Differentiate Between Sinus Headache And Migraine Headache
Many people who assume they are having sinus pain due to sinus pressure are actually having a migraine headache. Migraine pain can involve the same nerves as the sinus cavities and is frequently accompanied by nasal congestion, nausea, and aggravation by bright light. “If sinus pain is caused by a migraine, the best natural treatment is lying down in a dark, quiet room,” advises Das.
What Is The Best Pain Relief For Sinusitis
Sinusitis is the medical term for inflamed nasal passages and is treated differently based on the frequency and severity of swelling.
Acute viral sinusitis occurs occasionally and generally clears itself within a week. During this time, you can manage symptoms with pain relievers.
Chronic sinusitis occurs more frequently and lasts longer. While symptoms can be managed with OTC medication or antibiotics for bacterial infections. Chronic sinusitis may require intervention from an ENT.
Diagnosing Acute Frontal Sinusitis
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and their duration to distinguish between a common cold and acute frontal sinusitis. Your doctor may lightly tap on your frontal sinuses to assess pain and tenderness.
You may also be referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor . This specialist will check your nasal cavity for signs of polyps and inflammation. They may also take samples of your mucus to look for infection.
Other tests your doctor may use to diagnose acute frontal sinusitis include:
- nasal endoscopy to look inside your sinus and nasal cavities
- imaging tests with a CT scan or MRI
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Pain & Fever Medication*
Patients with sinus congestion can experience significant discomfort, including facial pressure, headaches, throat inflammation and pain in their upper teeth. Taking a medication that alleviates pain can offer relief from these symptoms. Since viral sinusitis can also cause a low-grade fever, taking an over-the-counter fever reducer can offer added relief.
One option is acetaminophen, which alleviates pain and fever. Another option is an NSAID .
NSAID medications include ibuprofen naproxen. NSAIDs relieve pain and fever, and they have the added benefit of reducing inflammation.
*It should be noted while these medications are safe for most patients, they are not indicated for everyone. Consult a medical provider to see what treatment options are safe for you.
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Sinus Pain Has A Variety Of Causes
If your head is throbbing and you feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks, or forehead, you could have a sinus headache. Many factors can cause a sinus headache, says Subinoy Das, MD, chief executive officer and interim medical director for the U.S. Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Columbus, Ohio. The most important factor is swelling of the lining of the nose and sinuses, causing pressure and pain on in the face and head.
Symptoms of sinus pain and headache include pain associated with congestion from a common cold or allergies pain around your eyes, forehead, or over your teeth pain that is worse in the morning and pain that gets worse when you bend over. Some of the more natural methods of relieving sinus pain that reduce swelling, thin mucus secretions, and improve sinus drainage are often very helpful.
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What Causes Sinus Pain And Pressure
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces connected to your nasal passages that help humidify air as you breathe in and produce mucus that helps trap bacteria and foreign particles. When nasal passages and their tissues become irritated, mucus can build up instead of draining normally. This build-up causes swelling and often causes pain and pressure in your sinuses. Swollen and inflamed tissues can also cause pressure on nerve endings around your sinuses. This leads to dull or throbbing pain and aches.
Several factors can cause nasal passage irritation and bring on sinus pressure symptoms.
- Environmental irritants Airborne pollutants such as those that cause allergies can trigger mucus build up and sinus pressure.
- A sinus infection Sinusitis, more commonly known as a sinus infection, could be a cause of your sinus pressure and pain. If you think you may have a sinus infection, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
- The common cold Not every cold is the same but sometimes symptoms include mucus build up, which can mean sinus pressure and pain.
What Tests Diagnose The Causes Of A Sinus Headache
The health-care professional will likely begin by taking a history of the symptoms to help come to the diagnosis. Contributing factors in the development of sinusitis and headache may include a recent cold or upper respiratory tract infection, history of smoking, environmental allergies to dust or molds, as well as recent airplane travel, swimming or SCUBA diving, or other activities involving air pressure changes within the facial sinuses.
Physical examination may reveal tenderness to percussion, or tapping, over the affected sinus that reproduces the pain. Examination of the ears may reveal a serous otitis, or fluid levels behind the eardrum in the middle ear, that may suggest drainage problems in the face and sinuses. Examination of the nose may reveal swollen nasal passages and discharge. Evaluation of the mouth and teeth may find a source of infection, and the back of the throat may be examined for signs of postnasal drainage.
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Five Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure At Home
Sinusitis affects 30 million people in the U.S. each year. Symptoms of sinusitis include nasal congestion, facial pressure, headaches, fatigue, sore throat and dry cough. In most cases, these symptoms are caused by a viral infection. Less than 2% of sinusitis cases are bacterial, meaning that the majority of people with sinusitis do not need an antibiotic.
However, there are other treatment options that have been proven to be effective. If youre experiencing sinusitis symptoms, here are a few things that can help.
How Are Sinus Headaches Diagnosed
Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, its really a migraine. So, its important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:
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When Should I See An Ent For Sinus Pain And Pressure
A good rule of thumb is to talk to your doctor if sinus pain and pressure is affecting your daily life. Other things to look out for include:
- It makes it difficult to sleep
- Youve had a stuffy or runny nose for over a week
- Your sinus headaches more frequently
- Over-the-counter treatments dont work
- You injured your nose
Is It A Sinus Headache Or Migraine
If you have sinus pain with no congestion, you may actually have a migraine. If you are congested and have an extremely painful headache, you may have either a migraine OR a sinus headache.
Migraines are more common, but sinus headaches do occur and can be just as painful. Thats why were explaining how to get rid of sinus pain.
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Alternate Hot And Cold Compresses
“Reclining with a hot washcloth over your eyes and nose can help warm the nasal passages and loosen secretions,” says Das. You can also alternate warm and cold compresses to relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure. Heres how to do it: Start by placing a hot towel or washcloth across your sinuses for about three minutes. Then place a cold compress across your sinuses for 30 seconds. Alternate two more times, and repeat the treatment about four times a day.
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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How To Get Rid Of Sinus Infections In 24 Hours
If you are one of the millions of Americans that battle frequent or long-term sinus infections and are seeking a sinusitis treatment that does not involve risky surgery, there is good news sinusitis treatment is available. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and minimally invasive solution for long-lasting relief from sinus infection causes.
This safe and simple sinus infection treatment can be done in the comfort of the office with our Board Certified Otolaryngologist, Dr. Brian Lee. The procedure gently inflates the sinus cavity to clear the blockage and restore the natural flow from the body. If you would like to know more about balloon sinuplasty and how to cure sinus infections permanently, schedule your appointment today and start your journey toward real and lasting sinus infection relief.
Home Treatment For Sinus Infections
Below are some of the most effective sinus infection home treatment solutions:
Drinking plenty of fluids is by far the best treatment for sinus infections. Fluids help thin out mucus, making it easier for your body to get rid of it. Drink lots of water, juice, and herbal tea throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Over-the-counter pain relief medications
If you have a runny nose and a mild headache, consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These medications can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Applying a warm compress to your face can help soothe sinus pressure and swelling. A warm compress can also help ease headaches caused by sinusitis. Simply soak a washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and apply it to your face for five to 10 minutes at a time.
Inhaling steam can also help reduce sinus pressure and congestion. Fill a bowl with hot water and drape a towel over your head. Lean over the bowl and breathe in the steam for five to 10 minutes.
Nasal irrigation is the process of flushing out the nasal passages with saline water. This helps to reduce congestion and remove irritants and allergens from the nose. You can purchase a saline solution from your local pharmacy or make your own by mixing a teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water.
OTC combination drugs
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Symptoms Of Sinus Pressure
- As the mucus piles up in the sinus cavity and the inflammation continues, the mounting sinus pressure can be felt around the nose and cheeks and above the eyes.
- Moreover, these areas of the face may feel painful or tender.
- You may even experience pain over your teeth.
- The throbbing pain associated with sinus pressure tends to be at its worst during the morning.
- The pain gets aggravated when you look down or bend over.
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When To See A Doctor For Sinus Infection Issues
Its time to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Your symptoms dont improve after a week of home treatment or if they get worse
- You have a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for more than three days
- You experience severe pain in your face, particularly around the eyes
- Your symptoms are interfering with your ability to carry out your daily activities
- You develop a skin rash or other allergic reaction to a medication prescribed for sinusitis
- You experience severe nausea and vomiting
- You have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or another condition
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Other Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Sinus Pressure
Below are some other options to show you how to relieve sinus pain without doing facial reflexology.
- Use a humidifier: Moist air keeps the sinuses lubricated so they donât become irritated.
- Use a saline spray: Saline nasal sprays are good for lubricating the lining of the nasal passage. A hot shower will also help to get moisture into the sinuses.
- Keep hydrated: Staying hydrated is important, especially by drinking hot beverages. Ginger tea with lemon has anti-inflammatory properties and will help boost your immune system, and it also provides your body with vitamins and nutrients to help fight off the infection causing pressure and pain.
- Warm compresses: Placing a warm compress on your face while lying down will help reduce sinus pressure.
- Elevate your head at night: Propping yourself up with a few pillows will allow the mucus to drain better.
- Eucalyptus:Eucalyptus is an anti-inflammatory herb, so drinking tea or inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil in it can clear out the nasal passages.
How To Relieve Sinus And Nasal Congestion
You can use your fingers to gently massage your sinuses to get nasal congestion relief. For example, place your index fingers on both sides of your nose where the nose and cheek meet , and apply moderate pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use your index fingers to apply pressure on the bridge of your nose, right between your eyebrows hold for 2 to 3 minutes. This sinus massage will bring comfort to your nasal passages.
Flushing out your sinuses with salt water can help clear out mucus and other irritants and reduce inflammation of the mucous membrane, resulting in better drainage. This can be done with a neti pot, syringe or various other products that can be found in drug stores. When using a nasal rinse, be sure to use sterile or previously boiled water, and rinse and dry the device thoroughly after each use.
Over-the-counter nasal decongestants reduce blood flow to the nasal membranes, which decreases swelling and congestion. They can help open up your nasal passages and decrease pressure in your sinuses. For fast relief, try Sinexâ¢ Severe All-in-One Sinus Liquicapsâthe non-drowsy formula contains a powerful pain reliever and phenylephrine, a safe and effective decongestant.
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Why You Might Have A Sinus Headache
Healthy sinuses are basically empty cavities with just a thin layer of mucus. Sinuses that become inflamed produce mucus. This leads to congestion, which in turn causes facial pressure and pain. You might experience sinus pain in one or all four of the sinus locations. Many people suffering from congested sinuses sinusitis often have pain all over their face, regardless of which sinus is affected.
If your sinuses are causing you to have a headache, you are not alone. More than 35 million people in the United States suffer from pain resulting from sinus problems. Few people find significant relief from the medications prescribed by family care physicians- sometimes surgery is required. But normally the pressure you feel around your eyes, cheeks or forehead can be addressed in other ways. Of course, if matters get really bad, you need to see a doctor. In the meantime though, you might be able to obtain relief on your own. Here are some ways to do it.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
When you have a sinus infection, you often have to go through your day in pain and in a fog. Sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, is incredibly common, but many people suffer through it rather than get it treated. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, McMinnville, or Beaver, OR, we use a variety of sinus management treatments to reduce the inflammation and immune response that are likely behind your sinus problems. Check out on how to get rid of sinusitis.
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Optional Sinus Massage Tips
For any of the sinus massages you try, if you dont feel like your sinuses are clear, feel free to repeat the massages every hour or so. Additionally, try out these optional tips for an even more soothing, relaxing, and effective sinus massage.
- Place your hands on a heated-up microwavable hot pack or rub your hands together to warm them up a bit before massaging.
- Lay down and place a microwavable hot pack on your forehead or under the back of your neck while you give yourself the sinus massages.
- Add a drop of your favorite essential oils to your fingertips before massaging. Alternatively, try rubbing a drop of your favorite essential oil just below your nose for a calming effect. Menthol-based oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and spearmint work wonders for opening up your sinuses as their smell is a natural nasal decongestant.
Use Some Steambut Dont Expect A Long
Steamwhether from a humidifier or a hot showercan provide some symptomatic comfort, but isnt really a long-term solution, Mas Takashima, M.D., chair of otolaryngology at Houston Methodist Hospital, tells Health.
Certain areas are moist anyway and you can cause an overgrowth of mold , he explains. But for people who feel dry air or excessively dry sinuses are contributing to their pain, steam can be helpful.
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