There are several types of headaches, categorized by characteristics like location, severity, triggers, type and intensity of pain and other symptoms. Headaches may be one type, or mixed types, and one type of headache may be a trigger for another.
Sinusitis may well have triggered this headache or may still be the cause. A sinus infection will cause headache and the location of pain will vary depending on location of infection (maxillary sinus vs. frontal) Being more severe and causing fatigue may well indicate infection as opposed to nasal congestion.
Tension type headaches are generally bilateral, but can be unilateral depending on the muscles contracting etc.
Headaches of varying severity are common to and do not generally require medical care. Hot baths and/or cool compresses, dark and quiet enviornment, and OTC pain relievers are typically sufficient. Often, when a headache won't resolve it is a result of undertreatment. It can be hard to spend sufficient time at rest, and we try to push through the pain. Tylenol is a good start, but may not be strong enough, and Ibuprofen may address muscular causes + pain. A decongestant and cool mist vaporizer at night may also provide relief if sinus congestion is involved. A hot bath and/or warm compresses may help. Massaging the web area between thumb and pointer finger may also provide some relief. Drink plenty of fluid and avoid salt, nitrites, alcohol and refined sugar. These are very general interventions and take some trial and error to find which ones help if any.
Another obstacle to resolving headache at home may be identifying the type and cause. Tension or muscular headaches may respond to hot baths and towels, which may aggravate a vascular headache. A sinus headache may respond to decongestants, which may aggravate other types. Some headaches simply do not respond to home remedy alone, and require stronger, or tailored prescription medication.
Headache may also be a sign of a more serious concern such as stroke, tumor, adenoma, head injury or menningitis. If headache occurs with fever, stiff neck, or uncontrollable vomiting, causes confusion or loss of consciousness, is accompanied by numbness, weakness, or vision loss, begins after head injury or other trauma seek immediate medical treatment.
If headache is persistent (requires medication/treatment more than two days),
interferes with your ability to function normally at work or in social situations, or becomes chronic requiring medication more than two days per week, it is time to see the Doctor.
Start with your general practitioner.
Questions will include:
Date of previous headaches, time of day began, relationship to menstrual cycle.
Type of pain: dull, aching, throbbing, piercing, squeezing, or excruciating
Other symptoms: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, head/neck muscles contracting, senses (eyesight, hearing or touch) affected?
Location of pain: one side of head, both sides of head, front or back of head, over or behind one eye
Did you try over-the-counter medications or has another doctor prescribed a medication? Does anything work and for how long?
Do you take any natural remedies or herbs?
Where were you when the headache occurred.
Were you exposed to odors (e.g., perfume, chemicals) or smoke?
Had you eaten a meal or snack recently, or had you missed a meal?
Were you exercising or physically strained?
Did you fall, bump your head, or suffer a head trauma?
Have you been sleeping?
Is there a history of headaches, cancer, high blood pressure, in your family?
is an excellent guide for talking to your Doctor.
He may prescribe medicine (pain and/or antibiotic) and monitor future patterns; or she may choose to order tests including: CAT scan, xray, blood work and urinalysis, and/or a neuro or eye exam.
The type of headache suspected should be outlined and this will focus home treatments that may help in the future. Various tratments may be reviewed at:
You should call your Doctor when his office re-opens, but consider an urgent care facility if the pain continues another day despite Ibuprofen and other interventions listed.
I hope you find relief soon! Good luck to you.