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What's the Link Between Sinuses and Headaches?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Anup Sabherwal 92% (132 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  24 years experience
What's the Link Between Sinuses and Headaches?

Link Between Sinuses and Headaches

Suffering from splitting headaches? The remedy to it can only be found once the cause behind it is identified. Everything from migraines to stomach infections can be the cause of your headaches. But it is not impossible to tell the difference between the different aches. You have to notice the other symptoms that accompany your headache to understand what is causing the pain.

Symptoms of sinus headaches

When you have the following problems along with your headache you can be sure it is being caused by your sinus:

- Pain in the head, face and nose
- Pain in the eyes
- Stuffy or blocked nose along with the pain
- Accompanying nasal allergies and bouts of sneezing
- Inability to smell

Understanding sinuses

The sinuses comprise of a rather sizable cavity present behind your cheekbones, bridge of your nose and forehead. Generally, the fluid in the region gets drained through the nose. But due to infection, allergic reactions and tumors the cavity can get blocked and also get inflamed. The inflammation is caused by an increase in mucus production, which can lead to the nasal cavity being blocked. The blockage stops the fluids from draining and the sinuses get even more inflamed. When the cavity gets inflamed it starts pressuring the cheekbones, nose bridge and forehead and eyes.

Why does it ache?

The building up of the pressure on the cheekbones, nose bridge and forehead causes the area to start hurting. Thus, when one has a headache originating from inflamed sinuses, the pain is not just isolated to the forehead. The pain in the nose is a sure shot sign that the headache is caused by the inflammation of the sinuses.


Not just another chronic ache

Most people mistake any chronic headache as a sinus problem. But mostly such aches are caused by migraines and stress. If you have a prolonged headache as well as fever you are sure to have a sinus ache instead of any other chronic headache.

Make it better

Once you have identified the headache as a sinus ache you can start the treatment. Steam inhalation helps clear the sinuses, reducing the pain almost immediately. If steam inhalation does not help, you might have a severe sinus infection. In such cases, it is best to visit a doctor to understand the extent of the infection. The doctor is likely to prescribe antibiotics for the remedy of the infection. Even if you are aware of what medicines to take for sinus infections it is best to get checked by a medical professional before you start popping pills since the headache might just be due to some other causes as well.

'Consult'.

Related Tip: 4 Major Causes of Sinus Problem That Go Unnoticed!

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