Sinus Headache Without Congestion
When bacteria, a virus, allergies, and/or pollutants irritate your sinuses you may experience a sinus headache. Sinus headaches are very uncomfortable and sometimes create a pounding sensation around the forehead, eyes and nose.
Sinus headaches are usually accompanied by congestion. This is because sinus infections often stem from upper respiratory infections. Your body produces mucus to help fight off these infections which leads to congestion.
Congestion is actually one of the main symptoms and causes of sinus headaches. This is because mucus clogs the sinuses and leads to pressure buildups by preventing proper airflow.
It is very rare to experience a sinus headache without congestion. Often times headaches that occur without congestion are not sinus headaches at all.
What is a Sinus Headache?
Sinus headaches are a result of a build up in pressure due to blocked sinuses. This pressure can be felt around the eyes, nose, and forehead and lead to a throbbing sensation. Some signs you are experiencing a sinus headache are:
- If you have just recovered from an upper respiratory infection.
- If you suffer from allergies.
- If your sinus pain is accompanied by bad breath, loss of smell, nasal congestion, and/or thick discolored mucus.
- If your headaches typically come in the morning and get worse when you bend over.
- If your headache is accompanied by fever, sore throat, and/or postnasal drip.
- If you’re experiencing tenderness around the forehead, eyes, and nose.
If you have the above symptoms you may be suffering from a sinus headache and may have a sinus infection also known as sinusitis. Talk to a PlushCare doctor to get an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
Migraine vs Sinus Headache
If you are not experiencing congestion it is unlikely that you have a sinus headache; you probably are suffering from a migraine.
Both migraines and sinus headaches are very painful and can get in the way of your daily routine. People often confuse the pain they are feeling for sinus headaches when in fact they are having a migraine.
Migraines occur without any previous infections and congestion. Unlike sinus headaches that typically result from bacteria, viruses, or allergens invading the airways, migraines can come out of nowhere.
Both types of headaches often impact the front of the head and face which is why they are easily confused. They also both have a pounding or throbbing sensation.
It is important to know the differences between the two because the treatment plans are different. Be sure that you have a proper diagnosis so you don’t waste time with treatment for the wrong condition.
Migraines are accompanied by different symptoms than sinus headaches. If you are experiencing any of the following in addition to a headache, you likely have a migraine.
- Pain behind one or both eyes
- Pain in the temples
- Seeing spots or flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Temporary vision loss
If you think you are experiencing a migraine book an appointment with a PlushCare physician and get a prescription today. The sooner you treat a migraine the faster it will go away. In some cases early intervention can prevent migraines from worsening.
Remember that sinus headaches rarely occur without congestion and symptoms can resemble a migraine as they both tend to be felt in the front of the head and face.