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What is sinus pain?

A sinus headache is a less common type of head pain. It’s caused by inflamed sinuses,
also known as sinusitis.1

Sinus pain causes

Some people get this type of headache when they have a cold, due to a build-up of pressure in the sinuses. It normally eases off after a few days, but sometimes if there’s trapped mucus it can become infected, or the sinuses can be swollen due to allergy. In these cases, the pain can last longer.1

Frustrated man touching his nose

Sinus pain types

The type of sinus pain may vary, depending on the cause, for example, whether it’s due to a cold or an allergy.1

Black man with flu drinking a cup of hot tea at home

Sinus pain symptoms

It’s usually just on one side of the face. The pain can feel like a dull or throbbing sensation around the eye, and may be worst first thing in the morning.1

Young woman touching her cheek

Sinus pain relief

Self help for a sinus headache

If the symptoms are mild, you might be able to ease them by:1

• Drinking lots of fluids
• Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen
• Using a decongestant nasal spray
• Placing a warm flannel on the affected area for a few minutes, several times a day
• Using a saline nasal hygiene product to flush out mucus, bacteria and any allergy causing particles

Sick young woman using nasal spray in bed at home

Make an appointment to talk to your doctor if:
• The headache keeps coming back or lasts more than a week
• Painkillers don’t work
• The pain is increasing or keeps coming back
• The pain feels like it’s throbbing – it could be a migraine or a cluster headache
• You have been sick, feel sick or have become more sensitive to light or noise than usual

You could try Solpadeine Headache, which is designed to get to work fast.


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1. NHS 111 Wales. Headache, sinus. Available at:,sinus Accessed July 2021.
2. NHS: Headaches. Available at: Accessed July 2021.

Find out more about other pain types

Select a type of pain to read about causes, what you can do to help relieve it, and which treatments are most appropriate.

Solpadeine® Max Soluble Tablets, Paracetamol 500mg, Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate 12.8mg, Caffeine 30mg For the treatment of acute moderate pain which is not relieved by paracetamol or ibuprofen alone. Contains codeine. Can cause addiction. Use for 3 days only. Always read the leaflet.

Solpadeine® Headache Soluble Tablets contain Paracetamol and Caffeine – a mild analgesic and antipyretic formulated to give extra pain relief. Always read the leaflet.

Solpadeine® Plus, Solpadeine® Max and Solpadeine® Headache products are not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

SolpaOne® 1000mg Effervescent Tablets contains paracetamol. For the treatment of mild to moderate pain and/or fever. For adults and adolescents over 50kg of body weight aged 16 years and above. Always read the leaflet.


*New pack size of 24 soluble tablets for 3 day use in adults