Can You Distinguish a Sinus Headache From Other Headaches?

Person,With,Pain,Touching,Nose.,A,Person,With,Nasal,BridgeHow can you tell if you’ve got a sinus headache or some other sort of condition causing pain in your head? You can typically distinguish a sinus headache by understanding what to look for in relation to the location of your pain, time of day, duration, other sinus-related symptoms, and how you respond to decongestants and other treatments.

Location Can Help Identify a Sinus Headache

In general, the pain of sinus headaches centers around the forehead, eyes, nose, and cheeks. This pain often worsens when you bend forward or lie down. Sinus headaches are typically worse in the morning and can improve throughout the day. Sudden movements of your head or straining can cause an intensification of the pain. And unlike other headaches, sinus headaches will last as long as your sinus infection is present. Weather can also play a role: your symptoms may worsen in cold, damp weather or when the barometric pressure changes.

Sinus Headache Accompanying Symptoms

Because sinus headaches are typically caused by sinusitis, you can expect to experience symptoms such as:

  • Nasal congestion or discharge that appears thick and green or yellow
  • Pressure in the ears
  • Facial tenderness or swelling
  • Fever
  • Diminished ability to smell and taste

Sinus Treatment Response Can Confirm a Sinus Headache

One surefire way to confirm that your headache is sinus-related is to take an over-the-counter decongestant or use steam inhalation. These treatments tend to reduce sinus pressure and diminish pain, at least temporarily. If your headache responds to this type of treatment, you most likely are experiencing a sinus headache. Remember, a sinus headache will not completely disappear until you treat the underlying cause of the sinus infection or sinusitis.

Signs Your Headache Is Not a Sinus Headache

Some signs clearly point to a sinus headache, while others confirm that it’s a different kind of headache. Sinus headaches are generally not associated with nausea, vomiting, or visual disturbances. These signs are more commonly associated with migraines.

Ready to Explore Options to Treat Your Sinus Headache?

Del Rey, MD, is conveniently located in three locations, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, and Bakersfield, CA, and is here to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment options to treat your sinus headache. Call 310-823-4444 or contact us here to schedule an appointment to get started.

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