Chronic Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are caused by the inflammation of the sinuses. Sinuses are air filled cavities around the nose, eyes and neck. When this headache occurs frequently and persists for a longer duration, this condition is known as chronic sinus headache. A person experiencing chronic sinus headache feels a deep, throbbing pain in the head and around the eyes and nose.

Chronic sinus headaches are not easily diagnosed. They are often confused with migraine and other headaches as the signs and symptoms are very similar. Exposure to cold weather and damp surroundings may aggravate the condition.

The common symptoms experienced by people suffering with this condition are:

  • Pain on one side of the face or behind the eyes
  • Pain is worsened due to sudden movement of the head or by physical activity
  • Unbearable pain in the morning after getting up from sleep
  • Increased pain when exposed to cold climate or air-conditioning
  • Persistent cold or mucous discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Giddiness in extreme cases

Inflammation of the sinuses is known as sinusitis. It is caused by respiratory infection like cold or allergies. Healthy sinuses allow the air to circulate in the nasal passages. Inflammation of the sinuses blocks the mucous and leads to bacterial infection. This leads to irritation and headaches. Persistent inflammation of the sinuses leads to chronic headaches. A weak immune system also makes one more susceptible to sinus headaches.

Diagnosing this condition in the early stages helps in preventing the headache from getting worse. The doctor may check for:

  • Congestion
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Transillumination (Involves shining a light through the sinuses to check for inflammation)

Undergoing other imaging tests such as CT or MRI scan may be suggested by the doctor. Consulting an ENT specialist will be beneficial.


  • Antibiotics are effective in controlling the sinus infection.
  • Nasal sprays and drugs help in providing temporary relief.
  • Surgery is an option when all forms of treatment have failed.
  • Nutritious diet combined with a healthy lifestyle will help in controlling the incidence of sinus inflammation and frequent headaches.
  • Alternate forms of treatment are also helpful in curing chronic sinus headaches.

1 response to Chronic Sinus Headache

  1. I am a broken record here but I have to say again, try a neti pot! Keeping the nasal passages clear can go a loooong way toward helping w/ any ENT issues.
    I have also seen a number of people who still need additional measures after having sinus surgery. This is another case where “options” become key and many are turning to newer alternatives like balloon sinuplasty.
    Take care.

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