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Sinus Headache

​​​​​There are many different types of headaches, with many different causes. Some of these include: chronic daily headache, tension-type headache, cluster headache and migraine headache. One of the rarer types of headache is sinus headache.

Most commonly, sinus headache is related to a cold or a sinus infection. It can also be caused by repeated daily exposure to allergens, such as ragweed, dust or pollen. A less common cause is chronic inflammation in the sinuses, which may not be related to allergy or infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Headache

A sinus headache can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms it produces overlap with other types of headache. This is because the same nerves which become irritated in other types of headaches can become irritated in sinus headaches.

Sinus headaches related to upper respiratory infections, such as colds, influenza, and bacterial sinus infections are easier to diagnose because of the presence of acute illness. Sinus headaches related to allergy or chronic sinusitis are more difficult to diagnose. They are usually characterized by some or all of the following:

  • Pain and/or pressure around, behind, or between the eyes
  • Pain and/or pressur​e around the forehead and/or cheeks
  • Increased pain with bending over or head motion
  • Decreased sense of smell and/or taste
  • Allergy symptoms
    • ​Itchy/watery eyes
    • Nasal congestion
    • Clear drainage from nose
    • Cough and sore throat
    • Fatigue 

View​ Treatment for Sinus Headache.​​

  • Sinus Headaches

    Most headaches are caused by other things: migraine, chronic daily headache. A true, isolated sinus headache is rare. It’s very easy to say a headache that hurts in this area is your sinuses, but often times if you’re having headaches and isolation and no other sinus symptoms, then it may not be a sinus headache.

    How is a sinus headache diagnosed?

    The amount of time that they have had the symptom is key in figuring out if it is going to be sinus related or not. The other thing is associated symptoms. Most of the time people with true chronic sinus inflammation are going to have other symptoms such as decreased smell, facial pain, or pressure other than the headache. Typically, the headache is localized on the front of the face.

    What causes a sinus headache?

    People with chronic sinus disease do get a lot of headaches and they also have a lot of fatigue. Even people with allergy may be predisposed to have sinus related headaches. When we think of a true sinus headache, we think of either inflammation in the nose or sinuses irritating the nerve endings or sometimes pressure changes. So, people with allergy with inflamed openings in their sinuses or narrow openings sometimes respond to pressure changes and those pressure changes can produce headaches.

    How do you treat sinus headaches?

    If they do have true sinus related headache, then we are mostly going to look at how to help people with chronic sinus disease. The goals of that are improving quality of life and trying to eliminate some of the suffering and the daily fatigue that people experience.

Ear, Nose and Throat