Sinus Headache

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Sinus Infection and Headache Symptoms

Sinus infection is characterized by an infection of the lining tissues of the sinuses within the skull. Early signs and symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Pain or pressure over the involved area
  • Facial tenderness and swelling
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Earache
  • Pain in the jaw

Quick GuideSinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

Sinus headache facts

  • Sinuses in the face are air the spaces that develop from the nasal passages and help with air humidification and mucus secretion.
  • Inflammation of the sinuses may decrease the ability for the mucus to drain, increasing pressure within the sinuses and leading to a sinus headache. Common causes of inflammation include allergies, infections, or colds.
  • Symptoms of a sinus headache include pain in the face that may worsen with bending down or straining;
  • pain that radiates to the forehead, temple or cheek;
  • Diagnosis of sinus headache is often based on history and physical examination. Blood testing and X-rays are usually not required.
  • Treatment is directed at decreasing the inflammation within the sinus passages, allowing them to drain, and decreasing the pressure that is the cause of the headache. Antibiotics may not always be necessary.
  • Home remedies to treat sinus symptoms are directed at helping the sinuses drain to help relieve pressure and inflammation. These include drinking plenty of fluid to remain hydrated, humidification of air, warm compresses to the face, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 10/30/2015
References
REFERENCE:

Rakel, D. and R. E. Rakel. Textbook of Family Medicine,98th ed. Saunders, 2015.

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