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.

Quick GuideSinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms and Treatment Options

Symptoms with sinus infection

  • If an infection is present, there may be fever, chills, malaise (feeling poorly), or myalgias (achy muscles).
  • Opaque or greenish-yellow nasal drainage may occur.
  • There may be postnasal drainage, in which secretions drip down to the back of the throat. This can cause a cough and patients sometimes complain about coughing up yellow sputum. However, they may actually be coughing up the drainage that has dripped down from the sinuses instead of coughing up phlegm from the lungs.
  • Swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands) may occur in the neck if an infection is present, which is no different than the swelling of lymph nodes that accompanies an acute sore throat (pharyngitis) or ear infection (otitis media).

Symptoms with sinus inflammation

  • If there is sinus inflammation without infection, the drainage may be clear.
  • If the maxillary sinus is inflamed, pain may also be felt in the upper teeth since the sinus is located within the bone that holds those teeth.
  • Pain also may radiate to the temples, back of the neck, or top of the head.

What kind of a doctor treats sinus headache?

Most primary health-care professionals, including those who practice family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine, can care for routine sinus infections. Often patients will seek care at a walk-in clinic or Urgent Care Center. If complications arise, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists) are often consulted to discuss the potential need for surgery and drainage of a sinus. On the rare occasion when fungal infections of the sinus are present, an infectious disease specialist may be consulted. 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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