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鼻をおさえる
鼻をおさえる

下を向くと頭が痛いのはなぜ?「副鼻腔炎」が原因の頭痛

 

副鼻腔炎はあまり知られていません。頭痛が始まったほぼ同時期から鼻炎症状が見られるようになっていても、重要視しない人がほとんどのよう。一般的に副鼻腔炎が頭痛の原因となるといった認識が低いようです。怖い病気じゃないからと放っておいてしまう方が多いようですが、こじらせると大変なことになります。

こちらでは、「副鼻腔炎」が原因の頭痛をご紹介します。

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副鼻腔炎と頭痛

副鼻腔炎とは

鼻子供

副鼻腔というのは、鼻の穴(鼻腔)の周囲にある計4対の空洞のこと。そこになんらかの原因で細菌などが入ると、炎症を起こし、鼻汁や鼻づまりなどの不快な症状をくり返すことがあります。それが副鼻腔炎という病気です。軽度なら症状が自然に治まってしまうこともあります。しかし、放置していて慢性副鼻腔炎になると、いつも鼻がつまった状態になったり、うみのような鼻汁がたまったり(蓄膿症)、さらには頭重感や倦怠感がしたり、においがわからない嗅覚障害になったりして、日常生活にも支障を及ぼすようになります。

副鼻腔炎の原因

ウイルスによる感染症(風邪)や、花粉やハウスダストなどアレルゲンによるアレルギー性鼻炎の症状が長びくことにより発症するケースが多くを占めています。これらの症状により、鼻の防御機能が低下することで原因菌が副鼻腔内に侵入し炎症を起こすからです。副鼻腔炎に至る原因は、他の病気、体質、鼻の歪みなど様々です。また、一つだけでなく複数重なり合って生じる場合もあります

副鼻腔炎頭痛

副鼻腔の炎症による蓄膿、気圧の変化によって顔面痛、頭痛が生じます。炎症を起こしている部位により、目の奥、眉間、こめかみ、頬部(上奥歯付近)、また頭のてっぺんや後頭部に痛みを感じる人もいます。

症状

  • 頭を下げる(下を向く)と痛みが出る
  • 眉間や頬を軽く叩くと響くように痛む
  • 頭痛が長く続く
  • 飛行機の着陸時に頭痛が起きる
  • まれにうずくまってしまう程の顔面痛、圧迫痛がある

治療法

細菌などの感染による慢性副鼻腔炎の場合、軽症のうちなら通常は抗生物質の服用や膿の吸引、副鼻腔の洗浄などによって改善されます。症状の程度によって異なりますが、治るまでに3カ月程度はかかるので、医師の指示にしたがってきちんと治療を続けるようにしましょう。放置していたり、勝手に治療を中断したりして悪化させると、鼻タケ(粘膜がはれてキノコ状の良性のポリープになったもの)ができることがあります。そうなると、治るまでに時間がかかり、鼻タケが増えると除去手術が必要になることもあります。

下を向くと頭が痛い頭痛「副鼻腔炎」の対策方法

副鼻腔炎は病院での治療が主になりますが、応急処置としてのツボ押しと予防法をご紹介します。

ツボ押し

合谷
合谷のツボの位置は手の甲の親指と人さし指の付け根にあります。痛みが出てる側の手に行います。親指を使用して、5秒ほど押してから離して2秒ほど休みます。

太陽
太陽はこめかみ(噛んだ時に動く部分)の少し目尻側にあります。両手の人差し指の腹で指圧します。眼の近くにあるツボなので人差し指一本で指圧を行うのは危険です。中指や薬指をそえながらぐ~っと5秒ほど圧をかけていきます。また、指の腹でぐるぐる回すように指圧する方法も効果的です。

予防するには

以上のような予防法により、副鼻腔炎の発症リスクを下げることができます。

こまめに鼻をかむ
予防するためには、鼻腔内を清潔に保つ必要があります。鼻を詰まらせないように、鼻をすするといったことをできるだけ控え、鼻をかんで鼻水を溜めないようにすることが大切です。

鼻炎を放置しない
花粉症の方などは、花粉によるアレルギー鼻炎が、そのまま副鼻腔炎になることもあるので、特に注意が必要です。

風邪を予防する
また、風邪をひかないことです。風邪をひくことにより鼻炎が発生することがありますが、この鼻炎がそのまま悪化して副鼻腔炎となることが意外と多いのです。外出後の手洗いうがいといった、よく行われる風邪予防を行うだけでも、予防になります。

虫歯を放置しない
口内の雑菌が原因で蓄膿になることもあります。虫歯は早く治療しましょう。

まとめ:副鼻腔炎頭痛は下を向くと頭が痛い頭痛です

副鼻腔炎は原因菌が副鼻腔内に侵入し炎症を起こすことで起こります。副鼻腔の炎症による蓄膿、気圧の変化によって顔面痛、頭痛が生じます。その頭痛の症状をおさらいしておきましょう。

症状

  • 頭を下げる(下を向く)と痛みが出る
  • 眉間や頬を軽く叩くと響くように痛む
  • 頭痛が長く続く
  • 飛行機の着陸時に頭痛が起きる
  • まれにうずくまってしまう程の顔面痛、圧迫痛がある

鼻汁などの症状が長引いているときには、早めに受診することが大切です。

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