Sinus Headaches

Sinusitis is the underlying cause of most sinus headaches. But some headaches that feel like sinus headaches might actually have a different cause. 

Sinus headaches are often misdiagnosed. Our experts at Henry Ford Health System ensure you get the right diagnosis for proper treatment. 

Understanding headache pain 

Headache pain occurs when nerve fibers in the face or other parts of the head are irritated or injured. Your brain may sense that the pain is in your sinuses, but it could actually be from the muscles or skin overlying your sinuses.

Is it a sinus headache?

Facial pressure is the main sinus headache symptom. It is also a symptom of other types of headache disorders, such as migraines, tension headaches or cluster headaches.

These other types of headaches can also cause nasal congestion and runny nose, mimicking sinusitis. So how can you tell if you have a sinus headache? Other types of headaches may cause:

  • Headaches that occur in areas other than the cheeks or forehead 
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Spinning sensations

If you have any of these symptoms, then you likely do not have a sinus headache.

Sinus headache treatments

Treatment for sinus headaches caused by sinusitis is the same as other sinusitis treatments. Sinusitis can also exist with the other types of headaches. Your ENT doctor may recommend you to a headache specialist if this is the case.

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