A sinus headache can occur when the nasal passages become inflamed and irritated. This irritation prevents the nasal passages from draining properly and the result can be a buildup of pressure and congestion. Experiencing a sinus headache can be uncomfortable and painful due to this buildup of pressure.
Sinus headaches can be chronic and last an extended period, or acute and last less than 2 weeks.
Symptoms of Sinus Headaches
The signs and symptoms of sinus headaches are usually the pressure and pain felt in the forehead region, above the nose, and between and behind the eyes. These areas may also feel painful to the touch.
Other symptoms are nasal stuffiness, fatigue, sore throat, and cough, along with copious nasal discharge. Throbbing facial pain in the sinus regions, bad breath, blocked nose, headaches and fever are what most people claim to be their most common symptoms.
Quite often the pain also seems to worsen with actions such as lying down or bending over, as this puts even more pressure on the affected nerves.
What Are the Causes?
- Sinus headaches may occur because of seasonal allergies such as pollen, a dental infection, colds and flu, or because of asthma.
- People who smoke and drink may experience them more frequently compared to those who do not.
- Rapid atmospheric pressure changes can also be the culprit for many people.
- Some may experience a sinus headache by being exposed to environmental pollution or even swimming in polluted water.
It is important to take steps to avoid your triggers once you determine what causes your sinus headaches. A great deal of prevention is possible and will save you from experiencing much unnecessary pain and distress.
Many people who believe they are suffering from a sinus headache may actually be dealing with a migraine or tension headache. There are many similar symptoms to these types of headaches.
Therefore, it is best to consult with your health care provider to determine exactly what the cause of your headache is. Self-diagnosing and treating the wrong type of headache will prevent you from finding the most effective and speedy relief.
It also means that any actions to prevent future headaches may be misdirected and ineffectual. If headaches are severe or protracted, they may be a symptom of something else that requires attention.
Relief for Sinus Headaches
Try to limit your use of decongestant nasal sprays and tablets, as continued use may lead to a rebound effect of inflammation and congestion.
If you are going to go with a nasal spray, use a saline solution. Carefully read and follow the usage directions and try not to use it more than 6 times in a 24-hour period.
You can also try natural remedies, such as using a Neti pot to cleanse your sinuses, as there are no negative side effects to these types of treatments. You can also try homeopathic formulations, or try placing a humidifier or vaporizer in your home.
These natural solutions may help you find the relief you need from painful sinus headaches, as they work on helping expel the congestion which causes the nerve pain.