What Tests Diagnose The Causes Of A Sinus Headache
It is important that the cause of the headache be diagnosed. Many patients who believe that they have sinus headaches may instead have migraine or tension headaches.
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.
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.
When To See A Doctor For Sinus Pain
If your sinus symptoms are not getting better with at-home treatments, and if your sinus symptoms last longer than seven to 10 days, you should see a doctor for treatment. Allina Health has many convenient care options for care, from online visits to walk-in care, to help you get better fast.
If you have frequent or reoccurring sinus infections, you may want to see an ear, nose and throat for your treatment options.
Don’t Miss: Sinus Pressure Causing Tooth Pain
Use Some Steambut Don’t 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.
Pressure Points Near The Hands And Arms
The Online Acupressure Guide of Stanford University suggests three pressure points on the hands and arms that may help relieve sinusitis symptoms and ease your sinus pain.To find the first point, look for a small depression on your upper wrist, directly in line with your thumb. The next point lies just below your thumbnail, on the side of your thumb farthest away from the rest of your fingers.
To find the third sinusitis pain point, squeeze your thumb and forefinger together. Right above the crease between your forefinger and thumb, you’ll feel a ridge. Applying pressure to the middle of that ridge is “good for most problems from the waist up,” claims the Online Acupressure Guide.
- The Online Acupressure Guide of Stanford University suggests three pressure points on the hands and arms that may help relieve sinusitis symptoms and ease your sinus pain.
- To find the third sinusitis pain point, squeeze your thumb and forefinger together.
Don’t Miss: What Do They Give You For A Sinus Infection
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.
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.
If you have intense sinus pain and pressure that gets worse when you are diving, flying in an airplane, driving up a steep mountain, or participating in other activities that involve steep altitude changes, it could be a condition called sinus barotrauma.
Although the pain will usually subside when these activities are discontinued, sinus barotrauma is a sign of an underlying sinus problem that needs to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist, a healthcare provider that specializes in conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.
Sinus barotrauma can also be accompanied by ear barotrauma, which can cause a ruptured eardrum.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Sinus Pressure Hurt
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a blocked nose
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
- bad breath
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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 dont 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.
You May Like: Why Do Sinus Infections Happen
Where Are The Sinuses
The sinuses are hollow spaces or cavities in the bones around the nose. Your sinuses make mucus or fluid. The mucus drains into your nasal cavity and down the back of your throat. This keeps your nose moist and gets rid of dust, allergens, and germs.
There are four pairs of sinuses connected to your nose:
- in the cheekbones on each side of your nose
- above your eyes near the forehead
- between the eyes and the bridge of your nose
- behind your eyes
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.
Recommended Reading: Can I Take 2 Advil Cold And Sinus
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.
Sinus Pressure Points In Face
Your beautiful face indulges some points, and each of them has too many benefits.
Today, lets see how these pressure points work and what you can expect if you are massaging or pressing those pressure points on your face.
Between your Eyes
If I need to say the exact location, it must be in between your eyebrows and above the nose bridge, you can feel your eyebrow edges meet together, this is the perfect point you are going to massage or access. Press and knead this point and then tap correctly on the spot for a minute.
What does it do?
This massage over the point will help in proper mucus secretion, also prevent the sinus from becoming inflamed and drying up. You will feel that you are out from rhinitis and cold, you can also press this point if you are not getting a good night sleep.
Yeah, make use of the glass bead or small plastic to tap, and this will calm down you from the stress and provide a peaceful and sound sleep. Apart from the above benefits, relieves the pressure in case of the frontal sinuses.
Both Side of the Nostrils
This point can be easily identified, the place located on the immediate nostril sides. Make sure you press or massage both the nostril side down at the similar time, this will help in draining your sinus rapidly and efficiently.
Do you have pain in behind your cheeks? Then do try the same pressure point for getting rid of the strain in the area. You can make use of your two fingers and then massage against the ends at 90 degrees.
Read Also: Sinus Tooth Pain One Side
On Either Side Of The Nostrils
Use your fingers to apply gentle pressure to both sides of your nostrils. Your fingers should be at right angles to these points. Keep pressing for a minute to allow the sinuses to drain out this can help prevent inflammation and bring some sinus pressure relief. This pressure point is also good for pain behind the cheeks and helps prevent respiratory illnesses.
How Long Do Sinus Headaches Last
Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesnt go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Tested For Sinus Infection
What To Do For Sinus Pressure And Pain At Home
Here are the top 10 at-hometreatments to help ease your sinus pain and inflammation to get rid of your sinus infection faster.
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
Don’t Miss: Medicine For Sinus Infection Otc
How Do I Relieve Sinus Pressure
The best way to relieve sinus pressure is to open up the sinuses so they can drain. This process usually involves a treatment plan to eliminate the infection or the underlying cause of congestion. As long as the nasal passages and sinuses stay congested, you will continue feeling pain and pressure.
For acute sinus conditions, such as a sinus infection that happens after a head cold, your doctor might recommend an antibiotic to clear up the infection. When the sinus pressure is constant and recurring for more than 12 weeks, then other treatments might be considered. For example, a balloon sinuplasty or other surgical treatments can offer a way to open the sinuses for drainage.
If a surgical method is used to open the sinuses, its important to implement a treatment plan to address the underlying issues. For example, if allergies cause chronic congestion and a runny nose, then you need to be proactive in treating the allergies which will help to reduce congestion and sinus pain in the future.
How Do You Get Rid Of Sinus Pain Naturally
What is best for sinus pain? You can talk to an ear, nose, throat doctor about medical treatments and interventions. Also, dont underestimate the effectiveness of at-home sinus remedies. Taking a proactive approach to care for your sinuses can be an essential step in healing your pain and relieving the sinus pressure you feel.
Also Check: Emergency Room For Sinus Infection
What Kind Of Doctor Or Other Healthcare Professional Treats Sinus Headache
- Frequently, sinus headaches are managed by primary care physicians including those that specialize in internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics.
- For complicated cases, an ear, nose, and throat specialist may be consulted.
- With unusual infections, such as fungal infections, a specialist in infectious diseases may be consulted.
Sinus Pain And Pressure Causes
There are different types of sinuses, each of which can cause different sinus pain symptoms. The images below show what causes sinus pressure in different areas of your face, neck and head and can be helpful to pinpoint relief or discuss with your doctor.
Maxillary sinuses causes pain in the cheeks, upper jaw or teeth.
Sphenoid sinuses causes pain behind the eyes, on the top of the scalp or along the back of the head.
You May Like: What’s The Best Thing To Do For A Sinus Infection
Ways To Relieve Sinus Headache Pain And Pressure
When you have a sinus headache, all you want is relief…fast!
As the makers of BC® Sinus Pain & Congestion , were going to tell you to take our powder formula for fast relief. It can help you quickly relieve the sinus headache, congestion and pressure that can come with allergies, a cold, sinus infection or the flu.
But we also want to give you other optionssimple things you can do at home to help relieve sinus congestion and pain.
Avoid Triggers That Can Cause Sinus Pressure
Most of the time, it is ignored but there are some particles that can trigger sinus infections. This can aggravate the sinus pressure and make the nasal congestion worse.
Fortunately, there are some natural ways that can prevent these triggers and thereby, get relief from sinus pressure.
-Avoid alcohol-Clean the humidifier regularly to avoid fungal allergies-Wash the bedding in hot water to wash out any allergy exposure-Dont swim, dive or fly when you have sinusitis
You May Like: Symptoms Of Sinus Congestion And Pressure
Distinguishing Between Chronic Sinusitis
Sinus infection headaches and migraines are simple to confuse because the symptoms and signs of both types of headaches might overlap.
Both migraine headache and sinusitis pain frequently become worse when you bend forward. Migraine can also be accompanied by a variety of nasal symptoms and signs, including:
A watery, clear nasal discharge
Migraines are often misdiagnosed as sinus headache in around 42% of individuals because they share:
Common areas with chronic rhinosinusitis
Also, migrainous and sinonasal conditions might often co-exist as comorbidities. Chronic rhinosinusitis might increase migraine-linked frequency and morbidity through aggravation of trigeminal nerve receptors.
Studies have found around 90% of individuals who visit their doctor for sinus headaches receive a migraine diagnosis instead. However, sinusitis typically isn’t aggravated by bright light or noise or associated with nausea or vomiting all common with migraines.
Sinusitis typically occurs after a cold or viral upper respiratory infection and includes:
Discolored, thick nasal mucus
Pain in upper teeth or one cheek
Sinus infection-related headaches frequently last days or longer, whereas migraines often last hours to a day or two.