Sinus Headaches in Tampa and Spring Hill, FL
Sinus congestion creates pressure that leads to sinus headaches. For some patients, sinus headaches interfere with their ability to read, watch television, and work on the computer and other tasks. Understanding the cause of your sinus headaches is the first step toward effectively reducing the frequency and severity of your sinus headaches. The board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons of Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists have the knowledge and expertise needed to treat sinus headaches experienced by those living in Tampa, Spring Hill and nearby towns in Florida.
What Is A Sinus Headache?
A sinus headache is a headache that develops when a build-up of pressure causes your sinuses to be swollen closed, congested with mucus or infested. Your sinuses are the hollow spaces in the bones of your face that connect with the nose through small openings. Similarly to the nose, they are lined with membranes that make mucus, and the mucus drains through the small openings to the nose.
What Is The Cause?
Allergies or a cold can be a common culprit behind a sinus infection. These ailments can cause the sinus openings to be blocked by excessive mucus or by swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Congestion develops in the sinuses mucus does not drain properly. Bacteria, viruses, and fungus are other factors in sinus infections and sinus congestion. When the swelling and congestion or infection causes pressure, you experience a sinus headache.
The majority of sinus issues occur when you have a cold, but other sources can be hay fever or irritation from either smoke or dust. Even a tooth infection has been known to spread to the sinuses. You are more likely to get sinus congestion and an infection if you have an injury to the bones in your nose or have a nose deformity that keeps the sinuses from draining properly.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms of sinus congestion or infection may include:
- Pain or pressure in the forehead or around your eyes and cheeks
- Tender skin and bones over and underneath your eyes
- Feeling as though your upper teeth hurt
Your sinus headache may worsen when you bend forward, blow your nose, and jar your head, especially during exercise.
How Is It Diagnosed?
During your examination, a Suncoast ENT physician inquires about your symptoms and medical history. Generally, tests are not needed, but they may include:
- An x-ray of your sinuses
- A CT scan to show detailed pictures of your sinuses
How Is It Treated?
To relieve sinus pain, we recommend that you take aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. We recommend the following:
- Be sure to check with your Suncoast ENT before giving any medication containing aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen, including baby aspirin, certain cold medicines, and Pepto-Bismol. Taking aspirin can put children and teenagers at risk for a serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and aspirin, may cause stomach bleeding and other problems, so it’s important to read the label and take as directed. The risks increase with age. Do not take NSAIDs for more than 10 days unless your Suncoast ENT recommends otherwise.
Your Suncoast ENT may prescribe a decongestant. If you have a sinus infection, you may be prescribed an antibiotic. If allergies are the suspected cause, then antihistamines may help. Your headache should stop after the sinuses become less congested. It usually takes 1 to 3 days after treatment to feel better.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself?
- Avoid smoke and other inhaled irritants and allergens such as animal dander.
- Put a warm, moist washcloth on your face
- Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air. Be sure to keep it clean from mold.
- Inhale steam from either a basin of hot water or in a hot shower.
- Slightly elevate your head when lying in bed.
- Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of water to keep the mucus thin and runny.
- Use decongestants as directed. Do not use nonprescription nasal sprays for more than three days, as they may make your symptoms worse after three days.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
Ask your Suncoast ENT
- When and how you’ll receive your test results
- How long will your recovery be
- If there are any activities to avoid
- When can you return to your normal activities
- How to care for yourself at home
- If there are any symptoms or problems to look out for and what to do if you have any of them
- When you should schedule a follow-up
How Can I Help Prevent Sinus Headaches?
- Treat any underlying problems that may be causing your headaches and congestion, such as allergies.
- Use a humidifier at home, especially if the air is particularly dry. One way to tell if the air is dry is if you wake up in the morning with a dry mouth.
- Use an oral or nasal decongestant before you fly, travel to high altitudes, or swim in deep water.
The pain and discomfort of sinus headaches and the associated congestion makes you feel miserable. The expertise of our board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons is exactly what you need to treat your sinus headaches. If you live in Tampa, Spring Hill or surroundings areas in Florida, contact us to schedule your personal consultation.