Table of Contents
- Sinus headache facts
- What are the sinuses?
- What is a sinus headache?
- What causes a sinus headache?
- What are the symptoms of a sinus headache?
- Symptoms with sinus infection
- Symptoms with sinus inflammation
- What kind of a doctor treats sinus headache?
- When should I seek medical care for a sinus headache?
- How is a sinus headache diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a sinus headache?
- What home remedies help soothe the symptoms of a sinus headache?
- What over-the-counter (OTC) medications treat a sinus headache?
- What prescription medications treat a sinus headache?
- What about surgery for sinus headache?
- What are the complications of a sinus headache?
- Can a sinus headache be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a sinus headache?
Quick GuideSinus 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.
Rakel, D. and R. E. Rakel. Textbook of Family Medicine,98th ed. Saunders, 2015.
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