Sinus Headache Symptoms In Children & Adults

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Sinus headache symptoms are often confused with migraine headache symptoms. The symptoms of sinus, tension and migraine headaches may have some similarities, but they are caused by different things. Sinus headaches develop when the air-filled cavities around your nose, cheeks and eyes become inflamed, or blocked. Although it can be tricky to distinguish a sinus headache from a tension, or migraine headache – being able to properly identify a sinus headache will help you select an effective method of treatment.

Identifying Sinus Headache Symptoms

You may experience a host of different symptoms if you have a sinus headache. The pain from a sinus headache is typically felt in the front of your head and face and it is a dull, deep and throbbing pain. Headache behind the eyes may also be related to a sinus headache. Pain from a sinus headache may worsen if you bend down, or lean forward.

Weather conditions may also affect the severity of a sinus headache, particularly when it is cold, or damp. Sinus headaches can strike at anytime, but it is not uncommon to wake up with a sinus headache that dissipates as the day goes on.

Pain from a sinus headache is typically intensified by other symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include sinus pressure, dizziness, fullness in the ears, facial tenderness, facial swelling, nasal discharge, post nasal drip, fatigue and red, or swollen nasal passages. Sinus infection headache symptoms may also include fever, chills and a nasal discharge that is yellow, or green in color.

Causes of Sinus Headache

A number of different things can contribute to you developing a sinus headache. One of the most common causes of sinus headache is caused by congestion and inflammation from a respiratory infection, or allergies. People with a history of allergies, or nasal polyps along with people who are exposed to high altitudes and frequent swimmers are at an increased risk of developing sinus headaches.

Sinus headache can occur as a symptom of a more serious illness as well. In fact, it is rather common for sinus headache to occur as a result of a infection. Without adequate airflow in the nasal passages bacteria and fungus thrive, which is what causes sinus infection. Sinus headache can also indicate the presence of a tumor, bone spur, deviated septum, or cleft palate.

Sinus Headache Symptoms in Children

The symptoms of sinus headache in children are pretty much the same as the symptoms adults experience. Pain in the front of the head and face, worsened by activity. Pressure, or pain behind the eyes is also commonly seen in children with a sinus headache.

A child with a sinus headache may seem dizzy, or off balance, have a stuffy nose, throat irritation, light coughing, yellow, or green mucus, pressure in the face and teeth. Fatigue, fever, chills and a general feeling of illness many accompany a sinus headache in children if infection is present.

Sinus Headache Symptoms Without Congestion

Sinus headaches are often associated with congestion, and rightfully so, congestion can cause sinus headache. That being said, it is possible to have a sinus headache without being congested. Sinus headache symptoms without congestion are generally caused by inflamed nasal passages, or some type of blockage in the nasal passages. Bone spurs, deviated septum and nasal polyps can also cause sinus headache symptom without the presence of congestion.

Sinus Headache Relief

Sinus headache relief is often achieved using a two-pronged approach. To get rid of the inflammation you can take over the counter pain relievers called NSAIDS, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This would include ibuprofen products like Advil and Motrin. If inflammation is persistent a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to treat your sinus headaches. Generally corticosteroids are administered in a nasal spray such as Flonase, or Nasacort.

Infection of the sinuses typically requires a 10 to 14 day course of antibiotic, but chronic sinusitis may take 3 to 4 weeks to treat effectively. Antihistamines and nasal decongestants are also used to treat sinus headaches. One of the most effective nasal decongestants is pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in products like Sudafed and Actifed. Antihistamines can also help alleviate the symptoms of sinus headache; including over-the-counter antihistamines like Benydrl (diphenhydramine) and prescription antihistamines Allegra (fexofenadine).

In addition to any therapies a doctor may recommend, or prescribe certain lifestyle changes may also help provide relief from sinus pain and symptoms. Use a humidifier to help loosen nasal congestion and keep nasal passages open.

Saline nasal spray can also help keep nasal passages irrigated and loosen congestion. It is not uncommon for doctors to suggest a sinus cleanse, or wash to treat sinus problems. A sinus cleanse uses a saline solution, distilled water and sometimes baking soda to flush out congestion and foreign material along with disinfecting the nasal passages, which can significantly improve sinus headache symptoms.

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