You may mistake a sinus headache for a minor inconvenience until its vise-like python hold wraps around your sinuses, constricting until you feel your head might pop from the pressure. You feel the throbbing buildup in your cheeks and behind your eyes. You know from experience, this headache is going to put you out of commission in no time.
While sinus headaches aren't immediately dangerous, they can indicate larger issues with your nasal airways and breathing.
Healthy sinuses filter toxins, acting as frontline defenders against pathogens. Trouble usually arises from an anatomical issue blocking sinus drainage or obstructing breathing. A structural problem with the bones, cartilage, or tissues in your nose and sinuses could cause a sinus headache. Irritation can also cause inflammation, contributing to sinus pressure.
Don't ignore sinus headaches; if caused by anatomical or inflammatory issues, they'll persist and could lead to conditions like chronic sinusitis.
First you’ll need a doctor to confirm your symptoms stem from sinus issues. If no inflammation is found in the nose or sinuses, or your pain is in the top or back of the head, you might have a migraine headache instead.
Well-functioning noses and sinuses require open, clear passageways and calm lining. Many people with sinus headaches or related symptoms have compromised anatomy and irritated lining. To help the lining, the anatomy must first be opened.
ADVENT has pioneered simple in-office treatment options to easily improve sinus health and nasal breathing. These simple procedures generally last about 20 minutes and provide root-cause solutions for long-term relief.
First, we listen. At your new patient appointment, you’ll discuss your symptoms and goals with a Sleep & Sinus Specialist. You’ll also get a thorough Breathing Triangle Evaluation to help identify any underlying issues related to your sinus headaches.
Depending on your symptoms you may get an in-office CT scan or home sleep study to better understand the source of your sinus headaches.
We offer several simple in-office treatment options to ensure you have a healthy Breathing Triangle. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be a candidate for: Balloon Sinuplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Nasal Cryotherapy, Polypectomy, Septoplasty, or Allergy Drop Immunotherapy
Sinus headaches happen when there’s something blocking the nasal and sinus passageways, causing inflammation in the lining of the sinuses and nose, or both. Sinus headaches can be a symptom of an acute sinus infection, or they can occur more frequently as the result of an anatomical or inflammatory issue, or both.
Potential root causes of sinus headaches can include:
It depends on the root cause of the sinus headache. If the cause of the sinus headache is an acute sinus infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection and the headache should subside when the infection clears.
If the cause of the sinus headache is trouble with the anatomy of the nose or sinuses, a symptom of inflammation of the lining, or both, the health risks associated with not getting treatment for the issue would be more frequent sinus headaches. Depending on the root cause of the sinus headache, you could be on a path to developing chronic sinusitis if left untreated.
Yes, allergens can enter through the nasal passageway and trigger inflammation in the lining of the nose and sinuses. This can cause runny nose, postnasal drip, congestion, sneezing, and the pressure buildup in the sinuses that causes sinus headaches.
If the root cause of the sinus headache is an anatomy or inflammation issue (or both), an provider can examine, diagnose, and recommend a course of treatment. Simple solutions to sinus headaches can includeBalloon Sinuplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Nasal Cryotherapy, Polypectomy, Septoplasty, or Allergy Drop Immunotherapy.
If the root cause of the sinus headache is a sinus infection, over-the-counter pain medication may help soothe the discomfort, and antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to help clear the infection.
At ADVENT, our medical practice only focuses on areas related to your Breathing Triangle: the two sides of your nose and throat. We are the only ENT practice that has this exclusive focus. This is also why every ADVENT clinic has it’s own CT Scanner, so we can get a digital blueprint of your sinuses to truly understand where your issue lies. The first step in diagnosing and treating any sinus headache issue is to ensure your Breathing Triangle is healthy. Most often, a simple 20 minute in-office procedure like Balloon Sinuplasty is all that is needed for your sinuses to regain their healthy status.
"Headaches can be multifactorial but can be caused by sinus issues. We have patients trial medications and get imaging on how the sinuses appear. If there is disease in the sinuses, there is a greater chance that opening up the sinuses will improve those headaches. We use a balloon to dilate the drainage pathway to that sinus. This helps the sinus to drain more effectively and efficiently."
"Allergies can lead to inflammation throughout your nasal and sinus cavities which in turn can cause pain and pressure in your forehead, behind the eyes, or around your cheeks."
"Allergy symptoms occur when the body produces an immune response to a particular allergen. Oftentimes these allergens enter the body through the nose, inciting an immune response, the release of histamine, and the resulting allergy symptoms- nasal congestion, runny nose, and more. Because the sinuses are directly connected to the nasal airway, allergens can also pass into the sinuses, elicit an immune response, and produce what is perceived as a sinus headache."