Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Of Sinus Headaches

If you are someone who suffers from frequent sinus headaches that cause facial pain and nasal congestion, you may have attempted to treat your symptoms with over-the-counter pain medications, only to find little to no relief  This is due to the fact that sinus headaches typically occur when the nasal passages become inflamed due to colds, infections, or allergies, and the underlying conditions must be treated in order to relieve symptoms. Understanding the common causes and symptoms of sinus headaches and consulting with your physician can help to ensure an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment, allowing for relief from pain and discomfort.

Causes of Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches occur when there are blockages in the nasal passages. Blockages are typically caused by nasal congestion due to allergies and cold viruses. Blockages in the nasal passages cause pressure to build up behind the forehead and cheeks, which in turn causes headache pain. In certain cases, blocked sinuses can harbor bacteria that can multiply rapidly and lead to infection.

Symptoms of Sinus Headaches

Sinus headache symptoms often mimic the symptoms of tension headaches, but they also include nasal congestion, pain in the middle of the forehead, swelling below the eyes, tooth pain, and cheek pain. If the sinuses are infected, additional symptoms can include fever, sore throat caused by infected post-nasal secretions, ear pain, and dizziness. When sinus headaches are caused by allergies, sufferers may also develop symptoms of itchy and watering eyes, sneezing, and dark circles below the eyes that are often referred to as "allergic shiners."

Treatment for Sinus Headaches

Specific treatments for sinus headaches can vary depending on the underlying cause, which is why it is important for sufferers to seek medical assistance instead of attempting to treat their symptoms with over-the-counter pain relievers. Sinus headaches that are caused by allergies are generally treatable with antihistamine and decongestant medications. Antihistamines work by blocking the receptors in the body that react to external allergens. Decongestants work by drying up nasal secretions and minimizing inflammation. Home treatment remedies such as salt water rinses and steam treatments can help to unblock the sinuses and encourage nasal drainage. If the sinuses are infected, antibiotic treatment is usually required.

Relief from Pain and Discomfort

Sinus headaches can cause significant pain and discomfort, especially if an underlying infection has developed. Understanding the subtle differences between sinus headaches and tension headaches and consulting with your physician, such as at Allergy & Asthma Clinics of Fox Valley, will help to ensure that your symptoms are correctly diagnosed and efficiently treated.