Sinus Headache – Technically speaking, our sinuses are actually called paranasal sinuses. They are air-filled spaces located in our forehead, cheekbones and behind the bridge of our noses. The word sinus is actually Latin for “pocket.”
Our sinuses produce a thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. When a sinus becomes inflamed (usually as the result of an allergic reaction, an infection or a tumor) the outflow of mucus is prevented which causes inflammation and pain similar to that of a headache.
What Do Our Sinuses Do?
Scientists continue to debate the biological role of our sinuses. It is thought that our sinuses may increase the resonance of our voices, provide a buffer against blows to our faces, and insulate sensitive structures like our dental roots and our eyes from rapid temperature changes in our nasal cavities. It is also theorized that our sinuses may be responsible for humidifying and heating the air we inhale, and that they serve to decrease the relative weight of the front of our skulls, especially the bones of our faces. Doctors say that the shape of our facial bones is important as a point of origin and insertion for the muscles of facial expression.
If you suffer from sinus headaches and are looking for sinus headache relief, there’s one important thing you need to know — and that is that most scientists say the headaches caused by our sinuses probably are the result of a condition called sinusitis. Our paranasal sinuses are joined to our nasal cavities by small orifices called ostia. These ostia are easily blocked by an allergic inflammation or by a swelling of our nasal linings. If this happens — for example, when we get a cold — the normal drainage of mucus within the sinuses is disrupted and we develop sinusitis.
Sinus Headache or Migraine?
If you suffer from constant headaches, you may be asking yourself, “Do I have a sinus headache or a migraine?”
The symptoms of migraine headaches are usually much more severe than those of sinus headaches. For example, nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light and sound often accompany migraine headaches.
A migraine headache also often has a pulsating or throbbing quality as well as the severe pain — possibly on only one side of the head. For that matter, the pain of a migraine is often so intense; it can interfere with your daily activities and even become worse if you engage in a physical activity such as exercise.
On the other hand, sinus headaches feel different than migraines. The major symptoms of these headaches include a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead or bridge of your nose. Since these headaches are most often caused by sinusitis, they may be accompanied by other such symptoms as a nasal discharge, a feeling of fullness in your ears, fever and even facial swelling.
Symptoms of a Sinus Headache
Sinus headache symptoms are common when dealing with a sinus infection. However, there is often some confusion when it comes to sinus headache problems because there are some people who will think that they are simply experiencing a headache due to a sinus problem when it is really a migraine after all. One way to distinguish between a major headache that is due to sinus infections and one that is truly a migraine headache is that migraine headaches will often feel like you don’t have the energy or concentration to do anything at the time. On the other hand, sinus headache symptoms will feel very bad, but won’t feel like you are about to die!
If you are experiencing a sinus problem already, then some of the contributing factors to your sinus headache symptoms may include post nasal drip as well as nasal congestion.
Another major indication of sinus headache symptoms is where you feel the pain if you do have sinus problems. While migraines may typically spread the pain out everywhere throughout your head and even partially in your back area, sinus headaches will leave you with a localized are of pain. This pain is often complained about around the eye areas and throughout the nose. These are some of the major tell-tale signs of sinus headache symptoms.
Of course with your sinus problems you are also going to naturally experience fatigue, along with a possible fever. If your fever gets too high to be considered a simple sinus problem then you may need to visit your doctor or the emergency room, but a little fever is completely normal when dealing with a sinus problem. Accordingly, when you have sinus infections then you may feel lethargic and fatigued, which is also normal. But the most important thing to remember is that many of these symptoms, including the post nasal drip, fatigue, fever, and nasal congestion are common sinus headache symptoms and the trick is to find a solution to the problem before it gets too bad!
When You Should See Your Healthcare Provider for Sinus Headache Relief?
If you are experiencing symptoms of a sinus headache, be sure to see your healthcare provider. This is because only they can determine if your headache is truly being caused by a sinus blockage. To diagnose your headache, they will probably do a physical examination to determine if you do have a blockage in your sinuses and may also prescribe a CT scan or MRI.
The good news of a sinus headache – or sinusitis headache – is that it is relatively easy to find sinus headache relief. However, before you do this, you should know that there are other symptoms of a sinus headache