You Have A Crooked Or Deviated Septum That Is Hindering Your Sinus Drainage Pathways
A crooked or deviated septum can cause a blockage of the sinus drainage pathway, which often results in an infection.
Dr. Payam Daneshrad, ENT specialist and facial plastic surgeon at Daneshrad Clinic, told INSIDER that although a course of antibiotics will treat the immediate infection until the underlying obstruction is surgically corrected, youre at a higher risk of developing frequent sinus infections.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
What Are Sinus Headaches
Real sinus headaches are almost always from a sinus infection. Sinus infections are common with 10% to 30% of the population experiencing at least one sinus infection each year.
Sinus infections are also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis. This occurs when the sinus becomes inflamed. Common symptoms include thick nasal mucous, blocked nose and facial pain. Sinus infections may be caused by an infection, allergy or air pollution. Most cases are due to viral infection. Infections are often transmitted through coughing, sneezing, kissing, contact with contaminated surfaces, food or water or contact with infected animals or pets.
To understand how sinus headaches are confused with migraine its important to know what migraine is.
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Treating Sinus Headaches And Migraines
Despite their similarities, sinus headaches and migraines may be treated differently. For sinus headaches, treating the underlying sinus infection can usually resolve the headache. Taking over the counter headache medications can also help with the pain and inflammation of sinus headaches.
Because migraines are more complex, they may not respond to conventional OTC pain relievers. While some prescription migraine medications are designed to provide relief once a migraine has started, others prevent them by addressing the underlying physiology
Why Do I Have A Headache That Wont Go Away
First things first: If your headache wont go away, you need to figure out if its a sinus headache that wont go away or something else. Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage.
Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Feeling of pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses
- Increased pain upon bending over
- Toothache in your upper teeth
Many of these symptoms, including congestion and increased pain upon bending over, can also be found in patients struggling with migraines. However, migraines are unlikely to last more than a few hours, whereas untreated sinus headaches can last for days at a time.
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How Do I Get Rid Of A Sinus Headache
To get rid of a sinus headache, you have to treat the underlying cause. But you can take steps to ease sinus pressure and pain at home:
- Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
- Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
- Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
- Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.
Viruses, bacteria and sometimes fungi cause sinus infections. Viral infections often go away on their own. But if your infection is bacterial or fungal, you need antibiotics or antifungal medications. Your healthcare provider may also recommend other medications to ease discomfort, such as:
- Antihistamines to prevent allergy symptoms.
- Pain relievers to ease headache pain.
- Steroids to reduce inflammation.
Migraines with sinus symptoms
Sinus headaches that are actually migraines need a different type of treatment. The first step is to relieve your pain. You should know that frequently using over-the-counter medications when you have a headache can cause even more headaches .
Your provider may recommend prescription medication for migraine pain. You may also need a preventive medication that helps you have fewer migraine attacks.
What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches
Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.
You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:
- Specific foods, such as chocolate, red wine or strong cheese.
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The Confusion Between Sinus Headaches Migraines And Tension Headaches
Its important to recognize that sinus headaches share some characteristics with other headaches, such as migraines and tension headaches. In fact, about 80% of people who believe they have a sinus headache are, in fact, experiencing a migraine or tension headache.
Migraines can affect the trigeminal nerve in your face, which lies close to your sinus cavities. Not only can the pain present itself similarly in sinus headaches and migraines, but people with migraines can also experience nasal congestion, watery eyes, and a runny nose.
An effective way to tell the difference between these headaches is to examine the discharge from your nose. If the mucus is clear, its likely that its not a sinus infection.
Another great step is to come see us so we can definitively identify whats causing your headaches, which is the first, and most important, step toward finding relief.
Why Am I Getting Sinus Headaches Everyday
Its devastating. World-shattering. Utterly painful.
Sinus headaches can be crippling to anyone who has them. Theyre also often mistaken for migraines, but theres a slight difference. For instance, sinus headaches have a lot to do with sinus infections discolored mucus, pain in the face, and even a fever.
If youre dealing with sinus headaches everyday then its likely theres something else going on. For instance, if you havent been diagnosed, you may be dealing with allergies. The first step would be getting an allergy test from a specialist. With pollen counts being so high lately, its something a lot of people will need to do to remain healthy. To learn more about allergy testing, watch the video below:
For others though, chronic sinusitis is rather common for them. Chronic sinusitis is when a person has longer lasting sinus infections four or more times a year. You might be wondering why someone would suffer that long with something like that, but in reality many dont know what kind of treatment options are out there. If youre more likely to get sinus infections or chronic sinusitis, then the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute has treatment and surgery options for sinusitis. Watch the videos below to learn more:
But what if you cant think about surgery right now? What can you do at home right now to reduce pain and longevity? Other than the obvious pain reliever medication, heres a few tips to get you through:
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When Should I Call The Doctor
- a cold that lasts for more than 710 days without improvement
- a cold that seems to be getting worse after 7 days of symptoms
- symptoms of allergies that dont clear with the usual allergy medicine
Also call if your child shows any other signs of worsening sinusitis, such as:
- pain or pressure in the cheeks or around the eyes
- swelling around the eye
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Your Sinus Headache May Not Be What You Think
Topics in this Post
Nearly everyone experiences a headache at some point, and the pain can range from mild to debilitating.
Sometimes, headaches are accompanied by pain and pressure in your brow and forehead, and cause nasal symptoms. Many people associate sinus and nasal symptoms with a sinus infection, also called sinusitis, or with an upper respiratory infection, a cold. They may say that they are experiencing a sinus headache. But sinus and nasal symptoms often can signal something else: a migraine headache.
The term “sinus headache” is not an actual medical diagnosis. Studies show that 90% of people with symptoms of a sinus headache are experiencing migraine headaches.
Sinusitis or migraine?
Migraines and headaches from sinusitis are easy to confuse because the signs and symptoms of the two types of headaches may overlap. Also, migraine headaches affect people differently and symptoms can change over time. This is why many who have had migraine headaches in the past are surprised when they begin having sinus and nasal symptoms with a migraine headache.
Sinusitis, however, usually isn’t associated with nausea or vomiting, nor is it aggravated by noise or bright light all common features of migraines.
These are a few ways you can tell whether your sinus and nasal symptoms are part of a sinus infection or part of a migraine headache:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech
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What Causes Sinus Headaches
Sinus infections cause sinus headaches. Anything that makes mucus buildup in the sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as:
- The common cold is most often to blame.
- Seasonal allergies trigger mucus production.
- Nasal polyps, abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses. Nasal polyps can block mucus from draining.
- Deviated septum, which is when the line of cartilage and bone down the center of the nose isnt straight. A deviated septum can prevent mucus from properly draining.
Too much mucus gives germs an opportunity to grow. As germs build up, they irritate the sinuses. In response, sinus tissue swells, blocking the passage of mucus. Swollen, irritated sinuses filled with liquid make your face feel tender and achy.
Chronic Sinusitis Treatment Options
Treating chronic sinusitis can be challenging. It often requires a combination of several methods, such as nasal irrigation, decongestants, and antibiotics. Some treatments you can even do at home for short-term relief, such as a saline rinse, over-the-counter pain medications, and nasal sprays, but sometimes you need the help of a professional to get rid of chronic sinusitis for good.
If home remedies and medication do not provide relief, we may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty. Every patient is different, so it is important to schedule a sinus evaluation to determine your conditions best treatment option.
Fortunately, there are many minimally invasive sinus treatment options on the market today, and Dr. Davis is a leading expert on how to get you back on your feet with just a small amount of downtime.
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How Do You Diagnose Sinus Headaches Caused By Migraines
Sinus headaches are most likely due to migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are diagnosed by symptoms, including the frequency and severity of symptoms, family history, and by physical exam. Migraines can also include nausea and vomiting. These episodes may be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, certain foods or alcohol or caffeine, stress, or environmental changes like weather, altitude changes, or allergens. Many patients with migraines have family members who also experience migraine headaches.
If you have unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests such as an MRI of the brain may be ordered to rule out more serious conditions that can cause headache pain, such as tumors or bleeding around the brain. If you have repeated episodes of sinus pain and pressure, a nasal endoscopy or imaging such as an MRI or CT scan can determine if sinus pain or pressure is due to a sinus infection or other sinus pathology. A normal sinus CT scan while you have symptoms could help rule out sinusitis, and determine if migraines, headaches, or other causes of facial pain and pressure are causing the sinus symptoms.
Other causes of facial pain and pressure can include temporomandibular joint syndrome, clenching or grinding your teeth, trigeminal nerve pain, temporal arteritis , dental infection, or other neurologic causes of facial pain.
Check If You Have Sinusitis
Sinusitis is common after a cold or flu.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- pain, swelling and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes or forehead
- a reduced sense of smell
- green or yellow mucus from your nose
- a sinus headache
Signs of sinusitis in young children may also include irritability, difficulty feeding, and breathing through their mouth.
The sinuses are small, empty spaces behind your cheekbones and forehead that connect to the inside of the nose.
Sinusitis causes the lining of the sinuses to swell up.
This stops mucus draining into your nose and throat properly, making you feel blocked up.
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Battling Recurrent Sinus Infections
Sinus disease is a major health problem. Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on over-the-counter medications to treat it. People who have allergies, asthma, or structural blockage in their nose or sinuses and people with a weak immune system are at greater risk. People who smoke or who are exposed to tobacco smoke get sinus infections more frequently than non-smokers, and smokers respond less well to treatment than non-smokers.
A bad cold is often mistaken for a sinus infection. Many symptoms are the same, including headache, facial pain, runny nose and nasal congestion. Sinus infection is often caused by bacterial infection, but sometimes it can be caused by viruses and molds. Acute sinus disease by definition can last up to eight weeks. Anything that lasts longer than eight weeks is considered chronic.
A healthy child or adult can get up to four colds a year. If you are a smoker, a day care worker, or a teacher, you might get more than this. Most colds resolve just with symptomatic treatment, but some can progress to sinus infection. One clue is that a cold will resolve in 7-10 days. A sinus infection typically lasts longer than ten days.
If underlying allergies are a contributing factor, then using allergy medications, such as nasal sprays, oral antihistamines, and even allergy shots can help to treat or prevent recurrent infections.
What Are The Causes And Triggers Of Sinus Headaches
Sinus headaches are most often a symptom of sinusitis, in which the sinus becomes inflamed from allergies or other triggers like an infection. Sinus headaches may also result from seasonal allergies that last an extended period of time. This is called rhinitis, or hay fever. Sinus infections and sinus blockages can also trigger sinus headaches.
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When To See A Specialist For Recurrent Sinus Infection
Posted on by Ryan Stern MDin Sinus
The symptoms of a sinus infection are known to many of us. Headaches and having pressure and pain behind our cheekbones and around our eyes are but a few of them. Most of the time these sinus infections go away with proper home care. When they dont go away or keep coming back, here is the recommendation for when to see a specialist for recurrent sinus infections.
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Sinus Headaches: Symptoms Treatment & Relief
Sinus problems are a common complaint, and sometimes with sinus problems come headaches. As uncomfortable as sinusitis can bewith nasal congestion or runny nose, sinus pressure or pain, and on occasion, fatigue or feverit can be more miserable with a headache.
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What Does Sinus Pressure Feel Like
Pain or pressure is felt not just in your head, but anywhere in the sinus area. Where you feel pain depends on which sinuses are affected.
While pressure is most common behind and around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, it can extend forward to the teeth and backward to the back of the head. These areas will often be sensitive to touch.
Sometimes sinus headache can also give you a feeling of fatigue or aching in your top jaw. Redness and swelling of the cheeks, nose, or forehead can occur.
You Have Nasal Polyps Now What
First-line treatments for nasal polyps are typically saltwater rinses and nasal steroid sprays, Dr. Roxbury says.
These approaches can offer benefits in the short term by reducing symptoms, but they typically only last a matter of weeks, he says.
If those approaches dont work, more powerful anti-inflammatory medications and surgery may be the next steps. First, a computed tomography scan is used to see if other issues, including a deviated septum, are causing the problem.
Because the sinuses are so close to the eyes and brain, sinus surgery is usually guided using CT scan and navigation technology.
Even when theyre removed surgically, polyps may come back. Thats why follow-up treatment tends to include measures to reduce the swelling that may have caused the polyps in the first place.
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You Drink Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine causes vasoconstriction in your blood vessels, meaning they get a little narrower. If you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks every day, your body gets used to it, Dr. Hutchinson explains. So when you skip it one day, your blood vessels dont become constricted and can make your head hurt. It becomes a vicious cycle, slugging back a mug to find relief, and just further deepening your need for caffeine. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic says that adults can safely consume up to 400 milliliters of caffeine per day , butkeeping in mind that everyones tolerance is differentafter that, your body might begin to rebel.
Fix it:Its unrealistic to tell all headache patients to avoid caffeine, Dr. Hutchinson says. Instead, she recommends moderationa maximum of two caffeinated drinks in one dayto avoid that withdrawal headache when you go without.
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