Facts about sinus headaches

causes, symptoms and prevention of sinus headacheNobody enjoys a headache. The constant pounding in your head is enough to make you go crazy! There are many reasons why people develop headaches: stress, eye strain and even being hungover. Headaches can sometimes affect more than just your head, like in the case of sinus headaches.

Sinus headaches are commonly mistaken with sinusitis (sinus infection). In addition to the headache itself, you may also experience pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. The problem occurs when sinus headaches are misdiagnosed as sinusitis, when in fact the patients have migraines or tension headaches instead. This is why it’s important to know and understand the different types of headache and what makes sinus headaches so unique.

causes headachesCauses and risk factors for sinus headaches


Common causes of sinus headaches are associated with migraines and other headaches. They can create symptoms linked with the sinuses and that is why they are often confused with sinusitis.

Risk factors which make a person more prone to the development of sinus headaches are a family history or previous history of headaches and/or migraines and hormonal changes.

Symptoms of sinus headaches

Symptoms of sinus headachesSymptoms of sinus headaches include:

  • Pain in the head, cheeks, around the eyes and forehead
  • Pain which worsens if you bend forward
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Achy feeling in upper teeth

These symptoms are very similar to a sinus infection which can lead to misdiagnosis. So much so that the Mayo Clinic reports that nearly 90 percent of patients who report these symptoms are diagnosed with a sinus infection when in reality they suffer from migraines. The main difference is that sinus infections are not associated with nausea or vomiting, while these symptoms can be seen in people with migraines. These symptoms, too, can become worsened by light or sound.

A sinus infection, on the other hand, will present additional symptoms like nasal mucus, a decreased sense of smell and pain in the teeth.

Tips to prevent sinus headaches

Sinus headaches can be painful so preventative measures are your best bet. Here are some tips to prevent sinus headaches:

  • Avoid triggers: Food or smell can trigger a sinus headache. Recognizing your triggers can better help you prevent a sinus headache. It’s also important to control stress.
  • Exercise: Exercise reduces tension which can lead to headaches. Being overweight has also been shown in connection with headaches. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise as regularly as possible.
  • Check your estrogen: In women, changes in estrogen can lead to headaches. If you are on hormones or entering menopause check in with your doctor to see if these are causes for your sinus headaches.
  • Antioxidants: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are high in antioxidants.

By preventing a sinus headache you don’t have to endure the pain and discomfort often associated with them.

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