Sinus Infections: Why Do I Get Sinus Headaches When Exercising?

Sinus infections can be hard to manage as you deal with congestion, nasal pain, and a sore throat. While many people use exercise in an attempt to clear their nasal passages, it also comes with the possibility of developing sinus headaches. 

Your McAllen sinus specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT will explain why individuals get sinus headaches when exercising and how sufferers can treat them.

What is a Sinus Headache?

A sinus headache is defined as a feeling of pressure around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Sinus headaches can be caused by an existing sinus infection, which happens when the tissue inside your sinus cavities becomes inflamed and swollen. 

Sinus infections are common around the fall and winter months. As the air dries out, the body begins to work overtime fighting off the cold and flu viruses, leaving itself susceptible to other maladies.

Why Do I Get Sinus Headaches When I Exercise?

While most don’t feel like exercising when they have a sinus infection, others do so in hopes that it will help them breathe better. 

Often, exercise can help alleviate the symptoms of a sinus infection if done correctly. However, pushing too hard and vigorously exercising can cause a buildup of pressure around the nasal cavities and forehead, resulting in a sinus headache.

How To Prevent This?

It’s important that you don’t do too much, too fast when exercising with a sinus infection. The best thing for you is rest, but if you feel the need to exercise, here are a couple of tips that may help:

1. Properly Warm-Up

It’s always in your best interest to warm-up before a workout, even more so when dealing with a sinus infection. Start with five minutes of low-intensity activity such as walking, cycling, or arm circles. This will increase your blood circulation and loosen your muscles.

2. Start with Light Cardio

A sinus infection can make it hard to breathe, and sometimes exercise can alleviate a stuffy nose. This happens when your increase in circulation clears the sinus pressure that has been built up. If you push too hard, however, the opposite effect could happen, and you are left with a sinus headache. 

By starting light, you can see how far your body can be pushed, and if you feel relief from your symptoms, you can continue on.

3. Pay Attention to Your Symptoms

Certain environmental factors can trigger your sinus infection and make it more difficult to work out. Whether it be outdoor pollen or dust inside a gym, pay attention to your symptoms wherever you are when working out. 

You can make changes if necessary to avoid worsening symptoms.

How to Treat Your Sinus Headache

If you’ve taken all the precautions and still end up with a sinus headache, there are a couple of things that you can do to find relief. 

A couple of examples include:

  • Apply a warm and wet washcloth to the area of pressure
  • Use a saline solution nasal spray
  • Take Advil or Tylenol for the pain
  • Take a nasal decongestant like Sudafed
  • See your doctor for prescription medication if symptoms persist

These treatments are all temporary and if symptoms persist, it is highly recommended to see your ENT Specialist to figure out the source of the sinus issues. If your sinus symptoms worsen, you may want to consider a minimally invasive procedure we offer known as balloon sinuplasty

Sinus Issues Can Be a Real Headache! Visit Your Glatz Group Valley ENT to Relieve That Pressure!

It can feel like you’ll never get relief from your sinus infection and the sinus headaches that come with it. 

You can rest easy knowing your friendly McAllen sinus doctor won’t stop until we get to the bottom of your sinus issues.

Schedule Your Consultation Now