What Is A Sinus Headache
- A sinus headache is the result of inflammation and a build-up of pressure within the sinuses of the skull.
- The sinuses are cavities or pockets located within the bones of the skull.
- In addition to contributing to the strength and stability of the skull, the sinuses help to humidify and filter the air.
Chronic Daily Headache And Allergic Rhinitis: Epidemiology And Burden
Chronic daily headache comprises a group of primary and secondary headache disorders in which headache is present on more than 15 days per month for at least 3 months . Approximately, 3 to 5 % of the US population suffers from chronic daily headaches, and the most frequent of which is chronic migraine . This debilitating disorder affects around 2 % of the general population and is the leading cause of outpatient and emergency department visits . According to the most recent health surveillance studies by the US National Center for Health Statistics, migraine affects roughly one in seven Americans annually, which is comparable to statistics from the previous 8 years . Surprisingly, a recent US study found that the proper diagnosis of chronic migraine is often elusive: only 20 % of patients who fulfill the criteria are diagnosed with the disorder . Several studies have provided evidence that migraine is one of the diseases that mimic allergic rhinitis .
What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches
Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.
You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:
- Specific foods, such as chocolate, red wine or strong cheese.
- Lack of sleep.
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Are There Home Remedies To Help With My Headache
The remedies you try for your headache will largely be dependent on the type of headache you are experiencing. For example, a sinus headache may benefit from treatment with a decongestant, such as holding your head over a steaming pot of water, or breathing in peppermint oil.
Whatever type of headache you experience, it is also important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water or clear fluids. This also helps to thin the mucus building up in your sinuses, helping the substance drain away. Being hydrated also promotes good blood flow and circulation, minimising your risk of developing migraine headaches.
However, the most effective home remedies for seasonal allergies headaches are likely to be those which involve reducing your exposure to pollen such as by avoiding areas of newly cut grass, or wearing glasses when outdoors.
Wash your hands before you touch your face to reduce the amount of pollen from your hands to your nose, mouth or eyes.
Alleviating An Allergic Reaction
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Why Sinus Headache Is A Diagnostic Challenge: Similarities And Differences
Another common feature of allergic rhinitis and migraine is their seasonal exacerbation in the spring, fall, and summer months as a result of allergic triggers . A study from South Korea conducted between 2005 and 2013 showed that 13.5 % of migraine patients reported seasonal exacerbations . Moreover, the costs of migraine treatment are higher during allergy season , because many people with migraine experience an increase in headache intensity and frequency due to coexisting allergic rhinitis . Furthermore, ocular and nasal symptoms in allergic rhinitis may vary from day to day, depending on the allergen concentration in the atmosphere .
To avoid a misdiagnosis, it is important to realize that the pain characteristics of each condition may differ. Patients describe sinus-related pain as dull and pressure-like usually bilateral located in the maxillary, glabellar, periorbital, or frontal regions of the skull and worse in the morning. Those with migraine, on the other hand, usually describe the pain as throbbing or stabbing, mostly unilateral, moderate to severe in intensity, located in the temporal or retro-orbital area, and not worse during a particular time of day .
Stuffiness Ear Discomfort And Sinus Pain
Get moisture. Use a nasal saline spray several times a day, or hold a warm, moist washcloth to your face. This can ease the pressure and pain.
Humidifiers will also help keep your sinuses from drying out. Or you can sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running for 15 minutes to curb pain.
Check the medicine cabinet. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen, to ease an earache or pain from sinus pressure.
Try a . Over-the-counter tablets or nasal sprays can ease sinus blockage which in turn can relieve clogged ears. But don’t use nasal decongestant sprays for more than 3 days, or you will reboundâ¦ meaning the more you use it the more you need it because youâre congested.
Avoid extreme temperatures. They can make sinus-related ear problems worse. If your ears bother you, it isnât the time to go jogging on a hot day or build a snow fort with the kids.
Keep your head up. If you bend forward with your head down, it can make the pressure worse. Youâll want to skip yoga class until the sinus problem is over.
Blow your nose gently. Block one nostril while you blow through the other.
Drink plenty of fluids. Down lots of water in the evening. When you stay hydrated, it keeps nasal mucus thin. That helps it drain and means less nighttime stuffiness.
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How To Improve At
Use a lice comb
Using a lice comb can improve the effectiveness of treatment. It also is important to use a lice comb when school policy requires that a child be nit free before returning to school.
If all this seems like too much trouble, another treatment option is to shave the scalp bald.
Treat family and friends
It is very common for close family and friends to get head lice. Dermatologists recommend that you check everyone for head lice. You do not want to treat anyone who does not have head lice however, you should check everyone every day for 10 to 15 days.
Can Allergies Cause Sinus Pressure
Its common to mistake sinus pressure from allergies as a bacterial sinus infection that requires antibiotics. While it is possible to develop a bacterial sinus infection because of inflammation caused by allergies, in most cases the uncomfortable sinus pressure will pass once you treat your allergy symptoms.
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How What You Breathe Affects Your Skin
It may seem strange that something you breathe can cause a problem with your skin, but its all related to the immune system.
Seasonal allergies are caused by windblown ragweed pollen or mold spores. These tiny bits contain proteins that your body misidentifies. When you inhale an allergen, your body doesnt see a harmless protein, it sees an evil invader.
The immune system begins strong warfare, and one of its primary weapons is histamine. Histamine affects almost all parts of your body, including the nervous and digestive systems. It causes blood vessels to swell. You can have hives or eczema or just dry, itchy skin. Thats how seasonal allergies cause your skin to itch. Now heres what to do about it.
How To Treat Allergies
A number of treatments can help ease the symptoms of allergies. The first is avoiding allergens by staying indoors more often during allergy season or using an air filter. Some people also find that wearing masks helps ease allergy symptoms.
Taking allergy medications can also ease symptoms. Immunotherapy, which exposes a person to very small quantities of the allergen to stop their body from overreacting to it, can also be helpful. People who are interested in a permanent solution to allergies could ask a doctor about immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots.
A headache that results from sinusitis can cause feelings of pressure in the head, especially near the front of the face and under the eyes. This happens because fluid builds up in the sinuses, generally due to an infection.
Some people also get dizzy, feel sick, or have lower energy levels.
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Why Are Sinus Headaches And Migraines Confused For One Another
So, the answer to the question, Can you have sinus pressure but now congestion? is: not likely. But you can have a migraine whether youre congested or not, and this is where the main point of confusion arises.The root cause behind migraines is still up for debate. However the prevailing theory is that migraines are caused by neurological issues in the brain. Even so, the symptoms of sinus pressure can overlap with symptoms of a migraine. For example, patients suffering from either sinus pressure or migraines can experience drainage, watery eyes, and of course, facial pain.
It is a commonly held belief that people who experience migraines have pain on the one side or the otherof their head. While this idea is true for many individuals, many others experience pain in their cheeks and forehead ie, in the exact same place where you would experience sinus pressure. And some people experience sinus pressure on one side of their head.People who experience migraines also frequently claim that factors such as weather changes, allergies, and congestion can act as triggers for their headaches contributing factors also shared with sinus headaches.
Nasal Allergy Symptom : Itchy Eyes
Itchy or watery eyes are a common allergy symptom. Although they can be annoying, eye symptoms donât usually cause serious eye or vision problems.
Again, avoiding the triggers that cause your allergies is the best way to help prevent itchy eyes. For example, if youâre allergic to pollen, keep the windows shut when youâre inside and wear sunglasses outside to help protect your eyes. Try not to rub your eyes, since this can irritate them, and avoid wearing contact lenses.
To soothe your eyes, try placing a cold washcloth over them or use artificial tears. Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications or eyedrops that contain an antihistamine can also help relieve symptoms.
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Treating Your Home For Head Lice
Whether you treat at home or see a dermatologist, you must also treat your home. To avoid another infestation, you should clean the following items:
Brushes and combs
Soak combs and brushes that a person with head lice used. Soak these in hot water, 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, for 10 minutes.
Sheets, pillowcases, clothes, blankets, and towels
Place all items that touched the persons head during the past two days in a washing machine and wash in hot water.
Dry all machine-washed items in a hot dryer, using the hottest setting. Dry for at least 10 minutes.
Stuffed animals and pillows
Place items that cannot be machine washed in a hot dryer and run the dryer on the hottest setting for 20 to 30 minutes.
Other personal itemsHair accessories, helmets, headphones, and other personal items can become infested with head lice. If a person with head lice has touched any of these items during the past two days, you can kill the lice on these objects by:
Sealing the objects in plastic bags
Placing the plastic bags in the freezer overnight or keeping the bags sealed for two weeks
Two weeks is the amount of time needed for adult lice and newly hatched lice to die when hot water, dryer heat, and freezing are impractical.
Furniture, carpets, and floors
Vacuum these thoroughly to pick up any hairs the person with head lice has shed. Everyone normally loses about 50 to 100 hairs a day.
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Concussion Or Head Injury
A head injury is any injury to the head, brain, or scalp. One type of head injury called a concussion occurs when your brain bounces against the walls of your skull.
Other signs of a concussion may include:
- sensitivity to light or noise
- balance problems
Concussion symptoms can persist for weeks or even months post-injury. You may experience symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, fatigue, drowsiness, and blurred vision, which can also lead to a heavier than normal feeling in the head.
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When To Seek Help From Your Doctors
If you suffer from allergies and neck pain at the same time, seek care for both ailments. Do not just treat your allergies, hoping that your neck pain will automatically go away. Similarly, do not assume that treatment for your neck pain will improve your allergies. The two problems might be unrelated.
See a general practitioner or an immunologist if:
- Your allergies persist after treatment with over-the-counter medications
- Your allergies interfere with your daily life, such as driving safely or work
Neck pain requires a visit to a pain specialist who can diagnose the underlying problem and offer you the best treatment.
See a pain specialist if:
- Neck pain does not improve with over-the-counter medications
- You have trouble turning your head while driving
- A doctor has diagnosed you with neck problems in the past
Managing Allergy Headaches And Triggers
The key to managing your allergies and reducing headaches is limiting exposure to allergens and triggers.
- Stay indoors and keep the windows shut when pollen counts are high.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses outdoors to keep pollen from getting in your eyes.
- Use the air conditioning in your home and in your car. Make sure to change out the air filters regularly and keep AC units clean.
- Use mite-proof covers in your bedroom for pillows, comforters, and mattresses to reduce exposure to dust mites.
- Keep your homes humidity at 30-50% to reduce exposure to mold. Clean your kitchen, bathrooms, and basement regularly and use a dehumidifier in damp, humid places.
- Wash floors with a damp mop or rag to avoid dry-sweeping or dusting.
- If you are allergic to a pet, keep them outside of your home. If a pet must be kept indoors, keep it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to allergens while you sleep.
- Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum to reduce dander in the home.
Many sinus headache triggers are airborne and difficult to avoid. Discuss your options with your allergist to decide which treatment options are best for you.
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Ask The Doctor: Can Allergies Cause High Blood Pressure
Q. I have allergies. Could they be the reason I have high blood pressure?
A. Although allergies don’t usually directly increase blood pressure, they can contribute indirectly to high blood pressure in two very different ways.
If your allergies cause nasal congestion at night, they could interfere with your breathing when you sleep. This can promote, or worsen, the type of gasping-for-breath snoring known as sleep apnea, which can raise blood pressure. If you often wake up at night, or if your sleeping partner has noticed that you snore and sound like you choke or gasp for air every so often, talk with your doctor about being checked for sleep apnea.
Thomas Lee, M.D.
Are There Herbs To Help Me
The most effective herbs in the treatment of seasonal allergies headaches are those which help tackle the root of the problem.
The well-known Swiss naturopath, Alfred Vogel devised a remedy for seasonal allergies combining seven different tropical herbs. This formula can be found in Pollinosan Allergy Relief Spray, a non-drowsy remedy which can be used to combat allergies to pollen as well as to animals and dust.
If you are suffering from a sinus headache and feel that a decongestant may ease your symptoms, then Sinna Nasal Spray may bring you the relief you are seeking. It relieves nasal congestion, reduces inflammation of mucous membranes and supports the bodys natural protective function.
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Sometimes Your Allergy Headaches Are Triggered By Indoor Exposure Some Prevention Measures For This Include:
- Properly maintain air conditioning and furnaces, and change air filters regularly.
- Use allergy-friendly covers for pillows, comforters, mattresses, and box springs.
- Keep your homeâs humidity between 30 and 50 percent to discourage mold.
- Clean floors with damp rags or mops, since dry-dusting or sweeping can stir up possible allergens.
- Wash your hands after handling animals and wash your clothes after visiting homes with pets.
- Replace carpeting in your home with hardwood, tile, or linoleum to reduce dust and pet dander collection.
- Avoid using products with strong fragrances, such as scented candles or air fresheners.