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If you're suffering from severe headaches, pay attention to other symptoms that may accompany your head pain. Prior to seeking medical attention, many patients mistakenly believe that they suffer from sinus headaches, when their actual maladies are migraine headaches. It is important to distinguish the two and to confirm which headache you have because the treatment for one will not be effective for the other. Learn how you can relieve your sinus pain once it is determined that you do, in fact, experience sinus headaches.
Migraine headaches can result from a number of triggers, including atmospheric and weather changes, hormonal fluctuations, exposure to flashing lights or loud sounds, exposure to certain odors, stress and certain foods. Migraine pain is characterized as a severe throbbing pain, most commonly on one side of your head. In the throes of a migraine headache, you may also experience any of the following additional symptoms:
Migraine headaches can be debilitating. The goals of migraine headache treatment are to quell the pain as quickly as possible with medications and to address the triggers in order to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks in the future. Without treatment, a typical migraine headache can endure for anywhere between a few hours and three days. A migraine headache is an attack that comes and goes, and the sufferer is not usually otherwise sick, as she or he tends to be when a sinus headache strikes.
Your sinuses are air-filled pockets and channels that include your nasal passages and are also located behind your cheekbones and in your forehead. When these passages become inflamed as a result of infection or allergen exposure, more mucous is produced. As this mucous accumulates in your sinuses, pressure builds up. This pressure leads to the following symptoms:
Sinus infections most commonly arise from a cold. If you were feeling run down, with or without a fever, and experiencing cold symptoms, before the headache set in, then you likely have a sinus headache. Prescription pain medications, such as triptans, that effectively cure a migraine headache will not banish a sinus headache. Likewise, sinus medications, such as decongestants and antibiotics, are not going to have any impact on a migraine headache. The pressure pain can make you downright miserable, but to alleviate the headache, you will need to treat source.
Medicating Your Sinus Infection
While colds are viral in nature, the accumulation of mucous that remains in the sinus passages can traps bacteria that results in a sinus infection. While an over-the-counter pain reliever may ease your sinus discomfort, it is not eliminating the cause of the headache. As long as the infection is present, the headache will return. Taking analgesics for too long can also backfire and result in what is known as a rebound headache. To target your sinus infection, your physician will prescribe a course of antibiotic therapy. He or she may also prescribe a corticosteroid nasal decongestant to reduce the inflammation in your sinus passages. Avoid using over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays, however. These products can also have a rebound effect when used for more than three to five days. Your doctor may also recommend taking an over-the-counter analgesic to relieve sinus headache pain during the initial days of treatment. While treating your sinus infection, you can practice some home remedies to hasten your treatment and end your sinus headache sooner than later.
Home Remedies to Supplement Your Medical Treatment
The key to ending your sinus infection is to rid your nasal passages of the mucous accumulation and to reduce irritation and inflammation. To achieve this and to give yourself some relief, carry out the following home remedies:
While a migraine headache can be banished quickly, to win the battle against your sinus headache, you must first win the war on your sinus infection. Failure to do so will escalate into a worsening infection and can lead to serious threats to your health. Consult with your physician for an accurate headache diagnosis and to determine how you should treat your sinus headache.