Sinuses can be a pain in the head, not neck

Sinus headachesThat troublesome headache might not be a migraine or brought on by tension. It could be caused by sinus trouble, according Dr. Mas Takashima, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Baylor Sinus Center.

“The sinuses work to humidify and cleanse the air, lighten the weight of the skull, and provide resonance to the voice. Sometimes, the sinuses fail to function correctly, leading to sinus pain caused by an infection or nasal congestion,” said Takashima.

Sinus headaches usually occur along with congestion. Things like sinus infections, nasal allergies, nasal polyps, septal deviations as well as enlarged vascular structures in the nose called turbinates can cause sinus pain and pressure.

“Sinus pain can also be exacerbated by the weather or even plane travel as the pressure changes in the air around you,” said Takashima.

Therapy is based on cleansing and decongesting the nose. This can be accomplished with something as simple as nasal irrigation using salt water. Steam, as found in a hot shower, may also provide decongestion and relief. If the problem is caused by infection then antibiotics are used.

If it is allergy-related, allergy medications may be prescribed. Occasionally surgery is required to keep the passages open.

Suffering from sinus problems, schedule an appointment at the Baylor Sinus Center.

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Get more tips on soothing sinus infections in this infographic.

One thought on “Sinuses can be a pain in the head, not neck

  • Sinusitis may be classified in several ways such as acute sinus infection, sub acute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.The symptoms are sinus headache, facial tenderness, pressure or pain in the sinuses, fever, cloudy discolored drainage, and feeling of nasal stuffiness, sore throat, and cough. Early treatment of allergic sinusitis may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. Bacterial sinusitis is usually treated with antibiotic therapy.


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