Sinus Headache Treatments – Is it time to see the ENT?

Sinus Headache Treatments – When it’s time to see the ENT

Sinus headache treatments

Have you experienced frequent sinus infections? Does the pain and pressure from sinus headaches affect the quality of your life? Our ENTs at Colorado ENT & Allergy can determine the underlying cause of the sinus headaches. So they can provide treatment for lasting relief.

What is a sinus headache?

Sinus headaches are in the front of your face. The pain can be throbbing around the eyes, nose, and cheekbones. Bending down or leaning over can make it worse.

Inflammation of the sinuses causes a sinus headache. They can be mistaken for migraines. The difference is that a migraine will cause sensitivity to light where a sinus headache typically will not.

These headaches may occur with changes to the barometric pressure. They often start when suffering from a cold or allergies. The headache starts with a feeling of pressure in the sinus area of the face and maybe sensitive to touch.

Other symptoms of a sinus headache

  • Pain in jaw or teeth
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Stuffy nose
  • Yellow or green discharge
  • Thick mucus in throat
  • A diminished sense of smell

Sinus headaches are usually experienced more in the morning and then improve as the day progresses. A hot shower in the morning may help to thin mucus and help drainage.


What causes a sinus headache?

Sinus headaches occur when the sinuses are unable to drain properly. Sinusitis or a sinus infection may cause sinus headaches. If you have nasal polyps or swollen turbinates (thin bony plates inside the nose), the sinuses won’t drain properly. A deviated septum can also block the sinus openings and prevent them from draining. Another cause of sinus headaches is allergies that are uncontrolled.

A cold can cause the sinuses to fill with mucus and the lining in the sinuses to become inflamed. The inflammation keeps the sinuses from draining properly. The mucus can be an area for bacteria to grow which can lead to a bacterial infection.

Many sinus headaches respond to at-home treatment. But if they don’t give you relief, you probably need more extensive medical management. Please make an appointment with our ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors. You may even have chronic sinusitis which is causing your sinus headaches and may need more treatment than medications alone to fix the problem.


How ENTs treat sinus headaches

If the at-home treatments don’t provide relief or if symptoms keep returning over and over you may need to see a professional. Our ENTs at Colorado ENT & Allergy are specially trained to treat conditions that affect the nasal passages and sinuses.

Our ENT doctors can determine what is causing your recurring sinus issues and prescribe medications for relief.  If your sinuses get obstructed or can’t drain due to polyps, a deviated septum, inflammation, or other issues, your ENT can help.

ENTs can perform simple, in-office balloon sinus surgery (aka balloon sinuplasty or balloon sinus dilation) to reshape the sinus openings or may offer to perform a more extensive endoscopic surgery in the operating room to remove the obstructions and encourage drainage of the sinuses. These tend to provide life-long relief from recurrent sinus infections and sinus symptoms.

If frequent sinus headaches are a problem for you, contact Colorado ENT.

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