Sinus headache signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain, pressure and fullness in your cheeks, brow or forehead
- Pain worsening when bending forward or lying down
- Yellow-green or blood-tinged nasal discharge
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Achy feeling in your upper teeth
- Decreased ability to smell or taste
Sinus headache or migraine?
It's easy to confuse migraines and sinus headaches because the signs and symptoms of the two types of headaches overlap.
As with sinus headaches, migraine pain often gets worse when you bend forward, and migraines can be accompanied by various nasal signs and symptoms — including congestion, facial pressure and a clear, watery nasal discharge. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 90 percent of people who see a doctor for sinus headaches are found to have migraines instead.
Sinus headaches, however, usually aren't associated with nausea or vomiting or aggravated by noise or bright light — all common features of migraines.
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if:
Apr. 26, 2012
- Your symptoms last longer than 10 days
- You have a severe headache, and over-the-counter pain medicine doesn't help
- You have a fever greater than 100.5 F (38 C)
- You've had several episodes of sinusitis within a year
- Sinus headaches. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/sinusHeadache.cfm. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinus infection (sinusitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/sinus-infection.html. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinusitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec08/ch091/ch091g.html?qt=sinus headache&alt=sh. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinus headache. National Headache Foundation. http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Sinus_Headache. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Patel ZM. Headache and sinus disease. American Rhinologic Society. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/headaches_and_sinus_disease. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Ferguson BJ, et al. Adult sinusitis. American Rhinologic Society. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/adult_sinusitis. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Hamilos DL. Chronic rhinosinusitis: Epidemiology and medical management. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011;128:693.
- Swanson JW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 14, 2012.