Sinus headaches are the result of inflammation in the sinuses around your nose, eyes and cheeks. They may be difficult to diagnose due to their similarities to migraines and tension headaches. Symptoms include a pressure in a specific place on your head or face, a dull throbbing in your head and face, and a face tender to touch. Maintaining a healthy diet may help relieve or control symptoms of sinus headaches. It is important to avoid foods that trigger symptoms.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Foods and Beverages Containing Caffeine
Sources of dietary caffeine may trigger symptoms of tension headaches, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 123. The symptoms of tension headaches are similar to those of sinus headaches. Therefore, if you suffer from sinus headaches, avoiding or limiting dietary intake of caffeine may help relieve some of your symptoms. Sources of caffeine include coffee, certain teas, cocoa and chocolate.
- Sources of dietary caffeine may trigger symptoms of tension headaches, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1.
Foods Containing MSG
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Food that contains monosodium glutamate may trigger symptoms of migraines or tension headaches. Both of these headaches have similar symptoms to sinus headaches. If you experience headache symptoms, avoiding these foods may be a good option. Foods that may contain MSG include Chinese food, canned soups, and packaged and processed foods, such as:
- deli meats
- frozen dinners
- Food that contains monosodium glutamate may trigger symptoms of migraines or tension headaches.
- Both of these headaches have similar symptoms to sinus headaches.
Foods With Aspartame
Foods containing aspartame, an artificial sweetener, may trigger headaches in some people. Aspartame may be a hidden sweetener added to foods such as gum, yogurt, cookies, pies and granola bars. It is important to check food labels for this ingredient.
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- University of Maryland Medical Center: Sinus headache
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Tension headach
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Migraine headache
- Aydemir L, Doruk C, Çaytemel B, Şahin B, Şahin E, Çelik M, et al. Paranasal sinus volumes and headache: is there a relation? Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 May 16. doi: 10.1007/s00405-019-05461-1.
Jill Andrews began writing professionally for various online publications since 2009. Andrews holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry/nutrition from Memorial University in St.John's, Newfoundland. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.