What Are Sinus Polyps?
Sinus polyps are growths or swollen pieces of tissue in the sinuses that may obstruct breathing or make it hard for sinuses to drain. They are often caused by constant inflammation of the sinus tissue, which might be the result of allergies or frequent viral and bacterial infections. The polyps often cause headaches.
Many of the symptoms of sinus polyps are characteristic of headaches. Symptoms that lead to a diagnosis of sinus polyps include pain in the forehead, cheeks, nose, and eyes; sinusitis; difficulty breathing; facial swelling; facial pain when bending down or lying flat; increase in snoring; and decrease in the ability to smell. Write down your symptoms, their duration and their severity, so you can discuss them with your doctor.
Effects on Health
Symptoms of a sinus polyp headache may be severe to the point of impacting ability to breathe normally through the nose. The pain of sinus polyp headache may also impair the ability to exercise, work or concentrate. Infections in the sinuses or sinus or nasal polyps may cause a weakening of overall health as energy levels decrease due to fever, pain and infection.
Treatments to relieve symptoms of sinus polyp headaches include using a nasal wash of warm water and salt; using a neti pot to irrigate and flush out the sinuses with water and salt; and saline nasal spray. The doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids to shrink the polyps, or he may recommend surgery to remove them.
Limiting dairy products in the diet at times when sinus polyps or sinus infection seem bothersome may be helpful. Eating a healthy diet to maintain overall health will also help to minimize the infections that lead to the growth of sinus polyps and subsequent headaches. A diet low in fat that maintains a proper weight may help with the respiratory problems sinus polyps cause.