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What Causes a Sinus Headache?

What causes a sinus headache?

What Causes a Sinus Headache? | Sinus & Snoring Specialists

Many people suffer from a sinus headache. It can be quite debilitating and actually results in significant work loss. It can also be very difficult to treat as many attempts at medical therapy may be ineffective.

The sinuses are actually not called sinuses. They are called “paranasal sinus cavities”. This means they are hollow cavities that surround the nose. Their job primarily is to produce secretions that drain through small natural channels into the nose to moisturize the lining of the nose. The moisture in the nose then allows for filtration, humidification, and warming of the air we breath. This process of conditioning the air allows for healthy lungs that can exchange the oxygen better.

The natural channels that allow the sinuses to drain into the nose may become blocked from allergy, sinus infection, irritation from pollution, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and other issues.

When these natural channels become blocked several issues may arise:

  1. The inability for the sinus air to equilibrate and change to match the surrounding natural atmospheric pressure.  This causes a difference in the pressure in your face versus the surrounding pressure and feels like sinus pressure.  It can trigger facial pain and sinus headache.
  2. The inability for the sinus to drain can also cause secretions to accumulate in the sinus. These stagnant secretions gather bacterial colonization with associated inflammation. This inflammation creates facial pressure, tooth pain, and sinus headache. We call this chronic sinusitis.
  3. Point contact of structures in the nose can create what “feels like” sinus headache as well. This is typically when there is a severe deviation of the nasal septum (the divider between the left and right nose). This deviated septum can literally push up against other nasal structures and trigger sinus pressure as well as migraines

It’s an important point to make as well that although migraine headache and a sinus headache are two separate things, that sinus headache can frequently trigger a migraine headache.

Schedule A Consultation

If you suffer from sinus headache come see us for a detailed evaluation of the primary cause of your sinus headache and find a permanent solution for this frequent and annoying condition.  Contact us at 512.601.0303 to schedule an appointment!

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