Sinus headaches are often the most painful part of a sinus infection. These headaches cause pain that radiates and is often severe enough to impact your daily life. In fact, sinus headaches are often confused with other types of headaches like migraines, making them difficult to treat. Read on to learn about sinus headaches so you can get the correct treatment for your problem.
What Causes a Sinus Headache?
Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation or infection of the sinus cavities. Your sinuses are a connected series of cavities near your nose. These cavities are very delicate and prone to irritation and infection. During a sinus infection, a patient will experience a variety of symptoms such as nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and fever. One of the most common sinus infection symptoms is a sinus headache that is caused by this irritation.
These types of headaches usually start with a painful or full feeling in your forehead or above your cheekbones. If the pain is severe, it can radiate across your entire face and head. Like other types of headaches, you may experience dizziness or sensitivity to light and sound when dealing with a severe sinus related headache.
Difference Between Sinus Headache and Other Headaches
Knowing the difference between sinus headaches and other types of headaches is an important part of finding relief. Different headaches respond to different treatments, and your sinus headache will only heal if you address your sinus symptoms specifically.
Headaches of the sinuses are often confused with migraines. Many sinus infection symptoms, such as nasal congestion and forehead pressure, are also migraine symptoms. Pay attention to the timing of your headaches. Sinus headaches will usually occur during a sinus infection, while migraines can occur at any time. Migraines also tend to be hereditary and are more common in women. In addition to migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches can also be confused with sinus headaches. Take detailed notes on your symptoms and monitor the exact location of your pain. Only your doctor will be able to truly diagnose your type of headache.
Preventing and Treating Sinus Headaches
The good news about sinus headaches is they usually respond very well to treatment. If you are experiencing sinus headaches due to chronic sinusitis, your doctor will first determine the cause of your infections and prescribe a medication to help. Many people with frequent sinus infections do not realize they need antibiotics to treat their symptoms. Over-the-counter medication and home remedies can also be helpful, especially for patients who want to prevent more sinus issues in the future. Saline rinses and humidifiers are simple and affordable ways to keep your sinus cavities clear and comfortable.
Chronic sinusitis is the most common cause of sinus headaches. However, growths such as polyps or tumors can also be to blame. Your doctor might recommend a laparoscopy or CT scan to get a better look at your sinus cavities.
Suffering from sinus headaches can majorly impact your life. Don’t wait to find relief. Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.