How to deal with a throbbing sinus

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Oftentimes, a throbbing sinus is an indication of the dreaded common cold and the sinuses are inflamed. It can be tricky to differentiate between sinus pain and a tension or migraine headache since the three can generate similar types of pain.

Is my headache due to my sinuses?

A sinus headache is usually felt in the forehead, cheekbones and behind the nose bridge. There is pain and a throbbing sinus that worsens when bending over or moving the head. The pain can also intensify while lying down.

Sinus headaches can be worse in the morning and eventually improve during the day as the mucus drains. In some individuals, they are more likely to experience a throbbing sinus from a sinus headache during rainy, cold weather.

Throbbing sinus
A sinus headache is usually felt in the forehead, cheekbones and behind the nose bridge.

A sinus headache can be triggered by a viral infection and accompanied by other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, nasal discharge and fatigue. A sensation of fullness in the ears along with facial swelling can also occur. Oftentimes, the sinuses are tender if pressed particularly on the cheeks or forehead. In case a sinus headache is due to a bacterial infection, tooth pain or a high fever can also be present.


When dealing with a throbbing sinus from a minor sinus headache that lasts for a few days, home remedies can be used to effectively ease the pain. These include taking a warm steamy shower to alleviate the congestion by promoting drainage of the nasal passages.

The doctor might recommend getting enough rest and increase the intake of fluids. A saline-based nasal irrigation can be used as well. There are also over-the-counter medications such as decongestants, pain medications and antihistamines that can help.

In some cases, the doctor might prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray particularly among those who have a history of allergies.

If the doctor suspects a bacterial sinus infection, an antibiotic is usually prescribed aside from the above stated remedies. In rare occasions, sinus surgery is often the last resort for those who are suffering from chronic sinusitis.

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