Symptoms and Signs of Sinus Headache

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Sinus Headache

A sinus headache results from increased pressure within the sinuses, which are spaces that develop from the nasal passages in the skull and help with air humidification and mucus secretion. When there is inflammation present (sinusitis), the mucus secreted in these spaces may not be able to drain properly, leading to a backup of pressure and causing a headache. Swelling of the lining tissues of the sinuses also contributes to the increase in pressure. Common causes of sinus inflammation include allergies or infections such as colds.

Signs and symptoms of a sinus headache include head and facial pain that often worsens with bending down or straining. Associated symptoms can include pain in the forehead, temples, or cheeks; nasal congestion or runny nose; post-nasal drip, and cough.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.