Aside from the signs and symptoms already covered, there are a few conditions that are specifically related to sinusitis and rhinosinusitis. Kead through the following to determine if you are suffering from any of these issues, which can affect your overall health.
Most sinus headaches are located in the cheeks, brow, and forehead and around and behind the eyes. Occasionally, headache pain may be felt on the top of the head or the back of the head. Patients may even complain that they feel strange sensations in their scalp, which can be very sensitive to touch. Pain can radiate to the temples or the teeth.
Headaches in the sinuses are typically caused by pressure changes in the sinus cavities. When the natural opening of a sinus or many sinuses are blocked by inflammation, no matter what the cause, including infection, polyps, environmental irritating substances (cigarette smoke) or allergy, a pressure gradient occurs between the inside of the sinus and the outside world. Air in the sinus is absorbed by the mucous membranes lining the sinuses. This causes a vacuum effect (negative pressure), which pulls on the lining membranes of the sinus wall, including the nerves that feed the membranes. This can cause a feeling of fullness or dull to sharp pain, as if someone were ripping the skin off your bones. Of course, the intensity depends on the individual’s sensitivity and the amount of negative pressure created by the obstruction.
The pain of sinus headaches can occur in the area of the particular sinus involved. For example, the ethmoid sinuses can cause pain between the eyes or behind the eyes. If the maxillary sinuses are involved you may feel pain in your cheeks or upper teeth. However, the headache from a particular sinus can also radiate to other areas of the head. This is called “referred” pain. For instance, when inflammation of the frontal sinuses is involved you may experience pain above the eyes, in the forehead,
across the bridge of the nose, or in the temples. If the sphenoid sinuses are involved, headaches can be in the center of the head or may radiate to the top or to the back of the head. You can even experience referred pain without having pain in the affected sinus area.