Symptoms of Sinus Headaches

The primary symptoms of a sinus headache include:

  • Pain, pressure and fullness in the cheek and forehead area
  • Pain that increases when bending forward or lying down
  • Achiness in the upper teeth
  • Pain that worsens with sudden temperature changes
  • Stuffy nose and congestion
  • Fatigue

Sinus headaches are often mistaken for migraines, but an experienced ENT can tell the difference between the two conditions. Migraines are also characterized by facial pain, pressure and nasal congestion, but they are associated with a number of unique symptoms as well. For example, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, and pain that worsens with activity are all telltale signs of a migraine – not a sinus headache.

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What Causes a Sinus Headache?

A number of possible factors contribute to sinus headaches, but the main underlying cause is congestion and inflammation within the sinuses, which is also known as sinusitis. When the sinuses are healthy, mucus drains and air circulates freely through the nasal passages. When inflammation sets in, the sinuses become blocked and can’t drain efficiently, creating a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and fungus.

Our Sinus Headache Treatment Options

Our SFENTA™ physicians treat sinus headaches by targeting the underlying inflammation. For example, if your headache is associated with allergies, antihistamine medications, nasal sprays and decongestants may be prescribed. If a bacterial infection is suspected, a course of antibiotics will be recommended. To help minimize your symptoms as you recover, nasal corticosteroids may be prescribed to relieve sneezing, itching and a runny nose.

In many cases, lifestyle modifications can help treat sinus headaches as well. Running a humidifier, using a saline nasal spray, breathing in steam several times a day and performing routine saltwater nasal irrigations can all help to minimize inflammation and improve your condition.

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If you suffer from chronic sinusitis that does not improve with medication, endoscopic sinus surgery may also be recommended. During this procedure, your ENT specialist in Miami will remove polyps and bone spurs that increase your susceptibility to sinusitis, inflammation and the resulting headaches. In some cases, they may also enlarge the sinus openings with balloon sinuplasty.

With 37 convenient locations across the South Florida area, we’re never far away.

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