What Do Sinus Headaches Feel Like?

December 1, 2021

What Do Sinus Headaches Feel Like?

If you’ve had a sinus infection before, you know that it’s not a pleasant experience. There is a lot of mucus involved, and a fever is often a common symptom as well.

Headaches can accompany a sinus infection, too, but how are you supposed to know if it’s a symptom of a sinus infection or if it’s unrelated? Our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team provides some helpful answers below.

What Is a Sinus Infection?

The sinuses are air-filled spaces inside the forehead, cheekbones and behind the bridge of your nose. When they get inflamed, which is usually because of an allergic reaction or an infection, they swell, make more mucus and the channels that drain them can get blocked with fluid. When a blockage occurs, it can cause a sinus infection.

We’ve listed the most common symptoms of a sinus infection below.

Common Sinus Infection Symptoms

  • Thick, yellow or greenish mucus from the nose (runny nose) or down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage)
  • Blocked or stuffy nose that causes difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead that worsens when bending over

What Are the Signs of a Sinus Headache?

Typically, with a sinus headache, you’ll feel a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead or the bridge of your nose. The pain usually gets stronger when you move your head suddenly or strain. At the same time, you might have other sinus symptoms, such as a runny nose, fever or the feeling of fullness in your ears.

A migraine is often mistaken as a sinus headache, but with a migraine, nasal discharge is clear. If you have a real sinus headache that is caused by a sinus infection, you’ll also typically have a fever and thick, discolored nasal mucus.

Ways to Treat a Sinus Headache

  • Apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face.
  • Use a decongestant to reduce sinus swelling and allow mucus to drain.
  • Try a saline nasal spray or drops to thin mucus.
  • Use a vaporizer or inhale steam from a pan of boiled water. Warm, moist air may help relieve sinus congestion.

Our AFC Urgent Care Farragut center is here for you now and always! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any non-emergency questions or concerns.

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