Facial Pain and Headaches Related to the Sinuses

Headaches and facial pain can occur for many different reasons, and in many cases, sinus problems are not the cause.

An evaluation by an ear, nose, and throat doctor is needed to determine whether or not sinus problems are the underlying cause for headaches and facial pain. A nasal endoscopic examination looking for evidence of chronic inflammation or a sinus CT scan may be ordered to fully diagnose sinus-related facial pain or headaches. Sinus problems causing facial pain and headaches can vary from chronic rhinosinusitis to nasal polyps or tumors. In many cases, sinus disease is not the underlying cause of headaches or facial pain.

Sometimes patients think they may have sinus-related facial pain and headaches when they in fact suffer from migraine headaches. This is because nasal congestion is a secondary symptom of migraines. Patients with migraines suffer from severe headaches and facial pain, and sometimes nausea or light and sound sensitivity, often lasting for two to three days. Nasal congestion from migraines can be treated with over the counter nasal decongestants.

Other sources of facial pain include dental problems, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), where the joint of the jaw is inflamed and causes pain from the ear that extends to the face.

For more information on sinus-related facial pain and headaches, please speak with your physician.