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About Sinus Headache Symptoms Lasting for Weeks

by
author image Emily DeSerio
Emily DeSerio has been a freelance writer since November 2009. DeSerio works in the mental health field as a clinical social worker. She began her higher level education at the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.A. in English and went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree at USF as well.
About Sinus Headache Symptoms Lasting for Weeks
Chronic sinus headaches can cause severe pain. Photo Credit headache or stress image by Kathy Burns from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, sinus headache symptoms lasting for a few weeks most likely stem from chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is defined by the Mayo Clinic as a sinus infection lasting more than eight weeks. Chronic sinusitis is a sinus infection that causes inflammation in the sinus cavity, causing pressure throughout the head. A sinus headache can be felt anywhere in head, but is commonly felt behind the eyes, in the back of the neck or the forehead.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of sinus headache are pain and pressure felt throughout the head. The pain is usually a dull, throbbing pain that worsens when a person stands quickly. A person might also feel pain in the top teeth or in the inner ear. Other symptoms of a sinus headache lasting for weeks can be a low-grade fever, yellowish nasal discharge, a sore throat, fatigue and a cough.

Causes

The most common cause of sinus headache symptoms lasting for weeks is a sinus infection. A sinus infection can be the result of the common cold, allergies or environmental issues such as pollution. Chronic sinusitis can also be the result of physical deformities such as nasal polyps or a deviated septum. Both nasal polyps and a deviated septum create nasal obstruction, leading to chronic or reoccurring sinus infections.

Treatment

Sinus headache symptoms lasting for weeks can be treated with prescribed antibiotics, over-the-counter decongestants (pseudoephedrine), antihistamines (loratadine) and pain relievers (ibuprofen). A person suffering from sinus headaches can also try a warm compress over the eyes, run a humidifier or use a saline nasal wash or rinse. In rare cases, such as a deviated septum, surgery might be required.

Complications

Sinus headache symptoms lasting for weeks can be an indication of something more severe. If a sinus headache persists without medical advice or treatment, it can develop into an ear infection, eye infection or meningitis (brain infection). An ear infection can impair a person's hearing. An eye infection can leave a person with partial or complete blindness. Meningitis can lead to death if not properly treated.

Consult a Doctor

A person with a sinus headache for more than 10 days should consult a doctor, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other signs that an individual should seek medical advice are a fever greater than 100.5 degrees and severe pain that doesn't respond to over-the-counter medications.

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