Sinus headaches, causes and treatment

For anybody suffering from Sinus headaches it is the most unpleasant pain. The symptoms are vague, which may mean many people are misdiagnosed with other types of headaches and are not treated for the underlying cause.  Read about the symptoms of sinus headaches and how to relieve sinus headache below.

Where are the Sinuses located

Location of the Sinuses
Credit: Spring Dew on flickr -

What are sinuses?

Sinuses are empty spaces in the forehead, cheekbones, and behind the nose. There are channels that drain fluids such as mucus away from these spaces. Sinus headaches occur when these channels are blocked causing a build up of fluids which cause pain. These blockages can be caused by a number of things but the most commn causes are allergies and infection.

What are the symptoms of Sinus headaches?

The symptoms of Sinus headaches can sometimes be confused with other headaches such as Migraines or Tension Headaches. The common symptoms of a sinus headache are a deep constant ache.   There are often other symptoms that accompany sinus headaches that are often not present with Migraines or Tension headaches, such as fever, especially when an infection is present. It is often a good idea to be seen by a doctor to diagnose whether your headaches are Sinus headaches and the treatment will often differ to ordinary headaches.

Symptoms of Sinus headaches

What causes Sinus headaches?

As mentioned above, sinus headaches occur when fluids cannot drain from these cavities. The channels that drain these fluids become blocked. It is important to visit a doctor if you suspect you are suffering from Sinus headaches as an investigation will reveal the causes of the headaches and appropriate treatment can be given.

How to relieve Sinus headaches.

The best way to treat the pain associated with blocked sinuses is with pain killers. Ordinary pain killers such as Tylenol will help. Other pain killers such as Ibuprofen will work to reduce the pain and may treat swelling that is causing the blockage as well. However, pain killers such as Ibuprofen should not be taken without the advice of a doctor first because there is a risk of serious side effects.

Decongestant nasal sprays will work to reduce the congestion. It is not advised to take these nasal sprays for more than a few days as their effect will wear off and you may experience what is known as ‘rebound inflammation’.  Nasal sprays will only provide short term relief. If the sinus headaches are caused by allergies you may be given corticosteroid nasal sprays by your doctor to help reduce the swelling caused by allergies.

Some Sinus headaches are caused by infection and antibiotics may be described to clear up this infection. This is why it is a good idea to see a doctor if you experience any symptoms of Sinus headaches so the root cause can be found and treated appropriately.

Natural Remedies for Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are unpleasant but if you get the right diagnosis from a doctor the remedies are usually simple and easy.