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Sinus Infections and Sinus Headaches Are Not the Same Thing: Learn How to Tell the Difference

Sinus Infections and Sinus Headaches Are Not the Same Thing: Learn How to Tell the Difference

At Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group we treat many conditions and sinus conditions are one of the most common. Though many people deal with issues involving the sinuses, many people do not understand the specifics. Namely, we find that many people confuse sinus headaches with chronic sinus infections.

Today we are going to discuss the similarities and differences between these conditions. If you have questions, or you want to find the right treatment plan for your sinus issues, we welcome you to contact us at 805-658-9500 right away.

The Basics of Sinus Headaches

When a person is experiencing a sinus headache, they have a deep, throbbing pain in their head and pressure in their face. While a sinus headache can be a symptom of a sinus infection, these headaches can also occur on their own and be entirely separate from sinus infections.

It is common for people to mistake a sinus headache for a tension headache or migraine, in part because all three can result in sensitivity to light and noise. The main difference is that a sinus headache is caused by inflammation in the sinuses. In fact, the first sign is often a feeling of congestion in the face, which then turns into something much more painful.

A person experiencing a sinus headache may have additional symptoms beyond the headache, including pain in one area of the face. This pain will often get strong with certain movements, such as putting the head down, or rapid temperature changes.

Anyone can get a sinus headache but they are more common among people who have a history of asthma or allergies, fly frequently, swim on a regular basis, climb in high altitudes, have a deviated septum or cleft palate, or have nasal polyps or bone spurs.

We can treat sinus headaches in a number of ways, including antibiotics or corticosteroids. We can also work with you to make lifestyle changes that help prevent future headaches.

The Basics of Sinus Infections

A sinus infection is the infection of the sinuses and can last for days or months. They are more severe than sinus headaches because the infection has spread. Symptoms of a sinus infection including fever, fatigue, sore throat, nasal congestion, coughing, and postnasal drip. Treatments are similar to treatment options for sinus headaches.

However, while a sinus headache will generally not get worse without treatment, a sinus infection can get progressively worse until treatment starts – which is one of the reasons to call Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group sooner rather than later. We will give you a diagnosis of what you are experiencing and find the right treatment plan. Our first goal will be to treat the pain, then treat the infection itself, and then to prevent future sinus infections. Contact us now at 805-658-9500 to set up your appointment.