Sinus Headache: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

We all know how any pain can be very disrupting in performing everyday tasks. Pain can appear both in muscles and bones, and it is usually a consequence of friction or inflammation in that area. And a lot of people opt for some medication that will ease their pain even when they are not sure what the problem is. One of the most common pains is the one in the area of neck or head usually occurring as a headache. Now, headaches are usually acute as a following of infection or a fever, but for some people, headaches can be chronic as well. As of the type, there are few of those with most common being migraine and sinus headache. It is hard to differ a migraine and sinus headache as symptoms are quite similar, so people that are experiencing one or another go wrong and opt for medication that will not solve the problem. A sinus headache is caused by sinus inflammation usually as a following of allergic reaction or infection, and it results in a dull pain in cheekbones, forehead and nose bridge. The question that is being raised here is how one can diagnose a sinus headache and how to treat it?

Sinus Headache: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

What are the Symptoms of a Sinus Headache?

Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the forehead, cheekbones and behind your nose. Once mucous membrane backs up inside a sinus as a consequence of an allergy reaction or infection that area becomes swollen, and it can result in a dull pain. Also, it is often that a sinus headache is a result of respiratory infection or a cold. Now when we said what causes a sinus headache we should go and discuss the symptoms:

  • The main symptom is that you feel a dull pain in the sinus area. Thus, if you feel pain around your eyes, forehead or cheekbones you might suffer from a sinus headache.
  • Another symptom is that you lose your taste and smell buds. Also, bad breath, nasal congestion and discoloured mucus is a common occurrence as well.
  • If you feel worse in the morning, once you bend up and when the weather is damp, you might suffer from a sinus headache. And fever or a sore throat might also accompany a sinus headache.
  • If you feel like your ears are full, or you have a runny nose that might be another sign that you have a sinus headache. And sore throat might be a clear sign as well.
  • Also if you feel like you are weak or you experience pain while moving that can be another symptom that you suffer from a sinus headache.
  • And of course, if you know that you are currently suffering from an infection or a cold you might want to get yourself checked for a sinus headache just in case.
Symptoms of a Sinus Headache

As we previously mentioned many people cannot differ migraine and sinus headache so although there are some similar symptoms, migraine comes with few more that you do not experience once you suffer a sinus headache:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • If you are sensitive to either sound or light, you might be experiencing headache and migraine.
  • Throbbing pain in one part of your head

So although similar it is not hard to differ these two types of a headache and treat them in the right way, and if you have a problem with that consult a doctor.

How to Prevent and Treat a Sinus Headache?

Sinus Headache Info

No one likes to experience any pain, and especially headache so here are few things that you might want to do to prevent sinus inflammation:

  • You should check what can cause you to have an allergic reaction and keep away from that.
  • Wash your hands often, get a flu shot and drink plenty of fluids like tea or water to keep of an infection.
  • Do not overuse nasal sprays as a prevention step, as overdoing it can further irritate your sinuses

And if you have been diagnosed with a sinus headache there are few ways that you can cope with it:

  • First and foremost you would want to rest and drink plenty of water and herbal teas. Also, eat food that contains essential nutrients and eats a chicken or vegetable broth at least once a day.
  • As of the pain treatment if you cannot stand it opt for paracetamol or ibuprofen, but do not take it unless necessary. And you should take decongestants both in pill and spray form to attack the infection.
  • Heat up some water and herbal tea in a bigger pot and breathe it in for few minutes every day. That should both help relieve the pain and clear your breathing tunnels.
  • Flush your nose with a salty water or saline spray few times a day to reduce the sinus swelling.
  • If you have problem curing this headache by yourself you might want to consult a doctor who will probably prescribe you some antibiotics or corticosteroids if he thinks that inflammation is more severe.

See Also: Diagnosing a Sinus Infection is a DIY Project – Dr. Richard Rosenfeld


Experiencing a headache is something that no one likes as it can disrupt you in performing the regular daily tasks that you already scheduled. A sinus headache brings you a dull pain around cheekbones, behind nose and forehead and you usually just want to stay in bed when that happens. If you are diagnosed with one there are few things that you might want to do with main being rest, good nutrition and some medication to relieve the pain. And if you do not suffer from one you should keep going and assure that you are doing everything you can do stay healthy and keep away from allergic reactions and infections!



Sam Kramer is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and Certified Sports Nutritionis

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