow to help drain the mucus from your sinuses, seasonal allergies which cause congestion and mucus, and nasal polyps which also prevent mucus from draining properly.
…Or Is It A Migraine?
Many times we can confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because several of the symptoms overlap. With a migraine headache you may also have facial pain, nasal congestion and a runny nose.
The telltale difference is that a migraine has a clear nasal discharge, whereas with a sinus headache you will have a fever and the discharge is thick and discolored.
Maybe It’s Allergies
It is also difficult to tell the difference between a sinus headache and allergies. To further confuse the situation, although allergies don’t cause headaches, they can cause congestion leading to sinus pressure and infection.
Those who have seasonal allergies are 10 times more likely to have migraines.
Reducing your Symptoms
You can try ways to relieve symptoms at home including:
- Cut back on dairy products because it thickens your mucus
- Drink more water to thin out the mucus
- Certain herb teas can help with sinus pressure like chamomile, peppermint tea or blackberry.
- Use a Neti Pot to flush out your nasal passages
- Apply a warm compress to painful facial areas
- Use a decongestant
A Word To The Wise
Don’t try to diagnose yourself! Only an ENT specialist like Surgical Associates Northwest can truly discover what the root cause of your headache might be.
If your problem is becoming chronic, the doctor may recommend you have an imaging test like an X-ray, a CT scan, or a nasal endoscopy. Once a clear diagnosis is made, a specific treatment can begin.
Contact Surgical Associates Northwest if you are experiencing frequent sinus headaches.