Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief

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Healthy Quote | Facts | Symptoms | Causes | Treatment | Relief | Approach | Outlook | Overview


Acute and chronic sinusitis can happen to anyone, anytime.


A sinus headache is the result of pressurized, congested air-filled passages in your cheekbones, forehead, or the nose bridge.


Either side of your head tend to feel a sharp pain, signaling an infection on your sinuses – a health condition known as sinusitis.


Sinus headaches are but a common complaint among people. Treatment and cures exist.


Today’s healthy quote, “Acute and chronic sinus headaches occur at any time. Seek medical attention if the pain is located at the frontal, back, or both!”.



Your sinus, an uncommon organ hosted in the upper facial area, is an air-filled space within your cheeks, forehead, and bridge of your nose.


Environmental pollutants and foreign intrusions often cause irritations to these sensitive organs.


The sinuses react to allergens, create allergic reactions, and inflammation. Hence, sinus areas start to swell, disburse green and yellow mucus, and draining channels blockages.


Build-up pressure disseminates acute pain signals to the brain until the allergens are removed while long-term exposure leads to frequent sinus infection – sinusitis.



Majority of people are unable to distinguish the signs and symptoms of sinus infections and migraines.


Resemblance of signs and symptoms of two health conditions make them difficult to separate.


When the patient bends forward or bow, a sinus headache or migraine headache worsens the pain. Both conditions cause congestion, nasal discharge, and facial pressure. The only difference is the thickness of mucus; migraine produces a watery discharge while sinusitis a thick one.


Sinusitis is often misdiagnosed as migraine headaches. Always visit the nearest doctor, ENT specialist, or the hospital nearby you for a detailed medical check.


Differences between chronic sinusitis and chronic migraines include:

  • Nausea or vomiting. Yes for migraine headaches, none for sinus headaches.

  • Bright light or noise. Sensitive for migraines, not applicable for sinusitis.

  • Pain duration. A few hours up to a day for migraine, several days for sinus infection.

Why? Sinusitis occur because of a viral upper respiratory infection. It’s easily recognizable by the nasal discharge thickness, weak smell sense, and pain in cheek or upper teeth – resultant of headaches.


To improve pain control, you’ve to be wary of signs, symptoms, and triggers before the situation escalates. It’s (by far) the best approach to manage the health problem well.


Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief

Is sinus headache really a headache?



Throbbing pain, constant pressure in your cheekbones, forehead, and nose bridge. Any body movement is likely to create a tension, friction, and strain.


Common symptoms on facial areas include:

  • Pain. Mild pain, acute pain, or intense pain.

  • Pressure. Movements, mobility, or actions.

  • Tenderness. Mild, or fullness.


Main signs and symptoms include:

Watery discharge. A runny nose.

Fullness. Feeling of fullness in your ears.

Swelling. Swollen or reddish face.

Typical reaction after an action:

Pain. Lean forward, backward, or side movements.

Nasal discharge. Green, yellow, or white mucus.

Jaw ache. Discomfort and pain in the upper jaw.

Facial discoloration. Red, green, or pale expression.


Evidently, the signs and symptoms of sinus headaches can be easily mistaken for other health issues like migraine, tension headaches, or simply pain in your head. It’s imperative to figure out the exact cause of head pain so as to seek appropriate solutions for treatment.


Find out the determinant factors of sinus headache triggers. Then, describe your identified symptoms to a doctor and wait for a diagnosis on sinusitis. You may need to undergo physical exam, medical and blood tests, or CT scans to MRI scans.


Persistent Symptoms

Chronic sinusitis is to be addressed within the shortest possible time. Persistent symptoms can possibly be a life-threatening complication, viral infection, or an unknown medical condition.


Probable reasons behind fruitless attempt to treat acute sinus headaches include:

  • Frequency encounters. At least 2 headaches daily.

  • Total encounters. More than 15 days of constant pain in your head.

  • Ineffective OTC medications. Over-The-Counter pain relievers no longer working.

  • Renewed headaches. Sinus, tension, or migraine headaches.

  • Continued discomfort. Feeling of pain returns once medication effect wears off.

Using of over-the-counter solutions can temporarily relieve the pain. It’s prudent to seek the doctor’s advice if these medications don’t work well in the long haul. The doctor may rewrite a new, stronger prescription to cure sinus headaches. Else, your studies, work, or daily routine will be affected.



Migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headaches shared common characteristics; pain and pressure in the face. Antibiotics cannot effectively subdue them easily.


Common causes of sinus headaches (sinusitis) include:

  • Infections. Most common reason for sinus infection to happen.

  • Viruses. Highly intrusive virus often creates sinus infections.

  • Bacteria growth. Inhaling of unknown bacteria irritates the sinus areas.

  • History of headaches. Prevailing migraines and tension headaches.

  • Hormonal changes. Oral pills, pregnancy, prenatal & postnatal aftermath.

  • Weakened immunity. A weak immune system.

Poor health is the leading cause of sinusitis. Environmental factors do influence the degree of sinus damages. Regular medical checkups and clinic frequency will help to prevent further occurrences – accurate diagnosis after a few visits to your nearest clinic nearby you.



Leaving a sinus headache unattended is not the best solution. Treat it when it is still early. The appropriate measure is to identify trigger points, observe, and avoid whenever necessary. Preventing further irritation can stop future pain with the help of some efforts in learning and controlling situations.


Treatment using Nasal Decongestant

Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray. Purchase from Target or Best Buy.

GoodSense Nasal Decongestant. Buy from Amazon.

Sudafed PE Pressure + Pain + Relief. Sale on Amazon, Target, or Best Buy.

NasalCrom Nasal Allergy Symptom Controller. Get it from Amazon.

Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Relief Liquid. Available on Amazon.

Breathe Right Clear Nasal Strips. Buy from CVS.

Afrin Original Nasal Spray. Purchase from CVS.


Treatment using Antihistamines & Decongestants

  • Afrin, Dristan, Vicks Sinex (oxymetazoline).

  • Sudafed PE, Suphedrin PE (phenylephrine).

  • Silfedrine, Sudafed, Suphedrin (pseudoephedrine).


Treatment using Corticosteroids Prescriptions

  • Bethamethasone (Celestone).

  • Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol).

  • Prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone).

  • Triamcinolone (Aristospan Intra-Articular, Aristospan Intralesional, Kenalog).

  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol).

  • Dexamethasone (Dexamethasone Intensol, DexPak 10 Day, DexPak 13 Day, DexPak 6 Day).


Preventive Treatment (Alternative Therapy)

  • Avoid decongestants. Reduced reliance on nasal decongestants.

  • Natural breathing. Explore lung and breathing techniques.

  • Environmental change. Change your job, workplace, or places of interest.

  • Talk to an expert. Seek second opinion on your mild, acute, or chronic sinus headaches.


Home Remedies for Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

  • Hydration. Drink plenty of fluids to flush out mucus and nasal discharges.

  • Heat pads. Apply warm or heat pads around the affected sinuses.

  • Neti pods. Use neti pods, squeeze bottle systems, or saline (saltwater) sprays.

  • Acupuncture. Eastern treatment of acupressure to clear blocked passageways.

  • Essential oils. Fragrant, soothing essences help in pain relief.

  • Rest. Appropriate rest and relaxation techniques.

  • Meditation. Adopt a healthy living can lower risk of sinusitis relapse.

  • Turmeric powder. Produces a thick and burning effect.


Always check with your assigned doctor for the best treatment methods. A doctor’s prescription may interfere with the aforementioned remedies. It’s ideal to retain existing treatment solutions because an impromptu change of treatment types can lead to sudden health complications. For example, a person on medication cannot switch to acupressure due to blood pressure irregulation.


Temporary Home Remedies (Over-The-Counter Medications)

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB)

  • Aspirin

  • Paracetamol

Remember to use them only if needed. Excessive dosage may cause other health complications especially the kidneys, livers, or digestive tracts. Higher doses each time happens because of the body’s immunoreaction to these OTC medications. Do check with your doctor for more information.


Doctor’s Prescriptions for Home Treatment (Over-The-Counter Medications)

  • Naproxen (Naprosyn)

  • Indomethacin (Indocin)

  • Ketorolac (Ketorolac Tromethamine)

  • Opiates (OxyContin, Vicodin, Perocet)

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)


Local Pharmacy Stores (Over-The-Counter Medications)

  • Muscle relaxants (Baclofen or Lioresal, Tizanidine or Zanaflex)

  • Antidepressants (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRI, Triptans, Imitrex, SNRI)



  • Clinical examinations (Consultations)

  • Acupuncture (Acupressure)

  • Breathing management modules (classes)

  • Non-invasive therapies (Yoga, Swimming, Mindfulness)

Pain relievers work well in the short term yet headache issue persists till fully managed. If you want to control head pains, look into highly effective alternative therapies like eastern acupuncture therapy and medicinal herbs. Fine needles on pressure points can alleviate the pain while herbal remedies subsiding the trigger points – perfect combo for sinus management.



Subdue sinus headaches with the help of supplements. This technique is insofar a good remedy. Just avoid using preventive supplements and western medicines at the same time. Counter-reactive effects might be present because of poor interactions.


A change in lifestyle often helps to reduce the likelihood and severity of headaches. You need to develop a routine habit in order to combat sinus reactions – regular sleep patterns, proper nutrition, eating habits, and minor adapts to your lifestyle.


Common ways of reducing risk of sinus relapses include:


Smart Sinus Care (Avoid Triggers)

Identify the allergens you easily come in contact. External stimuli can happen anytime, anywhere. It’s commonly found in food and beverages, tobacco products, caffeine, GMOs, or alcohol. Exercise care when you come into contact directly or indirectly. Best is to avoid them!


Regular Workouts (Exercise Regime)

A conducive environment for regular exercises improve your body’s immune system. A stronger immunity deters sinus attacks, viral infections, or other health problems. Frequency of exercise have to be within control.


Useful exercise regimes entail:

  • Light-weight aerobics

  • Brisk walking

  • Swimming

  • Cycling or biking

Conduct warm-ups before any high intensity exercise. Sudden intensities may trigger sinus headaches, migraines, or chronic relapses. Don’t forget to eat something too.


Eliminate Use of Estrogen (Reduced Estrogen Effects)

Estrogen causes headaches in most people. If you’re on medications containing estrogen, sustained head pains might be evident. So reduce the doses of hormone replacements or birth control pills.


Sinus Surgery

  • Endoscopy. Endoscopic checks on sinus areas.

  • Remove polyps. Removal of polyps open up the pathways of the sinuses.

  • Applied medications. Auto-inhaler insertions help to automatically clear blockages.

  • Surgical removals. Treat abnormal sinus structures or abnormal growths in the sinus.

  • Targeted therapies. Subdue winter-cold, summer-hot, or any seasonal climate changes.


More Alternatives

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health prescribes the following supplements to help lower risk of headaches.


7 supplements that improve other headache pain include:

  • Feverfew

  • Butterbur

  • Co-Q10 or Coenzyme Q10

  • Antidepressants

  • Riboflavin

  • B-12 Vitamins supplements

  • Herbal extracts or medicinal herbs

An important note is not to use more than one preventive medication at a time. Overuse or overdose of medication can cause intoxication – harm the kidney, liver, or body organs. Most supplements improve body’s immunity against sinusitis but you’ll need to check with a doctor.


Even if your pharmacy’s medicine does not curb tensions, made up of low-grade ingredient or an ineffective solution, the effect can at least mitigate pain in head for an extended time. Also, preventive therapy aims at reducing frequency of the sinus headaches.


Also, check out other non-invasive treatments:

  • Muscle-relaxing showers (hot, cold, warm)

  • Improved sitting posture (straightened backbone, lumbar support)

  • Ice pads (WellPatch, Coralite, BeKoool, Kool ‘n’ Soothe, MigraSoothe)

  • Heating pads (Sunny Bay, Neck & Body Wraps, Thermophore, Thermotex Platinum)

  • Wake-up delays (15 minutes doing nothing after waking up from sleep)

Always look for practical measures you can use at the comfort of home. They’re low in cost, effective, and hassle-free. Otherwise, trips to doctor clinics, hospitals, or pharmacy stores can cost you some money, time, work leaves, and resources. Work on those headache triggers.



Diagnosis of sinus headaches is not simple. Initial prognosis from doctors might be severe headaches, migraines, vertigo, or neurological problems. Book your consultation today. A tested and proven method of treatment can possibly exclude the need of surgery and medication.


Sinus Headache – Diagnosis and treatment may include:

Sinus X-rays.

Computed Tomography (CT) scan.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.

Questions & Answers.

Endoscopy tests.

Allergen trials.

Traditional checkbox criteria.


In short, there’s no permanent cure to sinus headaches nor viable treatment options to heal them. And, it’s possible for a relapse on acute and chronic sinus headaches. Never delay your sinus headache treatment appointments. One wrong move might lead to serious health consequence, sometimes life-threatening complications.


Searches related to sinus infections (sinusitis):

Query: Prophylaxis, disorder, aura, medicine, test, slurred speech, tension, vertigo, neurology.

Types: Frontal sinus headache. Dry sinus headache. Tension headache sinus. Sinus headache back of head. Sinus headache without congestion. Sinus headache relief pressure points. Complicated Migraine (Aura). Migraine without aura (Common). Hemiplegic migraine. Retinal migraine. Ice Pick migraine. Cluster headaches. Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM). Cervicogenic headache, Temporal arteritis, Giant cell arteritis (GCA).

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