Sinus Headache

 
Sinus Headache image

By: W. Derek Leight, M.D.
Boys Town Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

There are many different types of headaches, with many different causes. Some of these include: chronic daily headache, tension-type headache, cluster headache and migraine headache. One of the rarer types of headache is sinus headache.

Most commonly, sinus headache is related to a cold or a sinus infection. It can also be caused by repeated daily exposure to allergens, such as ragweed, dust or pollen. A less common cause is chronic inflammation in the sinuses, which may not be related to allergy or infection.

Symptoms of a Sinus Headache

A sinus headache can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms it produces overlap with other types of headache. This is because the same nerves which become irritated in other types of headaches can become irritated in sinus headaches.

Sinus headaches related to upper respiratory infections, such as colds, influenza, and bacterial sinus infections are easier to diagnose because of the presence of acute illness. Sinus headaches related to allergy or chronic sinusitis are more difficult to diagnose. They are usually characterized by some or all of the following:

  • Pain and/or pressure around, behind, or between the eyes
  • Pain and/or pressure around the forehead and/or cheeks
  • Increased pain with bending over or head motion
  • Decreased sense of smell and/or taste
  • Allergy symptoms
    • Itchy/watery eyes
    • Nasal congestion
    • Clear drainage from nose
    • Cough and sore throat
    • Fatigue 

View Treatment for Sinus Headache.