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Do Blocked Sinuses Cause Headaches?

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Sinus headache is mostly related to migraine or other types of headaches. The patient experiences pain and extreme pressure in the face due to nasal symptoms.

Such a type of headache is usually caused due to sinus problems. One must always avoid treating such kinds of conditions with an antibiotic.

Having allergies or colds are common triggers that increase discomfort.

Migraine with nasal symptoms

When a patient experiences pain in the face and sinus area it is likely to be a symptom of sinus migraine. However, migraine and sinus headaches are completely different and have distinct symptoms.

It is critical to understand the difference between migraine and sinus headaches. The causes and symptoms of the condition are also different.

Sinuses form a network of cavities spread inside the facial bones and the skull. There are three main sets of sinuses namely:

  • Frontal sinuses- Present on each side of the forehead
  • Maxillary sinuses- Present inside cheekbone
  • Sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses- Present behind the nose

The basic function of sinuses is mucus production to keep the nasal passages moisturized. It is a natural protection for the body from dirt, dust, and infections.

Sinusitis is a medical term that defines headaches due to inflammation of the sinuses.

Typical causes of sinusitis include

  • Bacterial sinus infection or virus infection
  • Blockage inside sinuses
  • Structural issues of the septum such as cartilage separating two nostrils.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include

  • Facial pain and pain in sinus areas
  • Headache
  • Thick yellowish nasal discharge

Difference between migraine and sinus headache

As per studies by the American migraine foundation over 90% of sinus headaches turn out to be migraines. There are certain critical differences between the two forms of headaches.

Migraine is referred to as a chronic condition that causes moderate to severe pain in the head. It normally affects one side of the brain. In some instances, the patient experiences pain across the neck and face.

People suffering from migraine also go through a sensory episode during a migraine attack. It is commonly termed the aura phase. Such individuals can benefit from lifestyle changes.

Migraine includes the following symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Sensation of touch
  • Seeing geometrical shapes or bright light
  • Tingling or numbness on parts of the body

The symptoms of sinus headaches are completely different from migraine headaches.

How do you treat nasal migraine symptoms?

One can easily present sinus infection by addressing the root cause. If the underline cause is allergic rhinitis then the patient must consult with an allergy specialist.

If the cause of nasal migraine deviates from symptoms. The healthcare provider may recommend surgery.

The presence of nasal polyps also requires surgery for removal.

If the sinus headache is recurring then it is assigned of migraine. In such conditions, the best decision is to consult with a healthcare provider.

They can find out the root cause of the headache. Identifying the triggers of migraine is the best long-term solution.

Patients can also keep a headache diary to keep a tab on potential triggers.

Immediate medical care is necessary. Getting to the bottom of the cause can only help in finding an appropriate treatment.

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Sinus headache symptoms

Sinus headaches mostly cause pain inside sinus cavities and spread across the face. The discomfort is felt around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead.

Some people experience pain in the upper jaw or teeth.

Other symptoms of sinus headaches are

  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Nasal congestion
  • Stuffy ears
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Fatigue

Sinusitis usually does not cause nausea, stomach upset, or vomiting. But if the patient is having excess post-nasal drip vomiting may be experienced.

Common migraine symptoms include

  • Throbbing or pulsing head pain
  • Moderate or severe headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Movement increases pain
  • Vomiting or nausea

These symptoms or if the headache interferes with other body functions. It is more likely to be a migraine than a sinus disease.

What triggers sinus headaches?

Sinus infections are the primary cause of sinus headaches. Any external factor that results in mucus build of in the sinus can cause a sinus infection.

  • Seasonal allergies increase mucus production
  • A deviated septum can be a cause of sinus headache
  • Abnormal growth of the nasal polyp
  • runny nose

Excess production of mucus creates a favorable condition for germs. The patient feels irritation in the sinus cavity due to build-up.

In response to this condition, the sinus tissue blocks the passage of mucus. Irritated and swollen sinuses get filled with liquid.

Allergies do not cause any type of headache. However, in rare cases, it can result in sinus congestion.

A stuffy nose is known for increasing infection, pain, and sinus pressure. Individuals that suffer from seasonal allergies are more likely to suffer from migraine.

Sinus headache without congestion

If the headache is without congestion then it is not sinusitis. The pain around the face is likely due to migraine or severe headaches.

Most people think that they have sinus headaches but it is a migraine. Therefore it is critical to consult with a healthcare provider to get the right viral infection treatment.

A headache specialist will perform a physical examination and enquire about symptoms.

If the symptoms are severe then the patient may need a ct scan. Mri scans are helpful for the diagnosis of serious headache conditions.

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How do you relieve sinus pain without congestion?

Normally sinus pain is paired with other sinus-related symptoms. A severe headache without sinuses is a migraine.

Based on the underlying because a patient can be treated in the following ways

  • Use of decongestants- to eliminate nasal congestion resulting in pain and pressure in the sinus.
  • Antihistamines- to reduce fever and other forms of allergy that can irritate the sinus.
  • Allergy shots to reduce severe allergy
  • Corticosteroids for reducing inflammation
  • Use of counter pain medication for reducing facial and head pain.
  • Surgery for senior cases that do not cure by medication.

If the patient is suffering from a migraine the treatment will be completely different. The condition cannot be alleviated using medication for treating colds or allergies.

Pain in the bridge of the nose and headache

Headache and pain in the bridge of the nose are common symptoms of migraine. However, people mostly think it is chronic sinusitis.

Misdiagnosis is very common and more than 90% believe they have sinus headaches. But the real cause of pain is migraine.

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Why do I have sinus headaches every day?

Sinus headache usually triggers by deviated septum common cold or other similar conditions. Seasonal allergies also result in excess mucus production and congestion.

The presence of nasal polyps can also cause headaches from sinus inflammation. However frequent head pain is mostly caused due to migraine.

Sinusitis is completely different from migraine headaches. Therefore it is always a wise decision to seek the advice of a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

If a person has excess anxiety or depression they are likely to suffer from regular headaches. In such circumstances, they must consult with a specialist for quick treatment and relief.

Tension headache sinus

Analyzing patients with sinus headache have proved that most suffer from migraine. A large chunk of people that think they have sinus headaches suffer from tension headaches.

Both conditions are completely different so is the treatment procedure. People suffering from tension should consult a doctor immediately.

How do I know if it’s a tension headache or a sinus headache?

Sinus headache is mostly experienced on both sides of the face. Migraines cause discomfort in the forehead or back of the head.

It usually affects one side of the head and is recurring in nature.

Does tension cause sinus?

Stress can turn out to be a major trigger of sinus issues. Excess stress weakens immunity making a person more prone to bacterial infection.

Sinus patients are more vulnerable to irritants like allergens and dust. 

FAQ relating to doing blocked sinuses cause headaches

What does a sinusitis headache feel like?

People suffering from true sinus headache experience pressure on the forehead, eyes, and cheek. If there is a throbbing pain on one side of the head then it is caused by a migraine.

How do you get rid of a sinus headache?

There are certain home remedies as well as counter medications to relieve sinus headaches. However, if the pain persists for a long one must consult with a medical provider.

A doctor can find the root cause of the headache and suggest appropriate steroid nasal sprays.

Why am I getting sinus headaches everyday?

One is likely to get a sinus headache from the common cold, allergies, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. Anything that increases mucus production or blocks mucus flow will irritate the sinus.

Seasonal allergies are also a major cause of frequent sinus headaches.

How long can a sinus headache last?

Typically sinus headaches can last for a few days or longer depending on the underlying cause. If the cause is a migraine then the discomfort will last for a few hours.

If the sinus infection is severe then it may last for more than a week.

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