Written by Avinash Ramani, M.S. (Biotechnology)  | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD on Dec 10, 2013


A Sinus headache is constant, agonizing pain felt in forehead and upper face. It is often associated with nasal congestion and worsens with movement of the head or bending down. Sinus headache is usually severe in morning but improves by afternoon.

Sinuses are cavities within the nasal and facial bones that facilitate moistening of air and mucus secretion and help with air filtration. The sinuses are also called as paranasal sinuses due to their position and their connection to the nose.

Sinus Headaches

When the channel connecting the sinuses to the back of nose becomes swollen, the ability of the sinuses to drain normally is impaired, and pressure builds up within the blocked sinus. This results in increased mucus secretion, thereby further increasing the pressure build-up and resulting in pain. This condition is referred to as sinus headache.

Symptoms of Sinus Headache

  • The patient complains of severe pain in the forehead or upper face. It is worse with movement and in the early hours of the day.
  • The affected person may suffer from fever, chills, malaise or myalgias (achy muscles) if an infection is present.
Symptoms of Sinus Headache: Fever
  • Greenish-yellow nasal drainage with frequent running nose may occur as a classic symptom of sinus infection. In non-infected cases, there may be clear drainage.
  • There could be post-nasal drainage in which secretions drip down to the back of the throat and cause a cough.
  • Swelling of lymph nodes may be present in the neck.
  • If the maxillary sinus is inflamed, pain also may be felt in the upper teeth since the sinus is located within the bone that holds those teeth.
Symptoms of Sinus Headache: Swelling of Lymph Nodes

Treatment of Sinus Headache

The following medications are usually recommended that help in relieving the congestion, swelling and running nose:

Treatment of Sinus Headache: Antibiotics

Home remedies that could help to treat a sinus headache are:

  • Breathe in moist, warm air using a humidifier. Moistening the nasal mucosa with the help of a Neti pot may also provide relief.
Home Remedies to Treat Sinus Headaches: Neti Pot
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help with the general hydration in the body.
  • Using a saline nasal spray reduces the swelling in the sinuses by flushing out mucus, bacteria and any allergy-causing particles.


  1. Sinusitis - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sinusitis.html)

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