Sinus Headache Pain

SINUSITIS.jpgSinus headaches make your whole face hurt, but a natural solution can fix that!

Sinus headaches are called secondary type headaches because they are caused by some other condition, usually sinus congestion or a sinus infection (sinusitis).

Your sinuses are located in your forehead, across your nose and in your face around the area of your cheeks. Sinuses are 8 air-filled passageways that drain mucous and circulate air throughout your nasal passages. But when they get blocked, mucous is trapped and it becomes a breeding ground for all types of bacteria, viruses and fungi that can cause infection. And it's this infection that causes sinusitis - inflammation and congestion in your sinuses.

Mucus is a sticky, elastic, unappealing gel that is nothing less than one of the greatest protections that we have against infection and poisoning. Your nose, throat and sinuses are lined with mucus to help ensure that your air is moist, warm and free from dust, dirt and pollutants; without this filtering gel, your lungs and kidneys, and even your blood, could fill with toxins.

And what does sinusitis cause… sinus headaches!

Sinus headache symptoms may include or be accompanied by any of the following: 

  • Throbbing pain and pressure in your forehead, the area around your eyes, nose and cheeks
  • Pressure that feels worse when you bend forward
  • Yellow-green nasal discharge
  • Cold symptoms, "stuffy" nose, fever, sore throat or cough
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Feelings of fullness and pain in the ears
  • Toothache
  • Loss of smell
  • Occasional high fever
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Snoring

sinus_cavities.jpg

If drainage is clear, you probably don't have an infection, but if discharge is green or yellowish then antibiotics are in order. Though very common, sinus infections can be serious especially if you consider how close the sinuses are to the brain. If left untreated, sinusitis can lead to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or other respiratory disorders.

Sinus headaches are usually worse upon waking up in the morning because mucous has been collecting and draining while you were lying down. They tend to get better as the day wears on because of gravity while you're standing or sitting. They also may worsen when you go from a warm house out into the cold (temperature change) or when you bend over or lie down.

Sometimes the symptoms of sinus headaches are confused with the symptoms of migraines. Migraine symptoms, however, also include nausea, vomiting and sound/light sensitivity - symptoms that are not present in sinus headaches.

Some causes of sinus problems

Sinus problems have many causes and while Chiropractic can help a lot of the causes, a team approach is important. Narrow or thin nasal passages and sinus cavities, and, deviation of the nasal septum can be causative.

Most often allergies are the culprit, so keeping them under control is important. Anything that irritates the sensitive mucous membranes can be a contributing factor to sinusitis (or rhinitis): dust, mold or pollen; fumes; virus' or bacteria; and hot or dry air in buildings.  If environmental allergens are affecting you, avoidance is important. Allergies to mold are very common, so keeping a dehumidifier in the basement is helpful as is wearing a mask when mowing the lawn.

Allergy sufferers often have sinus symptoms because many allergens first irritate the nasal passages. Less common causes of sinusitis are bony growths, nasal polyps, deviated septum, facial injuries, tumors or diseases of the upper teeth.

Another very common cause of sinus problems that I see in my chiropractic office are food allergies. It is difficult to determine whether you have a food allergy because the body's response to the wrong food is slow. This is different than acute responses to a severe allergen like nuts. Many people have a slow allergic response that takes about three days to show up. In other words, you eat something you are "allergic"