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Sinus Headache (cont.)

Is there surgery for sinus headache?

Usually, sinusitis or sinus headache will not require surgery, but surgery to widen the openings of the sinuses and promote drainage may be considered in severe, recurrent, long-standing cases of sinus infections and headache.

Should I follow-up with my health-care professional about a sinus headache?

If your symptoms do not resolve with treatment or if symptoms worsen, contact your health-care professional.

Can a sinus headache be prevented?

  • Good handwashing and hygienic practices can help prevent colds and upper respiratory infections.
  • Smoking cessation can also decrease your risk of airway infections.
  • For people with allergies, avoid allergic triggers to help prevent sinus infections.
  • Keep the body well hydrated and humidify the air since these can help promote efficient drainage of fluids from the sinuses.

What is the prognosis for a sinus headache?

Most people with sinus headache recover completely, although many people may develop sinus headache again in the future.

Complications of sinus headache are not common. Rarely, an untreated sinus infection can erode through the bones and involve adjacent structures, including the eye socket or brain, potentially causing pain and swelling of the eye or symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis. Infection that spreads to the blood vessels in the area of the sinuses can cause inflammation and blood clots. The cavernous sinus is a collection of veins located near the sphenoid sinus that can potentially become infected and form blood clots.

REFERENCE: Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/16/2015

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