Sinus Headaches: Everything You Need to Know
Your head is throbbing. It has an unusual quality that is simply agonizing – sensitive to movement, localized behind the face. It has not responded to painkillers, or to home remedies. It’s torture.
You are experiencing a sinus headache, a common symptom that affects millions of Americans each year. Often mistaken for migraines because of their intensity, sinus headaches can be paralyzing. At their worst, they can keep you bedridden for hours at a time, unable to focus on anyone or anything but the pounding pressure within. Something must be done, you say. But what?
Sinus headaches are the result of sinus inflammation due to sinusitis. Because your sinuses are designed to create mucus that drains throughout the day, anything that stops this drainage or obstructs the cavities can lead to an excruciating build-up of pressure. The result: otherworldly pain that is especially sensitive to facial contact, quick turns, changes in temperature, or any kind of “pitching forward” motion.
The quickest remedy for any sinus headache is an OTC product, especially one that is nominally made to relieve sinus pressure. But temporarily blunting the pain is not the same thing as resolving the underlying inflammation. If your sinus headache returns often enough, or is accompanied by a fever, it is time to speak with a sinus doctor about some more robust treatment options.
Nasal polyps, chronic sinusitis, bad allergies, and even asthma can all cause or exacerbate a sinus headache. These aren’t problems you can solve with a trip to the drugstore, so it is important to speak with an expert sinus physician about the best way to proceed. Usually you can get a more precise diagnosis within a matter of minutes – and with it, some quick and effective options for relieving your pain. Depending on the cause of your inflammation, your sinus doctor may recommend steroids, antibiotics, or sinus surgery. Heed these recommendations! They could save you a world of pain in the future.