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Getting headaches after head baths. Could it be sinusitis? What treatment should be done?

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my mother gets headaches almost everyday. she takes head baths almost daily and every time she gets headaches. She keeps saying its because of sinusitis but she wont take any medication. she applies some balm and goes to sleep but headache doesn't go away for a very long time. I have doubt whether its really sinusitis (it could be) because i read that only 10% of patients who go to doctors saying they have sinusitis actually have sinusitis. Is it sinusitis and if it is, what treatment should be taken. And if it is not sinusitis, what could it be.
Posted Wed, 17 Oct 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. A plain CT PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) will once and for all settle the issue whether she has sinusitis or not. The scan should be on a new generation multi-slice scanner with 1 mm coronal, axial and sagittal cuts. Chronic sinusitis, if present, should receive a trial of medication initially

2. Blocked sinuses are poorly ventilated and along with stasis of secretions, continuing infection and inflammation is common. Headache, pain and pressure in the face, forehead and around the eye is common in sinusitis. Inflammation and pus makes it difficult for antibiotics to act. Sometimes, the infection is fungal and hence medication does not help. Hence supportive treatment is required. Local decongestant drops may be used to reduce the pressure. Sometimes, nasal pain or headache is due to mucosal contact (inner linings or structures in the nose touching each other).

3. You need to get an ENT Specialist to examine her nose, sinuses and ears. A nasal swab or any discharge may be sampled for culture and antibiotic sensitivity. Sometimes there is a 'biofilm' formation which causes chronic sinusitis. A plain CT PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) will definitely help understand your problem.

4. She may require a course of antibiotics, pain killers, anti-allergics, decongestants, mucolytics, a steroid nasal spray and steam inhalation. This should be done under medical supervision.

5. You may share her CT Scan and investigation reports here for more specific treatment options. For example, if her Sinus CT is normal, a Neurologists opinion on neuralgias and migraine will be required. Balloon Sinuplasty may be an option if the sinusitis is present. Radio-frequency and Co-ablation assisted surgery are also newer options as compared to FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery).

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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