What are Sinus Pressure Headaches?
A sinus pressure headache occurs when there is a buildup of mucus in the sinuses in the cavities behind the eyes, nose, cheeks, or forehead. This can occur as a result of an allergic reaction or infection. Sinus pressure headaches may be felt on one or both sides of the head, or any location near the sinuses.
What are the Symptoms of a Sinus Pressure Headache?
When your sinuses become inflamed and you experience a sinus pressure headache, you may experience other symptoms as well. These include:
- Pain or pressure that worsens when you lean forward
- Discharge from your sinuses that may be yellow or green in color
- Moderate to extreme pressure behind your forehead
- Tenderness in your face near the sinuses
- A general feeling of fatigue
- Redness or swelling of the face near your nose, eyes, and cheeks
- An aching feeling in your upper jaw or teeth
What Causes Sinus Pressure Headaches?
How are Sinus Pressure Headaches Treated?
If your sinus pressure headache is the result of an infection, your doctor can provide you with a prescription to treat the infection. If it is a result of allergies, over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can help to relieve the pressure and make you more comfortable.
Your symptoms may also be alleviated using a few at-home remedies. Drinking plenty of fluids will help to dilute the mucus in your sinuses and allow them to drain. Running a humidifier in the room in which you are resting will allow you to breathe in moisture that may provide some relief. Using a neti-pot or nasal irrigator can help to sweep away excess mucous and relieve pressure. Additionally, breathing in steam or applying a warm compress to the sinuses can promote nasal drainage.
Massage of the pressure points near sinuses can also help to stimulate your sinuses to drain and alleviate some symptoms. To do this, begin at the place on the bridge of your nose near the inner-most corner of your eyes. Applying pressure in an upward direction with your thumbs steadily for one minute or gently tapping the area can help to loosen blockages in your sinuses and allow them to drain.
How Can I Prevent Sinus Pressure Headaches?
The best way to avoid sinus pressure headaches is to avoid the triggers which cause them. If your sinus pressure headaches are the result of coming into contact with certain allergens or odors, make a note of these triggers and try to avoid them if at all possible.
Regular exercise can help to alleviate the symptoms which cause sinus pressure headaches. Any aerobic exercise which gets your heart pumping such as walking, running or swimming will work. Your doctor can discuss with you which form of aerobic may be best for you.
Estrogen can also be a trigger for sinus pressure headaches. If you are on hormonal birth control or take estrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy, discuss your concerns with your doctor. There may be alternative medications that will work just as well and will not increase your risk of having a sinus pressure headache.
Do Sinus Pressure Headaches Have any Complications?
Occasionally you might experience sinus pressure so great that there is swelling around your eyes. This pressure can result in a headache, while also causing your vision to be blurry.
If you experience a high fever, nasal discharge with is yellow or green in color, or difficulty breathing, you should contact Dr. Zadeh immediately to schedule an appointment. It is important to make sure that your sinus pressure headaches are not the result of a more serious issue.