People commonly blame headaches on sinus congestion and pain. In most cases, though, they are suffering from a completely different type of headache. Migraine, tension and other types are often confused with sinus headaches. Even if you are experiencing nasal congestion and sinus pain with your headache, you may not actually be suffering from a sinus headache and reaching for sinus medication may not provide the relief you are seeking. Let’s take a closer look at sinus headaches and how to determine whether your headache is really a sinus headache.
Headaches Commonly Confused with Sinus Headaches
The most common type of headache, tension headaches affect approximately 80 to 90 percent of Americans. They are most common in women, and they occur as the result of muscle tightness. They
may be felt in the head or neck and can be caused by stress or by holding your head in an unnatural position for an extended period of time.
Approximately 17 percent of the popular experiences migraines. Like tension headaches, they are more common among women. They tend to affect just one side of the head, and they are often associated with sensitivity to light or sound. They cause much more severe pain than other types of headaches and may cause additional symptoms like visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting.
What Is a Sinus Headache?
A true sinus headache occurs as the result of an obstruction that is preventing sinus draining. This causes mucus to build up in the sinuses and creates an excellent breeding ground for the bacteria that leads to sinusitis. True sinus headaches are almost always caused by an obstruction that that’s with an infection or allergy.
If you are suffering from a sinus headache that is associated with allergies, you may experience seasonal allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion and runny nose. Sinus headaches caused by sinus infections are often accompanied by decreased sense of smell, sinus pressure, fever, thick, discolored nasal discharge and pain over your upper teeth.
Additional symptoms of sinus headaches include:
- Headache that gets worse if you bend over
- Pain that is worse in cold, damp weather
- Headache after a cold that has not cleared up within 7 to 10 days
- Pain behind your eyes or in the front of your face
- Sinus pain that is worst in the morning and eases up throughout the day
Treatment for Sinus Headaches
The treatment for sinus headaches varies depending on the underlying caused. Sinus headaches caused by allergies often respond to antihistamines and decongestants. Other possible treatments including antibiotics and nasal steroid sprays. In severe cases, sinus surgery may be necessary to restore proper sinus drainage and prevent headaches.
If you suffer from sinus headaches, we can help. Contact Texas Sinus, Snoring and Sleep Centers today to schedule a consultation.