You have a dull throb around your eyes and/or cheeks, and the pain worsens when you move your head around. This type of discomfort is the hallmark of a sinus headache, which can be a very unpleasant condition to deal with.
When you have a sinus headache, relief becomes a top priority, and it’s our priority, too. Here at Advanced ENT & Allergy, Dr. Timothy Queen, Nancy Gibson, FNP-BC, and Kristi Pham, MSN, FNP-BC, offer same-day appointments whenever possible for situations just like this.
Here’s a look at how sinus headaches develop and what we can do to help.
Understanding a sinus headache
Your head contains four sets of nasal cavities called sinuses, including your:
- Maxillary sinuses in your cheeks
- Frontal sinuses just above your eyes
- Ethmoid sinuses on either side of the bridge of your nose
- Sphenoid sinuses behind your eyes
Your sinuses play many roles, including filtering, moisturizing, warming the air you breathe with mucus, and giving your voice its resonance.
A true sinus headache occurs when you develop an infection in your sinuses, which can lead to inflammation and mucus buildup. This buildup can cause pressure inside your sinuses, which translates to facial pain.
We say “true sinus headache,” in the previous paragraph because 80% of what people assume are sinus headaches are, in reality, a migraine or tension-type headache. For example, migraines can lead to nasal discharge, but the discharge is usually clear.
When you have sinusitis (an infection in your sinuses) and develop a sinus headache, it’s often accompanied by a thick, colored mucus discharge. You may also experience swelling in your face and fever. And the discomfort typically occurs on both sides of your face, unlike a migraine, which only affects one side.
Getting help sooner rather than later
If you feel you’re dealing with a sinus headache, we’re here to help. We understand how uncomfortable this condition can be, which is one of the reasons we offer same-day appointments.
We’re in our office Monday through Friday, and we offer adult ear, nose, and throat (ENT) services, as well as pediatric ENT.
After examining you and reviewing your symptoms, we usually treat sinus headaches with one or more of the following:
- Antibiotics or antifungal medications
- Nasal sprays or drops
- Pain relievers
- Steroids to reduce inflammation
You can take steps on your own to relieve the discomfort, such as using warm compresses on your face. You can also boil water in a pot and then place a towel over your head and the pot and breathe in the steam from the water through your nose. This heat and moisture can relieve the congestion in your sinuses.
To schedule your same-day appointment for your sinus headache at our office in Newport News, Virginia, simply click here for our contact details.