Headaches: What’s the Difference?


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With all of these cold and flu germs floating around in the crisp air this season, people should not need to worry about suffering from yet another common ailment: the headache. But unfortunately, for many people, especially those with sinus and allergy conditions, headaches are a part of life. But did you know that there are over twenty different kinds of headaches? When it comes to this ailment, not all things are created (or treated) equal.

The National Headache Foundation’s link above is a great resource for all the symptoms, precipitating factors, treatment and prevention of every type of headache. The list itself is extensive and includes (among many others):

  • Arthritis
  • Caffeine Withdrawal
  • Cluster
  • Eyestrain
  • Hunger
  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Tension

Sinus and Allergy Headaches

In this blog, we are going to focus on sinus and allergy headaches, both of which occur when your sinus cavities become inflamed, blocking airflow and drainage, and causing pressure to build up. That pressure, in turn, causes pain, which can be in your face, including your cheeks and eyes, and as well as around your head.

In a sinus headache, the pain may be localized over the particular sinus area that is clogged. It’s usually caused by an infection and is accompanied by a fever. In order to treat this type of headache, you have to treat the underlying infection through medical attention. It will be up to your doctor to determine which route to take and whether or not you need an antibiotic.

On the other hand, allergy headaches are triggered by the common seasonal allergies: pollen, and mold, dust, pet dander, etc. While with this type of headache you do want to treat the allergy itself, you usually have to treat the headache separately.

For more information on the differences between sinusitis and allergies, visit our blog: Is It Sinusitis or Is It Allergies?

Preventing Sinus and Allergy Headaches

There are certain tricks that can be done at home to help prevent and reduce sinus and allergy headaches:

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are extreme.
  • Wear (sun)glasses to help prevent pollen getting into your eyes. Plus, it will help keep the sun out of your eyes, which can cause a different kind of headache.
  • Don’t leave windows open or use window fans that have the chance of pulling the pollen and mold into the house.
  • Clean air conditioners, air filters, and humidifiers regularly
  • Use a dehumidifier in rooms that contain more moisture than others, for example, your basement.
  • Clean your floors with a mop instead of sweeping or “dry-dusting”; this will help get rid of the dust instead of pushing it into a different corner.
  • Drink lots of fluids (more than normal); it will help get rid of some of that mucus.
  • Place a warm washcloth on your head multiple times a day.
  • While in the bathroom turn on the shower and try to inhale some of the steam.
  • Use nasal irrigation to flush away irritants.   

For a medical approach (over-the-counter or prescription), try:

Permanent Headache Relief

While all of these tips are great, if you are looking for a more permanent solution, the best thing you can do is call CT Sinus Center and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians. When you come into one of our four conveniently-located offices, we will sit down with you to discuss your symptoms and medical history and perform a thorough exam in order to determine exactly what is causing your headaches. Once the results are in, we will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle. You may even be eligible for one of our in-house procedures that will help relieve sinus pressure and pain:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Call us today at 860-BALLOON to see what we can do for you.

For more information, all things sinus and allergy, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.

 

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