Sinuses

Sinus Headaches and Pain

Sinus Headache

Do you experience debilitating and painful sinus headaches? Sinus headaches are brought about by increased pressure due to sinus congestion. Sinus headaches can be so painful that they can even make it difficult for sinus headache sufferers to work on a computer, watch TV, or even read or perform basic everyday tasks. Dr. Palmer, Dr. Strabbing, Dr.Manion and Dr. Stubbs are commited to making your sinus headaches less painful and persistent.

WHAT IS A SINUS HEADACHE?

When your sinuses become infected, it is typically due to an excess of congestion causing increased pressure, in turn creating a painful and often debilitating headache. Your sinuses are the hollow spaces located in the bones of your face, and very small openings connect your sinuses with your nose. Because mucous membranes line both the nose and sinuses when congestion occurs, the mucus becomes clogged and fails to drain smoothly into the nose through these small openings, and as a result, the pressure increases, causing a sinus headache.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF SINUS HEADACHES?

An inflammation of the delicate tissues lining your sinuses can leave that area swollen, and as a result, excess mucus can wind up blocking the openings of your sinuses, particularly when you are already experiencing allergies or a cold, and when there is a blockage due to inflammation preventing mucus from draining normally from your sinuses. In addition, fungal, viral or bacterial infections can also occur in your sinuses, and even further additional clogging can come about due to an infection. Sinus headaches tend to occur when an excessive amount of pressure builds up from an infection, congestion or swelling. In fact, most sinus problems can be seen to occur when patients have a cold, although your sinuses can swell up also due to irritation brought about by smoke or dust. Other causes can include hay fever, or even a tooth infection spreading to your sinuses. A nose deformity or an injury to the bones in your nose can also cause improper drainage of your sinuses and can also make an individual more susceptible to experiencing an infection or congestion in their sinuses.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SINUS HEADACHES?

Symptoms can include a sensation of pain that feels as though it is coming from your upper teeth. In some cases, the bones and skin above and below your eyes may become tender, and pressure or pain can be experienced in the areas surrounding your cheeks and eyes. Your forehead may also be affected, and the headache pain can increase when you jar your head, which is commonly experienced during aerobics or while jogging. Bending forward or blowing your nose can also cause your headache to intensify.

HOW IS SINUS HEADACHES DIAGNOSED?

A thorough examination will be performed, we will ask you about your symptoms as well as your medical history. While you usually don't need to be tested, a CT scan can show what your sinuses look like in addition to possibly taking an X-ray of your sinuses.

HOW IS SINUS PAIN TREATED?

Your sinus pain can often be minimized through the use of ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen. Please note that ibuprofen, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) have been known to cause bleeding in the stomach and other complications, and as individuals get older, these risks can increase. Taking any NSAIDs for a period of longer than 10 days should be avoided unless Michigan ENT and Allergy Specialists advises it for you. Decongestants may be prescribed, however. If a sinus infection is suspected, antibiotics can also be prescribed, and if the cause of the problem is allergies, then antihistamines may be particularly effective. As your congestion goes down, the corresponding pain in your head should subside as well, and you should begin to experience real relief several days after the start of your treatment.

HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF?

It is important that you only take medication as prescribed. Try to elevate your head when you sleep, which will help in terms of keeping your mucus thin and runny. Try to increase your fluid intake and also get plenty of rest. Decongestants should only be used as directed, and any nonprescription nasal sprays shouldn't be used for any longer than three days, as your symptoms may actually get worse after three days of usage.

HOW CAN I HELP PREVENT SINUS HEADACHES

  • Applying moist and warm washcloths to your face or using a shower or a basin of hot water to inhale steam will reduce your pain and open up your sinuses.
  • A vaporizer or a humidifier can help to increase the moisture you breathe through the air.
  • Avoid animal dander, smoke and other irritants or allergens that can be inhaled.

The pain and discomfort associated with sinus headaches and the accompanying congestion can significantly lower your overall quality of life. If you live in Holland, Jennison, South Haven, Grand Haven or Grand Rapids, Michigan or any of the surrounding communities then contact  Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists to set up your sinus headache consultation.

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