What Are The Symptoms Of Sinus Headaches
Sinus headaches are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining. The pain is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, facial swelling, sinus pressure and sinus congestion.
Whether your headache symptoms can actually be attributed to the sinuses will need to be determined by your doctor. If your sinus headache is caused by a sinus blockage, such as an infection, you will likely have a fever.
What Causes Sinus Pain And Pressure
The sinuses produce mucus that flows freely to the upper part of the nose. Sinus pain occurs when the sinuses become inflamed with thick mucus that cannot drain properly. When this happens, it is easy for germs and bacteria to grow, causing your sinuses to swell. This leads to facial discomfort, pressure, and sinus pain.1
Sinus pain is usually due to irritation or the blockage of the sinus that develops into inflammation. This can occur with: 2
- Common cold: Increased mucus can allow blockages in the sinus.
- Allergic Rhinitis: Allergenslike pollen or dust mitescan cause swelling in the nasal passageways due to sneezing and a runny nose
- Nasal polyps: a form of tissue growth that can block the nasal passageways and cause inflammation
- Deviated nasal septum: a crooked septum where the sinus passageways are blocked or restricted
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Is It Possible To Have A Sinus Headache Without Congestion
If you arent experiencing sinus congestion with your headache symptoms, its unlikely that you have a sinus headache. Without congestion, the pain in your face and head area is likely caused by either a tension headache or a migraine.
Also, notice how your symptoms change depending on the position of your head. When you lay down or lean forward to pick something up, do you experience an increase in pressure and pain? This is because nasal congestion makes the pressure feel stronger when you are leaning down.
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Why Do You Have Migraines
While there is no clear evidence about what causes migraines, experts believe environmental factors and genetics play a big role in the development of migraines. Some studies show that any change in the brainstem and the way it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may lead to migraines. Similarly, any imbalance in brain chemicals such as serotonin may also be the underlying cause of migraines serotonin levels usually drop when you have a migraine attack and that makes your trigeminal system to release neuropeptides that may trigger headaches.
Even though there is no clear information about the real cause of migraines, there are certain known triggers to avoid. You may experience migraines when there are any hormonal changes during menopause or pregnancy. Other common triggers include food additives, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, certain foods, change in sleep-wake cycle, and changes in the environment. Stress and certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral contraceptives may also trigger a migraine attack.
How Does A Sinus Headache Differ From A Migraine
Its easy to confuse sinus headaches and migraines. In fact, some people think that they have a sinus headache when they are actually experiencing a migraine. You might talk to a doctor about migraine treatment, then find out that the sinuses are actually the root cause.
The best way to determine whether you have a migraine or sinus infection is by paying attention to the way your sinuses are responding. When congestion and nasal issues occur with the pain, its a good indication that treating the sinuses will clear up the headache.
On the other hand, migraines are often associated with other symptoms that arent common for sinus headaches: dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light. When these symptoms are present, you are likely having a migraine attack, not a sinus headache.
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Tips On Pressure Points For Sinuses And Nasal Congestion
If youre pregnant or trying to get pregnant, talk to your doctor before trying acupressure points. Some pressure points can lead to labor.
Using acupressure can sometimes help ease pain and other symptoms right away. You may feel the pressure lifting slightly as you apply pressure on the specific points.
You may need to continue the acupressure treatment for several days before you feel anything. Pressure shouldnt be painful or bruise the area.
Irrigate To Relieve Sinus Pressure
“Salt water irrigation is the best way to cleanse the nose and sinuses this can help prevent or relieve sinus pain. You can use an over-the-counter saline nasal spray, but I recommend using a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or bulb syringe irrigation kit that you can get at the drugstore,” advises Das.
Try this commonly-used, easy-to-make nasal irrigation solution with your own sinus irrigation kit: Fill a clean 8-ounce glass with distilled or sterilized lukewarm water. Do not use tap water unless it has been boiled for at least 1 minute . Add 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda. And be sure to clean all equipment and make a fresh batch of solution each time you use your kit.
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Will Surgery Cure Sinus Infections And Inflammation
If the sinus headache persists, and repeated courses of treatment fail to relieve the sinusitis, surgery may be an option. Otorhinolaryngologists may be able to widen the openings that allow the sinuses to drain and decrease the risk of recurrent inflammation that may obstruct the sinuses from draining.
What Are The Complications Of Sinus Headaches
In rare cases, complications around the eye area can happen, resulting in the area being swollen and inflamed. This may even affect your vision.
If you have a high fever that persists, discolored nasal discharge, rattling in your chest, or difficulty breathing, see your doctor about these symptoms. While a sinus headache might seem like a harmless health condition, its important to determine its cause.
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What Are Sinuses And Sinus Headaches
Sinuses are air-filled cavities located in the forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of the nose. The sinuses produce a thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. When a sinus becomes inflamed, usually as the result of allergies or an infection, the inflammation will prevent the outflow of mucus and cause a pain similar to that of a headache.
Diy Decongestant For Sinus Headache
The properties of different ingredients used in this process provide relief from the inflammation, pain, congestion, infection and pressure in sinus cavities.
- In a saucepan, add 1/4 cup each of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Simmer this mixture on heat.
- Add 3 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, ginger powder and cinnamon powder.
- Remove from the flame, let it cool down and store in an airtight container in cool dark place.
- Consume 1 â 2 tablespoons of this mixture daily. For kids, use a very less amount of this mixture.
Note: Shake the bottle well before consuming as some ingredients may have settle down to the bottom. A gentle shake will incorporate them again. For more effective results, you can warm up the mixture before consuming.
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Important Tips And Different Ways To Get Relief From Sinus Headache
Other than remedies using ingredients, here are some of the things you can incorporate in daily life to get relief from sinus headache.
What Is A Sinus Headache
If the linings of the ducts or tubes that connect the sinuses to the back of the nose become inflamed, the sinuses may not be able to drain normally, and pressure may build up within the blocked sinus. There may also be associated swelling and inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, resulting in increased mucus and fluid secretion. This increase in fluid combined with the inability to drain increases pressure within the sinus cavity, causing the pain of a sinus headache. The term sinusitis is used to describe inflammation of the sinus.
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Migraine Vs Sinus Headache
It isnt always easy to tell the difference between a migraine and a headache, much less a sinus headache, but each condition does have its own set of specific symptoms. While some are shared, others are very distinct to the condition. This creates a strong case for keeping a migraine diary and documenting the details of and surrounding your headaches.
According to Dr. Ailani, the symptoms of migraine and sinus headache are similar because of the region of the brain that is activated during an attack:
Migraine can also have associated symptoms, symptoms that come WITH the headache pain that can be confused for a sinus or allergy problem. You can have a runny nose, watery eyes, your eyes can turn red. These symptoms, called autonomic symptoms, come on because of the area in the brain, the hypothalamus, that gets turned on during migraine.
Following this section are common symptoms for migraines as well as sinus migraine, sinus headaches and sinusitis. As you can see, many of them are identical or nearly identical. Its no wonder that patients struggle to describe their head pain and doctors struggle to diagnose it. The problem is, without a proper diagnosis you cant get proper treatment. If you are diagnosed with sinus headaches but you actually have migraines, it could delay your migraine treatment for years.
Relieve Sinus Pressure To Ease Headache Pain
Pain from sinus headaches is usually focused near your forehead, cheekbones, or the bridge of your nose. Its generally constant, but may intensify when you bend over or move your head suddenly.
Sinus headaches are often accompanied by a runny nose or the sensation that your ears are plugged. In more severe cases, facial swelling may be visible.
If you get sinus headaches, there are a number of at-home care tips to try that may relieve pressure and eliminate pain.
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Warm Or Cool Moist Air
Dry air can make sinus pain worse, but moist air can help relieve sinus congestion. Do NOT hold your head over a steaming pot of boiling water or soup. As tempting as it may be when you feel bad, the hot steam can actually burn your skin and eyes. To be safe, inhale steam from your morning shower, either while youre showering or sitting in a steamy bathroom.
At night, you can use a humidifier or vaporizer to help keep your sinuses open and your nasal passages moist. Just be sure to clean the machines as directed so you dont introduce more bacteria into the air and into your airways.
Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 50 percent of migraine misdiagnoses start with a person thinking they have a sinus headache. The Mayo Clinic points out that 90 percent of people who go to the doctor for a sinus headache find out they have a migraine instead.
If you dont have any of the symptoms that come specifically with a sinus headache, you may be experiencing a migraine. Migraines are treated differently from sinus headaches. If you experience symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or sensitivity to light, youre likely having a migraine and not a sinus headache.
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Remedies For Sinus Headaches
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Sinus headaches are caused by blocked sinuses, giving you pain and pressure around your sinuses, including between your eyes and above your nose. The pain can get worse when you move and the headache usually comes with other symptoms too, such as a stuffy nose or a sore throat. Experiencing a sinus headache can be tough, but there are remedies that can help you to deal with the problem.
Dealing with the pain you’re experiencing is important, but it can also be necessary to consider treatments for the underlying cause of your sinus headaches too. An ear, nose and throat doctor might prescribe certain medications or suggest treatments that you can try at home.
How Do You Know If Youre Experiencing Sinus Pressure
Before we get into the weeds of answering the question, Can you have sinus pressure but no congestion? its important that we review the basics of sinus pressure.
A sinus headache is a symptom of built-up pressure in the sinus cavities typically causing maxillary sinus pain. This buildup occurs when your nasal passages mucus can no longer drain properly. In other words, sinus pressure and the sinus sinus headaches it causes are linked to congestion.Since pressure buildup can get intense, many people have confused sinus pressure for a migraine and vice versa. However, sinus pressure is typically accompanied with other symptoms and frequently occurs in tandem with certain conditions.
If youre experiencing any of the following situations, you may be feeling the effects of sinus pressure instead of a migriane:
- You are feeling throbbing around your eyes, forehead, and nose. You may also be feeling this throbbing in your cheeks, jaw, ears, teeth, or back of the head.
- You are currently suffering from allergies or have a sinus infection.
- You have thick mucus.
- You feel the majority of the pain in the morning.
Keep in mind that if you do have sinus pressure, this doesnt necessarily mean you have a sinus infection. Everyday, non-serious issues, including allergies and the common cold can lead to sinus pressure and sinus headaches.
If you are experiencing congestion, here are a few quick tips on how to get rid of sinus congestion.
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Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches
What most people dont realize is that true sinus headaches are actually quite uncommon and are often over diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, often due to a bacterial infection. The sinuses are air pockets that are situated at certain points in the facial bones. Scientists are not certain the exact purpose of sinuses. Some believe that it helps enhance the voice through resonation while others believe it may be a way for the body to humidify the air during inhalation. They are usually empty but do have a very thin mucus layer along the walls.
There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses, meaning that there are two at the same points on the left and right. They are:
- Frontal sinuses: above the eyes just over the eyebrows
- Maxillary sinuses: on each side of the nose, in the cheekbone
- Ethmoid sinuses: between the eyes, under the bridge of the nose
- Sphenoid sinuses: behind the eyes and ethmoid sinuses
Inflammation of the sinuses can occur due to bacterial, viral, or fungal causes and can present in one of the sinus pair, or several. If there is an infection present, it is important that it is treated. Failure to properly treat a sinus infection can cause serious health risks and can create a propensity to develop sinus infections in the future.
Pressure Points To Relieve Your Migraine
Vascular imbalance and excess muscle tension can cause irritations and pains above the neck. Strain in these areas may also lead to headaches and migraines. Many people rely on OTC pain relievers but these medicines offer temporary relief. However, you can alleviate pain and tension through reflexology and acupressure. It is easy to use these techniques because you can easily access the acupressure points in this area. Keep reading to learn more about the most common pressure points for migraines and ways to stimulate them.
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How To Relieve Sinus Pressure
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Many people experience sinus pressure from seasonal allergies or the common cold. Sinus pressure results from blocked nasal passages. When your sinuses cannot drain, you may experience inflammation and pain in your head, nose, and face.
Your sinuses are paired in two, and are found in four main areas of the face:
While some over-the-counter treatments can help reduce symptoms, there are also many effective natural remedies.