Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes sinus headaches in the spring?"
I get really bad sinus headaches in the springtime. I am a 28 year old guy. Can I prevent them somehow?
Sinus headaches are often related to environmental allergens, especially if you seem to have increased symptoms during the spring. You should speak with your primary care physician to discuss your specific symptoms and possible management options. A true sinus infection is caused by inflammation in the nasal and sinus cavities and can result in headache, sinus facial pain, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea (runny nose) and occasionally tooth pain. The most common causes of acute sinusitis are bacterial and viral infections. However, in your case it sounds like you are having isolated headaches without other signs of infection. It is important to be evaluated by your physician to rule out other causes of headaches including migraines, intracranial mass, sinus infection, or tension headaches. If it is determined that your headaches are related to your sinuses and are exacerbated by allergens, you should speak with your physician about trying allergy medications including oral histamine blockers like Claritin or Zyrtec along with nasal spray like Flonase. For acute symptom improvement, you should consider trying a decongestant like Sudafed, or pain control medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen). If you are able to distinguish allergic triggers, you can try to avoid those specific allergens. You should follow up with your primary care doctor for evaluation of your headaches, for possible sinus infection, and to discuss possible treatment options. Depending on your symptoms and previous history, a consultation with an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) physician should be considered.
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