Sinus Headache

What is Sinus Headache?

Sinus Headache is a condition of your sinuses, which is found lining in your membranes, which is inflamed and swollen. It may accompany the sinusitis disorder. It occurs as a result of a congestion or trapped mucus that has built up in the person’s paranasal cavities of the sinus.

The sinuses are cavities that are bony air filled which is connected to the head through the nose through the ostia, which is a small opening in the nose. When a person gets an allergy attack, sinus infection or a cold, the openings can be infected leading to its mucus membranes to be inflamed and the cavity to be blocked by excess mucous that cannot be drained. It is with this excess mucous which creates pressure in the person’s head and leading to the painful sinus headache experience.

sinus types

Symptoms of Sinus Headache

When a person has sinus headache, he or she will manifest the following symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. Fatigue
  4. Sore throat
  5. Swollen lymph nodes
  6. Chills
  7. Body malaise
  8. Myalgias or achy muscles
  9. Pain that may worsen during lying down or bending
  10. Pressure and fullness in the person’s brow, cheeks or forehead.
  11. Achy feeling in the upper teeth
  12. Blood tinged or yellow green nasal discharge
  13. Headaches with congestion
  14. Facial Swelling
  15. Head pain which is like a migraine or tension headache
  16. A light headed feeling
  17. Blocked nasal passages (early sign)
  18. Slight buzzing or ringing of the patient’s ears
  19. Discharge of the eyes
  20. Post nasal Drip
  21. Altered taste
  22. Throat irritations

Causes of Sinus Headache

When one will diagnose with having sinus headaches, it may be due to:

  1. Environmental triggers like pollen, mold and cigarette smokes which will lead to intensifying the symptoms and the sinus headache’s severity
  2. Allergic Rhinitis
  3. Respiratory infections
  4. Activities that involve air pressure change such as swimming, scuba diving or airplane travel
  5. Exposure to an allergic substance or exposure to cold
  6. Lying down or bending forward
  7. Bacterial infections
  8. Fungal infections
  9. Impaired immune system
  10. Structural problems with the person’s nasal cavity

Diagnosis of Sinus Headache

In diagnosing a person having a sinus headache is done first through thorough physical examination and through thorough assessment. The physician may also conduct some of the following tests:

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests including MRI and CT scan. CT scans uses computer in order to have a cross sectional images of the head and brain including the person’s sinuses. It combines images of x-ray units which rotate around the person’s body. With the MRIs, it uses radio waves and magnetic field to create the same cross-sectional images of the brain structures.

Nasal Endoscopy

It is here that a thin tube with light is called endoscope, is used to examine the nasal passages of the person.

Mucus Testing

The physician may also test mucus samples coming from the patient’s nose to determine if the cause is either fungal or bacterial kind of infection.

Treatment (Relief) of Sinus Headache

The goal of treatment in the sinus headache is to reduce the underlying sinus inflammation. The treatment may include the following:



It is prescribe usually in one to two weeks. You must take the entire course as prescribe even when the symptoms vanish. It is prescribed to kill the bacteria or germs that cause the infection.


This kind of drugs decreases the congestion in the nasal area through constricting the blood vessels and blood flow reduction to the nasal passage.


It works by blocking the histamine in your body. It is available in nasal spray and oral forms and can be bought over the counter or with prescription.


It can be prescribe especially if the cause of the sinus headache is due to allergic reaction or because of inflammatory response.

Surgical Operation

This is considered the last option. Since it is only done if the patient himself or herself has structural problems in his or her nasal cavity which lead to having sinus headaches.

Prevention of Sinus Headache

In preventing sinus headache from occurring and keeping your sinuses healthy, you may do the following:

Avoid irritants

As much as possible you need to avoid irritants that will lead to sinus headaches. Irritants such as cigar, cigarette, other air pollutants and pipe smoke should be avoided.

Use humidifier

You need to avoid the moisture that dry indoor air will prevent you from having sinus headaches and sinusitis. Also high amount of indoor humidity will lead to growth of dust mite and molds in your houses. So it is better that you don’t over redo humidifying.

Wash hands often

It is the safest, cheapest and most convenient way of preventing sinus headache. You just need soap and water.

Home Remedies of Sinus Headache

You can also do home remedial treatment in treating your sinus headache, such as:

Correct Diet

You start with the basic, which is to correct your diet. Wrong consumption of foods may lead to allergies which will lead to having sinus headaches. You need a diet that has animal protein, water, whole grains and a variety of cooked vegetables. Also, you need to avoid over-eating, irregular meals and eating late in the evening which can lead to sinus headache.

Avoiding Sickness such as cough or flu’s

You need to increase your immune system by ingesting vitamins and avoiding stress and alcoholic beverages and, of course, smoking.

Cool compress

Cool compress of the person’s forehead could help in alleviating the pain. It is the easy solution when a sinus headache occurs.

Complications of Sinus Headache

Here are the complications when one has sinus headache:


It is the inflammation of the brain and spinal cords protective membranes. When the sinus is infected it can lead to meningitis.


If the sinus headache worsens, the inflammation also worsens and it can lead to damaging of the olfactory nerve endings leading to the loss of smell.

Orbital Cellulitis

When the infection of the sinus spreads into the surrounding eye socket it will lead to having orbital cellulitis.

Sinus Mucoceles

It is usually a benign expansive mass which are fluid filled and which are located in the paranasal sinuses. The affected region is usually the ethmoid and frontal sinuses.

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic is one medication prescribed for persons having sinus headaches. It occurs when the person suddenly stops the medication and lead to incomplete course of prescribed antibiotics which will lead to antibiotic resistance.

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