Before any treatment options can be considered, a patient suffering from sinus headaches should be examined by an experienced ENT doctor in order to determine whether their symptoms are being caused by a sinus problem.
What are sinus headaches?
The sinuses are air-filled spaces located behind your forehead, nose, cheeks and between your eyes. Each sinus cavity has a small opening that allows mucus to drain properly, keeping your sinuses working well and keeping you healthy. However, when the lining of one or more of these sinus cavities becomes inflamed, usually as the result of an allergic reaction or an infection, the inflammation can cause swelling and increased mucus production. As a result, normal sinus drainage is disrupted and a build-up of mucus can occur. When this happens, one of the first symptoms that may result is a sinus headache. Sinus headaches are characterized by a constant, aching pain in the forehead, cheekbones or bridge of the nose.
What causes sinus headaches?
Sinus headaches are caused by the build-up of mucus in inflamed sinus cavities, leading to pressure and pain that resembles a headache. They are one of the most common symptoms seen in patients suffering from sinusitis. It is important to note that chronic headaches, including migraines and tension headaches, are often mistaken for sinus headaches. If you are experiencing sinus headaches, it is important to see an ENT doctor in Houston who can pinpoint whether your headaches are actually being caused by a sinus problem.
What symptoms are associated with sinus headaches?
Sinus headaches often coincide with other symptoms, which may include:
- Nasal congestion
- Post-nasal drip
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Pain when moving the head
- Pain that worsens when you bend over or lie down
- Pain in the teeth
- Feeling of fullness in the ears
- Facial swelling
Are there any other sinus or nasal problems that may be linked to headaches?
In addition to sinusitis, headaches may also be linked to other nasal and sinus problems that lead to decreased oxygen or chronic nerve inflammation. A consultation with sinus specialist Dr. Cecil Yeung can determine whether you are experiencing headaches due to another underlying problem, such as:
Decreased oxygen intake: Septal deviation and enlarged nasal turbinates may cause decreased oxygen intake and may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in some people. Someone who can’t breathe well at night may suffer from a decrease in oxygen, which often produces morning headaches.
Sluder’s neuralgia: In rare cases, internal nasal structures may press up against each other. This could happen due to trauma to the nose, chronic inflammation, or prior surgery with scarring. The nerve endings that run beneath the mucosal surface in these regions might become inflamed and irritated, causing chronic sinus headaches, sometimes referred to as contact point headaches.
How are sinus headaches treated?
Your initial examination may involve imaging that provides a clear view of the sinuses. Our practice is pleased to offer a cutting-edge CT scanner for the sinuses so patients can have a sinus scan performed right away from the comfort and convenience of our office.
Once a firm diagnosis has been made, Dr. Yeung will tailor a treatment plan for your needs, beginning with the least invasive options. When necessary, he can perform patient-customized procedures that deliver long-term relief from sinus headaches by fixing the root cause of the problem. Treatment options include functional endoscopic sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty, and surgery for turbinate or nasal deformities. We pride ourselves on the results we deliver for our patients and we are dedicated to relieving your symptoms and getting you back to your normal activities sooner.
Sinus headaches can cause more than pain – they can greatly impact your quality of life and put a damper on every aspect of your daily routine. With over 20 years of experience as an ear, nose, and throat doctor in Houston, Dr. Yeung specializes in helping patients suffering from sinus headaches. Relief from sinus pain, pressure and headaches starts with scheduling an appointment at Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute today.