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How to Get Relief From Sinus Headache?

Updated on Jul 7, 2021 by Dr. Amr Hosny (Headache Specialist) of Advanced Headache Center

If recurring sinus headaches prevent you from fulfilling your home and work commitments, consult pain doctors experienced in diagnosing and treating sinus pressure and pain. Top headache doctors at Advanced Headache Center come up with the best treatment to get rid of a sinus pressure headache. With advanced diagnostic equipment and a multidisciplinary approach, the headache specialist can determine your sinus issues and prescribe personalized treatment plans to improve your quality of life.

Sinus pressure headache occurs due to congestion of the sinus passage behind the eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead. You can suffer from sinus headaches if you have allergies or when your sinuses get triggered for some reason. The pressure or pain is felt on either or both sides of your head and anywhere in the sinus area as well. Sometimes sinus headaches are also a symptom of an ongoing sinus condition known as sinusitis.

Symptoms of Sinus Pressure Headaches

Swelling or inflammation in the mucosal lining of the nose and sinuses can lead to sinus pressure headaches. The build-up of pressure in sinuses results in pain that feels like a headache. You will feel a sensation of pressure in the sinuses that causes discomfort in the form of a headache, pain around the eyes and face. These symptoms get worse when you lie down or bend due to the pressure on the sinuses.

Other symptoms of inflamed sinuses resemble those of a cold. They include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Postnasal drip
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat

Sinus headaches can also cause pain in the upper jaw. Redness and swelling on the cheeks are also noticed in extreme cases of blocked sinuses.

Causes of Sinus Headaches

Sinus pressure headaches can have several reasons. They include:

  • Common cold virus or other rhinoviruses
  • Flu virus
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Changes in humidity

Sinus infection or blockage can also trigger sinus headaches. Every cause has a different trigger and treatment. Focusing on the symptoms can help to find a successful treatment for sinus headaches.

Sinus Headaches and Migraines

Many people end up confusing migraines with sinus headaches as the signs and symptoms of these two types of headaches often overlap. Studies have shown that 90% of people who approach a doctor for sinus headache relief are diagnosed with migraines.

Headaches due to sinus inflammation last for a few days, or longer while migraines only last a day or two. Also, sinus headaches are not associated with nausea, vomiting, or intensified by noise or bright light, which are common migraine symptoms. Migraine headaches need a different type of treatment and the first step in alleviating the pain. The expert doctor will recommend prescription medications to ease the pain and decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.

How to Get Rid Of a Sinus Pressure Headache –Treatment Options

To get rid of a sinus headache, determining the underlying causes is necessary. If your sinuses feel dry, or if you have thick, dry mucous in the nasal passages, these symptoms are probably caused by a lack of humidity. During the winter months, heaters and furnaces are used excessively or during the summers with round-the-clock air conditioning.

Allergies are another common cause of sinus headaches and pain. Most allergies are seasonal, but many people suffer from allergies all year long. If allergies cause your sinus headaches, our specialist Dr.Amr Hosny MD, MBA, AQH will recommend medications.

Antihistamines are the most effective treatment for allergies and provide quick relief. The most common over-the-counter antihistamines include:

  • Benadryl
  • Dramamine
  • Claritin
  • Zyrtec

If over-the-counter antihistamines cannot treat your sinuses, the pain doctor may prescribe others that provide the desired relief. They include:

  • Antivert
  • Allegra
  • Tavist
  • Vistaril
  • Phenergan
  • Clarinex
  • Xyzal
  • Triptans including sumatriptan to relieve migraine-related sinus headaches

Anti-inflammatory medications are the best and help to get rid of an active sinus headache. Commonly recommended over-the-counter medications include acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs such as:

  • Advil
  • Aleve
  • Tylenol
  • Aspirin

If over-the-counter medications are unable to provide relief, your doctor may prescribe stronger anti-inflammatories. There are two types of prescription anti-inflammatories, NSAIDs and steroids. The medications include:

  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Methylprednisone
  • Prednisone
  • Hydrocortisone

It is essential to use these medications as recommended by the doctor to avoid overdosage and side effects. If these medications are not working or you want to try out a new method to manage your sinuses, the doctor will suggest alternative treatment options to take care of the headaches.

Alternate Treatment Options for Sinus Headache Relief

The doctor might recommend these alternative treatment options and remedies for relieving sinus headaches at home. They include:

  • Moistening the sinuses with a saltwater mix to relieve irritation and inflammation caused by a lack of humidity
  • Taking hot showers to penetrate the sinuses
  • Drink hot beverages like tea or eating hot soup to keep the nasal passage and sinuses rehydrated
  • Taking in plenty of fluids
  • Increasing humidity in your home or office
  • Applying a warm compress to painful areas of the face
  • Using a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain
  • Trying a saline nasal spray or drops to thin and drain the mucus
  • Using a vaporizer or inhaling steam from a pan of boiled water
  • Using warm, moist air to relieve sinus congestion
  • Avoiding dry air coming from air conditioners or heaters
  • Adding some spice to your diet to loosen up the sinuses and drain them

If you experience frequent sinus headaches and treatments, do not seem to work, consult a headache specialist. Fever, pain, swelling of your face or eye, and redness around the eyes or cheeks accompanied by severe headache should not be taken lightly. Schedule an appointment with an expert medical practitioner to know more about managing these headaches.

You can live a better quality of life by eliminating these pressures and pains with accurate diagnosis and positive solutions. Schedule an appointment with the experienced pain management doctor at Advanced Headache Center to know more about possible treatments to move forward and enjoy a headache-free life.

Dr. Amr Hosny has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Advanced Headache Center 41 5th Avenue,
New York, NY 10003
(646) 419-3105