How Is A Sinus Headache Diagnosed
A sinus headache can sometimes be confused with a migraine or tension headache. If youve recently had a cold, allergies, or other symptoms that are usually associated with sinusitis that can indicate that your pain may be from a sinus headache. But if pain is your only symptom, its probably not a sinus headache.
If an underlying issue is causing your sinusitis and sinus headaches, your doctor may recommend more testing. For example, if allergies are causing your issues, allergy testing may be recommended.
What Causes Sinus Pain
Sinus pain happens when there is inflammation or irritation in your sinus cavities.
Your sinuses are hollow spaces in your facial bones that are lined with membranes that secrete mucus. Sinus pain is often a result of inflammation that blocks mucus from draining and leads to pain.
Sinus swelling can follow viral illnesses, including the common cold, or it can be due to mucus production from allergies or breathing in polluted air that leads to irritation. It can also happen if there are nasal blockages due to abnormal growths called nasal polyps or structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum, that make you prone to congestion.
Treatments From Your Gp
See your GP if your symptoms are severe, don’t start to improve within 7 to 10 days, or are getting worse. They may recommend additional treatment with corticosteroid drops or sprays, or antibiotics.
If these treatments don’t help, you GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist for an assessment and to discuss whether surgery is a suitable option.
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Sinus Headaches Are Rare
Its important to note that sinus headaches are in fact extremely rare most people who have sinus headaches actually have migraine headaches, says Dr. Gottschalk.
In fact, the American Academy of OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery Foundation notes that over 80% of people who have self-diagnosed themselves or received a formal diagnosis of sinus headache actually have a migraine headache or tension headache only around 3% to 5% of people diagnosed with sinus headaches actually have sinus headaches.
This happens because some of the symptoms of migraine headaches are very similar to the symptoms of sinus headaches. Migraine headaches can trigger the parasympathetic nerves that control the mucosa in the sinuses, resulting in symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, redness or swelling around the eyes, and pressure in the sinus area, says Dr. Gottschalk.
For this reason, migraine attacks that include these symptoms are often mislabeled as sinus headaches, because it is believed that the sinus irritation is the cause of the pain however, the sinus symptoms are caused by the migraine process itself, explains Dr. Gottschalk.
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What Causes A Sinus Headache
Inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses is the primary cause of a sinus headache. The inflamed tissues swell and produce secretions that clog the normal drainage system of the sinuses, causing a build-up of fluid and secretions. The pressure of this fluid build-up causes the pain of a sinus headache. Inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis. The inflammation may arise due to an
- allergic reaction such as hay fever, or
Most commonly, infectious sinusitis is due to a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections of the sinuses can also occur. Since the maxillary sinuses are located in the cheekbone, infections of the upper teeth can spread into these sinuses. In very rare cases, benign or malignant tumors can invade and block drainage in the sinuses and lead to a sinus headache.
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When To See Your Doctor For Nasal Congestion
See your doctor for nasal congestion if your symptoms last more than ten days, dont respond to over the counter treatment and lifestyle changes, your nasal discharge is yellow or green, or if you experience a fever.
A fever is an indicator that your symptoms are a result of bacterial infection, which will require prescribed antibiotics.
Why Is Sinus Pressure In The Ears So Painful
When experiencing pain and pressure in the ears caused by sinus congestion, there are many questions that may cross your mind. How do I make it go away? The cause of the pain in your ears is usually due to sinus pressure. This is because sinus congestion and stuffiness can affect the pressure in your ears. The pressure in your sinuses affects more than just your nose. It can also cause pain in your ears, dizziness, and the feeling that your ears feel stuffed up or clogged. The good news is, there are several remedies to bring you relief.
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Alternative Methods For Sinus Pressure Headache Relief
Fortunately, there are several different alternative treatments for sinus pressure and pain. Irrigating your sinuses with a saltwater mix can help alleviate irritation and inflammation caused by a lack of humidity. It can also help flush out the sinuses if you have been suffering from a cold or the flu. There are a variety of over-the-counter saline nasal sprays to try, or you can use an old-fashioned neti pot or a bulb syringe to do the job.
Warm and cold compresses can also offer relief. A warm compress over the nose and eyes can help loosen the mucous and alleviate pressure, and a cold compress can help resolve any excess inflammation. Start with a hot compress, and leave it on your face for about three minutes, then follow that with a cold compress for about 30 seconds. Alternate the compresses a total of three times and repeat four times a day.
Another way to relieve sinus pressure headaches is to add a bit of spice to your diet. Capsaicin, the ingredient that makes spicy food hot, also has anti-inflammatory properties. A bit of hot sauce in a bowl of soup or on your dinner can help loosen up the sinuses and allow them to drain.
Otc Medicine For Sinus Congestion
When your sinuses become inflamed and congested, this means that the tiny, air-filled spaces that are connected to your nasal cavity have been blocked or are unable to drain normally. This buildup of mucus then causes a feeling of pressure or âfullnessâ in your forehead, eyes, or jaw. Luckily, OTC medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can alleviate pain caused by the pressure buildup.
Here are the most common types of OTC medication for sinus congestion:
1. Decongestant: Nasal decongestants are available in tablets, liquids, and nasal sprays and work by reducing blood flow to the sinuses, ultimately reducing nasal swelling and inflammation. Popular nasal decongestants include:
- Phenylephrine with brand names Sudafed PE, Vicks Sinex, and Pretz-D.
- Pseudoephedrine with brand names Sudafed, Dimetapp Decongestant, and 12 Hour Cold Maximum Strength.
2. Pain reliever: There are two main categories of pain relievers:
3. Antihistamines: Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergies, but they can be used to treat stomach problems and the common cold among other ailments. Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine, which your immune system releases to protect against foreign invasions. Histamines cause symptoms like inflammation, congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing. So antihistamines are designed to alleviate those symptoms. Popular antihistamines include cetirizine and fexofenadine .
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Sinus Infection Treatment Options
There are many treatment options for a sinus infection, but the best treatment option varies by the severity of the case. Some acute sinus infections will clear up on their own without any treatment, and you may just think it was a cold. Others require more serious interventions by a healthcare provider.
The standard treatment healthcare providers prescribe for a presumed bacterial sinus infection is an antibiotic. However, if you have a sinus infection caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, your doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as these medications only treat bacterial infections. Instead, you can treat the sinus infection symptomatically until it resolves, with nasal decongestants and antihistamines.
There are plenty of ways to treat symptoms of a sinus infection at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. OTC antihistamines block the effects of histamine, helping symptoms like sneezing and runny nose. Simple treatments like drinking water, keeping your sinuses hydrated , and using warm compresses, can also help treat symptoms of a sinus infection.
Keeping your nasal passages clean can help you prevent future sinus infections. If you anticipate having sinus issues during allergy or cold season, flushing out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution can help you avoid the pains of a sinus infection.
Take An Antihistamine But Choose The Right One
As soon as allergy symptoms set in, Dr. Hays says your first line of defense should be antihistamines.
Antihistamines are really effective for treating allergies, says Dr. Hays. They need to be taken every day while youre experiencing symptoms, and people with seasonal allergies should proactively take them throughout both the fall and spring allergy seasons.
There are two things you need to know when it comes to choosing the right antihistamine. Dr. Hays says the best antihistamines are ones that are long-acting and non-sedating. To find one that meets this criteria, look for the following types of antihistamines:
Some antihistamine drugs such as diphenhydramine are effective, but can make you very drowsy. Dr. Hays recommends taking this type of antihistamine only before bed.
Whether youre buying name-brand or generic, the antihistamine drug name will be mentioned somewhere on the box typically on the front.
One of the main advantages of antihistamines is that they help with the majority, if not all, of your allergy symptoms, Dr. Hays explains. In addition, they kick in pretty quickly. You should notice a reduction in your symptoms in just a few hours.
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Sinus Headache Or Migraine
About 80% of “sinus headaches” are actually migraines with nasal symptoms. If you get frequent headaches, consult your healthcare provider or a headache specialist, since there are medications and prevention strategies specifically for migraines.
What Does Sinus Pressure Feel Like
Pain or pressure is felt not just in your head, but anywhere in the sinus area. Where you feel pain depends on which sinuses are affected.
While pressure is most common behind and around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, it can extend forward to the teeth and backward to the back of the head. These areas will often be sensitive to touch.
Sometimes sinus headache can also give you a feeling of fatigue or aching in your top jaw. Redness and swelling of the cheeks, nose, or forehead can occur.
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Best For Treating For Nasal And Sinus Congestion Or Pressure
Allergy medications that are decongestants can come in pill, liquid or nasal spray form. The most common form of decongestant are pills, which many people use to combat seasonal allergies especially. Nasal sprays and eye drops can both stop being effective or make symptoms worse if overused, so it is important to use them sporadically to treat symptoms.
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Natural Sinus Pain Relief
In addition to remedies and medications, practices that promote relaxation may help you to manage and prevent sinus pain. This can include:
- Massage: Relax in a dark, quiet room. Gentle head and neck exercises or gently massaging your head and face may also help.
- Meditation: Research suggests that mindfulness meditation may help decrease the intensity of head pain. Focusing on your breathing, body sensations, and surroundings can be a useful coping strategy to manage pain.
You may want to enroll in a local mindfulness-based stress reduction training program to learn techniques commonly used in studies on meditation and head pain.
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How Long Does Sinusitis Last
Sinusitis tends to last between two to three weeks*, and the infection usually clears on its own or with the use of over the counter medication. However if your symptoms are severe, getting worse or havent improved after 10 days then you should see your GP. If you also experience frequent episodes of sinusitis, your GP will be able to offer treatment advice, as well as diagnose the condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
Sinusitis symptoms are very similar to that of common cold or flu, and you may even develop the condition after a cold. The area where you feel pressure and pain will depend upon which sinuses have been affected, for example you may feel more pain behind your eyes or in your forehead.
Sinus infection symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness around your eyes, forehead or cheeks
- A shooting pain in your nose and forehead when you tilt your head
Young children who have sinusitis may become irritable, find it difficult to feed and breathe through their mouth. Your child may also have a cough and a stuffy nose that makes their voice sound more nasal than usual.
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Know The Limits Of Natural Sinus Pain Relief
You should not try to self-treat your sinus pain if you have symptoms such as as yellow or green mucus discharge persistent fever or stiff neck pain for more than 24 hours confusion, weakness, numbness, or tingling and persistent nausea or vomiting. These symptoms could be a sign of a significant infection in your sinuses that might need antibiotics. âUsing natural sinus pain relief is fine if you have mild chronic pain or a headache related to a common cold or an allergy, but if you have severe pain that is not responding to these techniques, you need to see your doctor,â advises Das.
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Spice Up Your Diet To Ease Sinus Pressure
“Many people find that spicy food like peppers or hot mustard opens up their nasal passages and gives them some relief from sinus pain. There is good evidence that capsaicin, which is the active ingredient found in chile peppers, is effective in relieving some types of pain,” says Das. Capsaicin preparations have been investigated for the treatment of some facial pain syndromes and of rhinitis with promising results. But if you have the taste for them, you can try spicy foods to help with sinus discomfort.
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Know When To Take Your Allergy Medications
Did you know you can start taking your allergy medication before symptoms even arrive?
While allergy seasons seem to be starting earlier and lasting longer these days, pollen seasons are somewhat predictable. So, start taking allergy medications about two weeks before the allergy season and your symptoms begin. Then, continue taking them regularly throughout the rest of the season. Once inflammation starts, it may take longer to get relief.
Oral antihistamines take about a half hour to get into your system. Bedtime is a good time to take allergy medications. Many last 24 hours, which means theyll be working through the next day.
Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain Reliever Coated Tablets
One of the main complications that come hand in hand with sinus congestion is the pain. The increase of pressure due to accumulated mucus can make it difficult to breathe and pave the way for throbbing headaches. Because of this common symptom combination, Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain Reliever has been dubbed the best medicine for sinus pressure because it targets both pain and congestion effectively.
The main ingredient this formulation uses for decongestion is phenylephrine HCl, which works to reduce mucus production to stop congestion from persisting. It also encourages the body to expectorate phlegm so that the airways can be cleared of congestion. Aside from this function, Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain Reliever also targets pain with ibuprofen. So while the product works to resolve the cause of sinus pressure, it also temporarily addresses any acute pain you might experience for fast and immediate relief.
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Best For Essential Oils: Alkalol Solution Sinus Pain Medication
Alkalol Solution has been making great medication for years, thanks to a combination of clever design and appropriate materials. The Alkalol Solution Sinus Pain Medication is great with quick delivery and it is used for natural relief. Of for a natural soothing nasal wash, mucus solvent and cleaner. Moreover, this provides invigorating relief from nasal congestion and sinus pressure caused by colds, flu, and allergies.
Most importantly, the alkalol solution sinus pain medication is refillable, provides relief and it is great for a reasonable price.
Almost all customers found that the medication is a great throat rinse for singers. And, a few also found that the medication came with a tube applicator. Also, they say that the instructions on the bottle urge you to start gradually and increase your tolerance.
Top Customer Quotes:
- This helps clean, decided to try it really well.
- It is not likely that it will be tried on animals.
- The solution has the ingredients listed on the bottle and does the job.
- This is a great addition to the neti.
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Why Do I Have A Headache That Wont Go Away
First things first: If your headache wont go away, you need to figure out if its a sinus headache that wont go away or something else. Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage.
Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Feeling of pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses
- Increased pain upon bending over
- Toothache in your upper teeth
Many of these symptoms, including congestion and increased pain upon bending over, can also be found in patients struggling with migraines. However, migraines are unlikely to last more than a few hours, whereas untreated sinus headaches can last for days at a time.
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