Take As Directed And Heed To Warning Labels
Regardless of the OTC pain reliever you choose to take, its important you only take the instructed dosage. Too much medicine can lead to medication overuse or rebound headaches.
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SpotRx blogs are for informational purposes only. They are not written by medical professionals and should not be used to treat or diagnose any new or existing conditions. Contact your physician or qualified medical health provider with any concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.
Can A Sinus Headache Be Prevented
- Good handwashing and hygienic practices can help prevent colds and upper respiratory infections.
- Smoking cessation can also decrease your risk of airway infections.
- For people with allergies, avoid allergic triggers to help prevent sinus infections.
- Keep the body well hydrated and humidify the air since these can help promote efficient drainage of fluids from the sinuses.
Causes Of Sinus Pressure Headaches
Sinus headaches and inflammation can have a number of causes, including:
- Common cold virus or other rhinoviruses
- Flu virus
- Changes in humidity
Each of these different causes has different treatments, so its important to understand what is causing your symptoms in order to find a successful treatment.
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How Long Does A Sinus Headache Last And Do Sinus Headaches Go Away On Their Own
Sinus headaches caused by sinus infections can last up to two weeks or more, depending on the severity of your sinus infection. Although some sinus infections go away on their own, leaving a sinus infection untreated comes with potential complications, including the spread of the infection, loss of smell, and in extreme cases, meningitis and brain abscess.
Sinus Pain And Pressure
Fluid trapped in the sinuses can fill the sinus cavities, causing intense pain and pressure. The sinuses may be sensitive to the touch. A person may have an urge to sneeze but be unable to do so.
The pain can be in the cheeks, around the eyes and nose, or in the forehead because these areas are where the sinuses are. Bending over may make the pain worse.
Sometimes, the pressure and pain are intense enough to interfere with sleep.
Sinusitis may also cause the tissue in the nose to swell.
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Taking Decongestants With Other Medicines
Ask a pharmacist or GP before taking decongestants if youâre taking other medicines.
For example, taking decongestants alongside some antidepressants can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
Itâs also important to be careful when taking other medicines if youâre using an âall-in-1â decongestant remedy.
âAll-in-1â decongestants also contain painkillers or antihistamines, so it could be dangerous to take extra doses of these medicines at the same time.
Page last reviewed: 28 February 2019 Next review due: 28 February 2022
Allergies And Sinus Headaches
Ever heard that allergies cause sinus headaches? Itâs not quite that simple.
Allergies can cause sinus congestion, which can make your head hurt. Treatment for your allergies can ease that congestion, but it wonât relieve your headache pain. You usually have to treat the two conditions separately. See your doctor to make sure you get the right help.
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Best Medicines For Sinus Pressure 2020
If you are experiencing increased sinus pressure, it is possible that youre feeling significant pain around different areas of your face: this is most likely caused by an accumulation of mucus, which results in a congested sinus. Not only is it painful, but it also makes it difficult for you to go about your daily routine.
Fortunately, there isnt a need for us to simply soldier through the discomfort because of the sheer number of different treatments available for sinus pressure. However, it is not uncommon for people to accidentally delay relief as a cause of purchasing the wrong products when in the drugstore.
Prevent the expensive episode of trial and error and make sure to buy the best medicine for sinus pressure that works by checking out this buying guide.
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.
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Other Causes Of Sinus Pain
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.
In rare cases, sinus pain that doesn’t respond to treatment could be a sign of a serious condition such as nasal cavity or paranasal sinus cancer.
Apply A Warm Compress
Applying a warm towel over your forehead and nose can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in your sinus passages. Its also a simple home remedy that you can use before you go to bed.
Heat from the warm towel helps to open up your nasal passages to reduce swelling and hence open up your nasal passageway. This will also help to loosen mucus secretion and aid in mucus flow.
Here are some simple steps on how you can apply a warm compress to provide sinus headache relief:
- Fill up a bowl with water thats warmer than body temperature. Ensure that its not scalding
- Soak the towel in the water and wring out excess water
- Fold the towel into a square and apply it over your forehead and nose
- Hold the towel in position and place it in contact with your skin for up to 20 minutes each time
Alternatively, you can make a warm compress through the following method:
- Soak two towels in water and squeeze out excess water
- Put one towel in a ziplock bag and leave the bag open
- Microwave the bag for 2 minutes
- Remove the bag from the microwave and seal it. Be careful as the bag will be hot to touch
- Wrap the other towel around the bag.
- Apply the heating pad to your forehead for about 20 minutes
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What Can An Ent Do To Reduce Or Prevent Sinus Pain
There are multiple ways to relieve sinus pain including, pain-free balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic nasal surgery that uses small balloon catheters to drain the large nasal sinuses. This is an almost immediate way to relieve pressure and can dramatically improve the quality of life for those with a deviated septum.
Request an appointment to see if balloon sinuplasty is the right treatment option for you.
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What Is A Sinus Headache
A sinus headache is caused by swelling and pressure in your sinuses. These air-filled cavities usually allow mucus to freely drain and air to easily circulate throughout the nasal passages. When they become inflamed, however, mucus becomes trapped and isnt able to properly drain. This condition is known as sinusitis, and it can be caused several things, including a cold, flu, or allergies.
As pressure builds up, it causes pain that feels like a headache.
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How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Sinusitis
Though many cases of acute sinusitis can improve with little to no treatment, you should call the doctor if you experience any painful symptoms. An antibiotic may be needed for a bacterial infection.
If you find that your sinuses do not feel better after 10 days, symptoms have gotten worse, or you have symptoms that initially improved and then worsen five to six days later , you should contact your healthcare provider. Symptoms that continue after about four weeks may mean you have subacute or chronic sinusitis. If you develop other types of symptoms, such as severe eye swelling, or you are just not sure what you should do next, call your provider.
If you have facial pain, and you have healthy teeth, you can try things like nasal rinses and warm, wet washcloths on your face to see if you find some relief. If so, and if your symptoms go away in about 10 days, you probably have had acute sinusitis and it has gotten better on its own. If not, and you continue to feel ill after three or four weeks, call your provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/04/2020.
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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.
What Home Remedies Help Soothe Sinus Headache Symptoms
There are a number of self-care measures available to help decrease sinus congestion and promote drainage of the sinuses, providing relief for sinus headache.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help you stay hydrated.
- Breathe humidified air.
- OTC pain medicationssuch as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help control pain.
- such as pseudoephedrine may be useful in promoting drainage of the sinuses. People with high blood pressure or heart conditions should check with their healthcare practitioner before using these medications. A number of over-the-counter decongestant medications are available, either singly or in combination with antihistamines, pain relievers, and/or anti-inflammatory medications.
- are also available that contain decongestant medications, but these should not be used for more than three days, due to the possibility of rebound inflammation, a worsening of the condition once use of the spray has stopped.
- Inhaled steroid preparations are sometimes prescribed to treat allergic sinusitis, and bacterial infections of the sinuses are treated with antibiotics.
- Antihistamines may be useful if allergies such as hay fever are the cause of congestion.
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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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Is It Necessary To Go To The Dentist When Feeling Sinus Pressure
If you arent too sure of the primary cause of your toothache, its best to visit your dentist. It is also best to go to the doctor if the symptoms persist after using expectorants and other prescribed drugs. The dentist will check to see the cause of the pain by x-raying the teeth to check for abscesses and cavities. If the teeth in question look healthy and do not show any signs of dental infections/problems, you most likely have sinus pressure or infection.
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Sinus Pain Put Down The Ibuprofen And Acetaminophen
When the sinus pain and pressure hit, many of us will automatically reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever such as an ibuprofen like Advil or an acetaminophen like Tylenol. We know these medications work for some ailments, including a common headache, but are they really effective for relieving sinus pain? Yes and no.
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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Five Ways To Relieve Sinus Pressure
The pain, facial pressure and congestion of sinus infections affect more than 26.9 million Americans roughly 11 percent of adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most sinus infections, also called sinusitis, do not need to be treated with antibiotics, and will usually go away within 7-10 days.
One of the most annoying symptoms is the sinus pressure around the eyes, head and cheeks. Fortunately, there are several home remedies and medications that can help provide relief.
How To Prevent Sinus Pain
There are also steps you can take to prevent sinus pain. Pay attention to triggers for allergies and nasal irritation and try to reduce or prevent those exposures whenever possible. Common irritants that can cause sinus pain include:
Cigarette smoke: Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are common triggers for sinus pain and sinusitis. Quitting or reducing exposure can alleviate symptoms.
Pollution: When you breathe in air pollutants, such as industrial chemicals or paint fumes, they are absorbed by the nose and can lead to irritation of the nose and sinuses.
Allergens: Allergies are a major culprit of sinusitis and sinus pain. Common allergens include pollen, mold, pets, and dust mites. An allergist can give you an allergy test to help identify what’s causing your symptoms so that you can take steps to reduce exposure.
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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.
What Is The Prognosis For A Sinus Headache
Most people with sinus headache recover completely, although many people may develop sinus headache again in the future.
Complications of sinus headache are not common. Rarely, an untreated sinus infection can erode through the bones and involve adjacent structures, including the eye socket or brain, potentially causing pain and swelling of the eye or symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. Infection that spreads to the blood vessels in the area of the sinuses can cause inflammation and blood clots. The cavernous sinus is a collection of veins located near the sphenoid sinus that can potentially become infected and form blood clots.
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