Home Diseases Sinus Headache Pain Relief, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Sinus Headache Pain Relief, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment



Sinus headaches cause head and facial pain.

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Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

  • Doctors and researchers disagree about whether or not sinus infections
    (sinusitis and rhinosinusitis) caused by bacteria, viruses, and occasionally fungi,
    are contagious, except in rare instances.
  • Some doctors believe that sinus infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi can be transferred
    to other people, and can occasionally cause sinus infections.
  • Most doctors agree that most people with sinus infections caused by
    bacteria, viruses, and fungi are not contagious so you cannot get it from
    another person, with the exception in rare instances.

Sinus cavities provide air filtration and contribute to the strength of the skull.

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Sinus headache symptoms include excess mucus, swelling and pain in the sinuses.

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Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
See a medical illustration of the sinuses as well as our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology images
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Sinus inflammation can result with or without an infection.

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If sinus headache symptoms last more than 10 days, seek medical care.

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What tests diagnose the causes of a sinus headache?

It is important that the cause of the headache be diagnosed. Many patients who believe that they have sinus headaches may instead have migraine or tension headaches.

The health-care professional will likely begin by taking a history of the symptoms to help come to the diagnosis. Contributing factors in the development of sinusitis and headache may include a recent cold or upper respiratory tract infection, history of smoking, environmental allergies to dust or molds, as well as recent airplane travel, swimming or SCUBA diving, or other activities involving air pressure changes within the facial sinuses.

Physical examination may reveal tenderness to percussion, or tapping, over the affected sinus that reproduces the pain. Examination of the ears may reveal a serous otitis, or fluid levels behind the eardrum in the middle ear, that may suggest drainage problems in the face and sinuses. Examination of the nose may reveal swollen nasal passages and discharge. Evaluation of the mouth and teeth may find a source of infection, and the back of the throat may be examined for signs of postnasal drainage.

Routine X-rays of the face are not recommended to make the diagnosis of sinusitis or sinus infection. If the doctor considers imaging studies of the sinuses, it is to confirm the diagnosis, and look for fluid collections or thickening of the mucus membranes that line the sinus walls. Limited CT scan of the sinuses is often recommended. Plain X-rays of the sinuses may sometimes be considered. Blood tests tend not to be helpful in making the diagnosis of the cause of sinus headache.

Rinsing of the sinuses may help relieve sinus pain and sinus pressure.

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Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Symptoms & Treatment
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Doctors may prescribe prescription medications for sinus headache symptoms.

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Sinus surgery may be required for patients with recurrent sinus infections.

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Allergies can best be described as:
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Breathing humidified air allows the normal mucus that is produced in the sinuses to drain more easily.

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Sinus headaches either resolve on their own, or when the underlying cause is treated.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/13/2020


Rakel D, Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. May 2011.


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