Sinus Headache may sound common, but it is often confused with migraine headache or tension headache because some of the symptoms overlap. Sinus headache is pain in the head and face caused by inflammation of the lining inside the sinuses of the face. The open spaces in the bones above and below the eyes are called sinuses, and they can get inflamed and painful.
Symptoms of sinus headache include pressure or fullness in your cheeks, brow, or forehead; sore throat; achy feeling in your upper teeth; blood-tingued nasal discharge; and fever. Tension headaches can be similar, but normally are felt with a throbbing in the head and not by pain and pressure in the facial area. One way to check for sinus headache is to press on the bones just above and below your eyes. If it hurts, you probably have sinusitis which can cause sinus headache. Because sinus headaches are caused by swelling of these bony spaces, they don't normally cause vomiting or sensitivity to light and noises like migraines do.
Sinusitis can be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, and these are treated pretty well with drugs. Some people are more prone to sinusitis because of asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system. A typical patient with chronic sinusitis would have allergies and maybe polyps in the nasal cavities. The polyps offer more surface contact for infectious germs, and they can restrict breathing, making the struggle even worse. Sometimes headache, jaw pain, and tooth pain from teeth grinding can exacerbate sinus pain. There are good mouth guards to relieve symptoms of teeth grinding.
Treatments for sinus headache range from antibiotics to surgery to correct anatomical obstructions. If your sinusitis is related to asthma or allergies, your doctor may prescribe inhalants or sprays that open airways and can shrink inflammation of sinus linings. Corticosteroid sprays are popular; however, over years of use, corticosteroid inhalants can cause cataracts, which is cloudiness of the lenses in your eyes.
When you suffer from a headache, consider tension headache from stress or migraine headache from inflammation of nerve linings in the brain. If you have had a cold, asthma, or allergies, press on the bones just above your eyebrows and below your eyes. If that causes pain, you probably have a sinus headache from a sinus infection.