It’s a terrible feeling. Your head is pounding, your face is throbbing, and breathing seems impossible. There’s no doubt that sinus headaches can be distracting—even agonizing. Sometimes the result of allergies or a simple cold, sinus headaches can also indicate sinusitis, an infection that may require antibiotics to treat.
Sinuses are essentially pockets of air in the bones of the skull. In infants they can be as small as a pea, but they grow throughout childhood until about the size of a lemon. Lined with mucous membranes, they’re responsible for the filtering air you breathe, which they manage by secreting mucus. This mucus—up to a quart a day—passes through your nose, clearing out pollutants and bacteria. The mucus is typically swallowed, and stomach acid kills the bacteria and pollutants.
When you have a sinus headache, it’s typically due to inflammation of the mucosal lining. The tissue swells, the drainage system gets clogged, and before you know it—sinus pressure.
The best way to treat a sinus headache is before it starts—at the very first sign of sinus pressure. Some treatments include:
• Staying hydrated to thin the mucus
• A warm washcloth on the face
• Using a humidifier
• Rinsing the sinuses using a saline rinse
Sinusitis occurs when there is an active infection in the mucosal tissue. While it can usually be treated at home, you may want to seek medical care if you experience:
• High fever
• Facial swelling
• Symptoms that just won’t go away
Here’s hoping you feel better soon. If your problems persist, please give us a call today.
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