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  • Writer's pictureNix Surban

My Sinus Headache Won’t Go Away: What to Do

If your sinus headache won’t go away, odds are you are dealing with a type of discomfort that you just can’t wait to be rid of. On top of the nasal congestion, facial pressure, and overall grogginess, a painful headache is just the cherry on top of an already unpleasant sinus infection. 

Do you suffer from chronic sinus headaches? Do over-the-counter medications not seem to do the trick? If the answer is yes, then you may have underlying sinus issues that need to be addressed by a professional.

The sinus specialists at Kaplan Sinus Relief are here to explain potential reasons why your sinus headache won’t go away, how long is too long for a sinus headache, and what your sinus headache treatment options are!

Why won’t my headache go away?

First things first: If you have a persistent headache, you need to figure out if it’s sinus-related or something else entirely. Some people confuse a migraine* with a headache caused by sinus issues and get treatment that doesn’t align correctly with their symptoms. If your headache is caused by a sinus-related issue and isn’t getting better over time, you likely have an underlying sinus condition that needs to be treated by a professional.

Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage. Sinus headache symptoms can include (but may not always be present) the following:

  • Congestion 

  • Facial pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses (cheeks, forehead, browline) 

  • Sinus drainage (with or without nausea)

  • Increased pain upon bending over 

  • Fatigue

  • Tooth and jaw pain

What does a sinus headache feel like? Often, different types of headaches can be felt in different areas of the head. A sinus headache will have you feeling pain in the forehead, the area around your sinus, your teeth, and your jaw. Sinus headaches can range from mildly irritating to debilitating depending on the severity of your sinus issues. 

When should I be concerned about a sinus headache?

If a sinus headache won’t go away, it is a sign that your sinus infection may be more serious than you thought and should be examined by a sinus specialist such as Dr. Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief. If home remedies or medications from the drugstore aren’t kicking your headache to the curb, and you’re still feeling symptoms after the infection should have run its course, it’s time to seek treatment, especially if these other factors are present:

  • High fever

  • Nausea or vomiting 

  • Fainting 

  • Difficulty with speaking or motor function 

Leaving a sinus infection untreated comes with potential complications, including the spread of the infection, loss of smell, and in extreme cases, meningitis and brain abscess. 

How long do sinus headaches last?

Typically, a sinus headache should last as long as the sinus infection lasts, which is usually less than a week. Do sinus headaches go away on their own? In most cases, yes, the sinus headache should go away after the infection runs its course — but this is typically only the case for those who don’t suffer from chronic sinusitis or frequent infections. 

How long is too long for a sinus headache? 

If your sinus headache lasts longer than 10 days and your symptoms don’t seem to be improving, it may be time to seek medical attention to address your underlying sinus issues.


Sinus headache treatment: How do you treat a sinus headache?

Most people know exactly what to do to treat a regular headache — take an ibuprofen, grab a hot or cold compress, and rest. Treating a headache caused by sinus pain, however, is a little different. Unfortunately, ibuprofen won’t unblock your sinuses or get rid of your facial pain entirely. 

So, what is the best way to stop a sinus headache? Sinus headache relief can be found at home with a few simple remedies: 

  • Taking a hot shower

  • OTC antihistamines, decongestants, or saline sprays  

  • Using a humidifier

  • Massaging your temples, nose, and cheeks

  • Drinking plenty of fluids 

If you have chronic sinus infections, though, these options will only provide short-term solutions. If you want sinus headache relief that is long-lasting, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor. 

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