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Sinus Headache (cont.)

What are the symptoms of a sinus headache?

The pain of a sinus headache is often felt over the affected area(s) and has been described as a sensation of uncomfortable pressure. There may be tenderness when the area is touched. The pain can worsen upon changing head positions or arising from bed.

Nasal discharge may accompany inflammatory processes in the sinuses. The drainage may be clear or may be greenish-yellow in color. Greenish-yellow discharge usually signals that an infection is present.

Other signs of an infection may also develop including:

  • fever,
  • chills,
  • tiredness, and
  • body aches.

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck can accompany a sinus infection. Pain in the jaw or upper teeth may be felt in cases of inflammation of the maxillary (cheekbone) sinuses.

What causes a sinus headache?

Inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses is the primary cause of sinus headache. The inflamed tissues swell and produce secretions that clog the normal drainage system of the sinuses, causing a build-up of fluid and secretions. The pressure of this fluid build-up causes the pain of sinus headache. Inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis. The inflammation may arise due to an

Most commonly, infectious sinusitis (sinus infection) is due to a viral infection, but bacterial and fungal infections of the sinuses can also occur. Since the maxillary sinuses are located in the cheekbone, infections of the upper teeth can spread into these sinuses. In very rare cases, benign or malignant tumors can invade and block drainage in the sinuses and lead to a sinus headache.

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