How To Manage Allergies
Learning how to manage allergies might not end your sinus headaches or your migraines. But it might help make you feel more comfortable overall.
A doctor may give you antihistamines or suggest decongestants to reduce allergy symptoms and sinus pressure. Allergy shots can also be useful.
To manage allergies without meds, take simple steps such as the following:
- Avoid going outside or opening windows on windy days or when pollen levels are high.
- Dust your home and clean your bedding.
- Stay hydrated to thin out mucus.
- Vacuum your carpets and avoid putting down rugs and carpet when possible.
- Wash your hands after playing with or handling pets.
Despite at times overlapping and having similar symptoms, migraines, sinus headaches and allergies are different conditions that might require different solutions.
Need a primary care provider to help you sort things out? Find a Bon Secours provider near you.
About Author: David Pruitt
David Pruitt is a writer for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare. He has a bachelors of journalism from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and worked as a reporter before joining OSF HealthCare in 2014. An avid golfer and fisherman, David was born and raised Alton, Illinois, which is where he currently resides with his son, James.
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Allergy Sinusitis And Sinus Headache Resources
There are a number of very good resources available for people suffering from allergies, sinusitis, and sinus headaches:
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Are These Your Symptoms
From those patients confirmed with a migraine diagnosis in the study:
- 83% noticed the weather affected their headaches
- 73% noticed seasonal variations in their headaches
- 62% said their headaches were triggered by allergies
- 56% had nasal congestion
- 25% had a runny nose
- 22% had red eyes
- 19% had watery eyes
You could be forgiven for thinking these symptoms are sinus related. They look a lot like the symptoms you might expect from a sinus infection so its no surprise that there is a significant amount of confusion between sinus headache and migraine.
Results found that 9 out of 10 patients in the study had migraine, not sinus headache.
Furthermore, the 100 patients from the study had seen an average of 4 physicians each and had gone on average 25 years without the correct diagnosis or significant relief.
Thats 25 years without significant relief and 4 physicians who had gotten the diagnosis wrong!
The lead investigator of the SAMS study Dr. Eross says It was hard to convince some of them that they actually suffered from migraine headaches, said Dr. Eross. Many were shocked.
One in ten people from the study knew they had migraine, but thought they had sinus headaches in addition. In reality they actually suffered two different types of migraine, one with sinus symptoms and one without, Dr. Eross noted.
Much of the pain or pressure is in the face, on both sides, so it doesnt occur to them that this might be a migraine. Dr Eross
Can You Have Both Migraine And Sinus Headaches
People with migraine can get a sinus headache, says Rajneesh. Migraine headaches have both genetic and environmental factors, and one of the environmental factors is allergies. If the allergies flare up in a person with preexisting migraine headaches, the migraine headache can get worse in the setting of sinus conditions or sinus disease, he says.
In that case, as a neurologist, I would co-treat the headaches along with the primary care physician or the ear, nose, and throat surgeon. I would work on addressing the migraine, and the other care provider would treat the underlying sinus headaches, says Rajneesh.
Because sinus congestion can be a trigger for migraine, it can lead patients without a diagnosis of migraineto believe they are having sinus headaches, Weber says.
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Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection
Common symptoms of sinus infections may include:
- Runny nose or cold symptoms that last longer than seven to 10 days
- Complaints of drip in the throat from the nose
- Keep chronic diseases under control
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay current on your vaccines
- Wash your hands frequently
Medical Treatment For Sinus Infection
Your doctor can easily determine if you have a sinus infection by examining you physically and assessing your symptoms. If you have mild sinusitis, a nasal decongestant and nasal washes might be recommended. However, over-the-counter decongestants must only be used in less than 3 days only.
Since sinus infections typically resolved on their own, antibiotics are not often prescribed. But in rare cases, it is suggested by doctors to patients with recurring sinusitis and unbearable sinus headache. The symptoms should gradually disappear during the whole time that youre under medication.
If the symptoms persist, you may opt to try these safe and effective home remedies for sinus infection:
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Dizziness And Your Sinuses
Feeling dizzy can mean several things, from feeling off-balance or like your head is in a cloud to a spinning feeling. While dizziness can be caused by neurological issues, issues with the ear are frequently the true culprit. Additionally, ear issues can often be caused by nasal or sinus issues, as conditions like eustachian tube dysfunction, middle ear pressure, and inner ear inflammation are normally rooted in the nose and sinuses. Those suffering from chronic sinusitis or allergy symptoms, anatomical issues like a deviated septum, or nasal polyps are also more susceptible to issues with their ears.
Other conditions of the ear that can be attributed to sinus issues include:
- Chronic Otitis Media with Effusion this is middle ear fluid buildup with hearing loss and frequently an off-balance feeling.
- Acute Otitis Media this is an ear infection which can cause ear pain, hearing loss, dizziness, and can lead to inner ear inflammation
- Eustachian Tube Dysfunction this is negative pressure in the middle ear with popping and a full sensation. There is frequently also dizziness or an off-balance sensation.
- Labyrinthitis this is inflammation of the inner ear which can cause severe vertigo , sudden hearing loss syndrome, or both.
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Can Thyroid Issues Cause Sinus Problems
Post-nasal drip, sinus headaches, and nasal congestion are symptoms that most people experience at some point in their lives. Yet, people with thyroid disease may be more likely to have these symptoms. Here is a look at why your sinus troubles may be yet another symptom of hypothyroidismâas if there weren’t already enough!
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How Do I Know If My Headache Is Migraine Or Sinus Headache
So, how do you know if your headache is migraine and not sinus? Go beyond the nasal and sinus congestion and the facial pain and pressure look for a headache associated with the inability to function normally at work, school, home or social functions, nausea, sensitivity to light and triggers such as weather change, menstrual cycle, and stress . Significantly, it is commonly thought that weather change often causes sinus headache when weather change is a common trigger for migraine.
You can also ask yourself the following questions from the ID Migraine Questionnaire developed by Dr. Richard Lipton of Albert Einstein College of Medicine:
- In the past three months, how disabling are your headaches? Do they interfere with your ability to function?
- Do you ever feel nausea when you have a headache?
- Do you become sensitive to light while you have a headache?
If you answer yes to two of the above three criteria, migraine is likely 93% of the time. If you answer yes to all three, a migraine diagnosis is 98% likely.
The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.
Will My Insurance Pay For My Hearing Aids
Unfortunately, it depends on what type of insurance you have. Many insurance companies will not pay for your hearing aids. There ARE insurance plans that DO pay a specific amount toward your hearing aids. The best thing you can do is call the number on the back of your card and ask for your Hearing Aid Benefit. We realize though, that this can be a very confusing and difficult process. If you need help understanding your personal hearing aid benefit, we are more than happy to call on your behalf and get verification of your benefits BEFORE going through with the hearing aid fitting and purchase.Additionally, you may always ask us to send a bill for the hearing aids to your insurance provider, even if there is no guarantee of benefits.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Migraine And Sinus Headache
The exact reason why a person has migraine isnt known, but it’s believed to be a combination of genetics and environmental factors, says Kiran Rajneesh, MBBS, a neurologist and pain medicine specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. By genetics we mean something that youre born with a propensity for headaches that includes family history or mutations that involve certain channels in the brain, Dr. Rajneesh says.
Migraine is most common in people ages 18 to 44, and women are about three times more likely to have migraine than men, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.
People are born with some propensity for migraine, and then there is a threshold for symptom attacks people can reach that threshold when they are exposed to certain environmental factors or lifestyle changes, says Rajneesh. These can include certain foods, drinks, lack of sleep, or even changes in the weather, he says.
A sinus headache is a symptom of a sinus infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the risk factors for sinus infection can include a previous cold, seasonal allergies, smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, structural problems with the sinuses such as nasal polyps, and a weak immune system or medications that compromise the immune system.
How To Get Relief From Migraines
As we mentioned, migraines are usually either a chronic condition or a result of engaging in certain activities, most of which can be prevented. Since many migraines are coupled with light and sound sensitivity, one of the best ways to get relief from a migraine is to lay down and close your eyes in a comfortable, dark place. While you lay down, you can also apply a cold or hot compress to your forehead or gently over your eyes, if you are experiencing ocular pressure. Be sure to also stay hydrated and drink plenty of water during your migraine. Many over-the-counter pain medications that are used to treat normal headaches can help ease the symptoms of migraines as well. Those who suffer from chronic migraines can seek out long-term relief from their doctor.
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Getting Rid Of Head Congestion
Youve got a head cold, your sinuses are filled with mucus that is not draining, and you are suffering from severe stuffiness. Your main focus is on how to stop head congestion. So, are there head congestion remedies you can use to loosen its hold on your head? As it turns out, quite a few home remedies and medical treatments could help clean out your sinuses and get you back to breathing normally.
Vertigo As An Interpretation Of Pressure In The Head
If youÃ¢ve heard of Ã¢vertigoÃ¢ before, you probably think it means a fear of heights. The truth is that it is the medical name given to the buildup of pressure in specific parts of your ear canal or head. You can simulate vertigo by spinning in place for a while, which causes your brain to experience a slight pressure buildup that leads to dizziness. Vertigo causes nausea and sensations similar to motion sickness.
This can also happen due to concussions, altitude changes, hearing loss, a sinus infection or sinus headaches, high blood pressure or low blood pressure, tinnitus, and many others.
There are two things that cause vertigo. Both of these can happen at the same time or they can happen independently of each other. The effect is basically the same, but the treatment can be different.
The two parts of your body that can be affected in such a way that vertigo is induced are your brain and ears.
In the inner ear, the small hairs and organs that give your brain information on your state of balance are very vulnerable to pressure. In your head itself, the parts of the brain that deal with such information can also be stimulated by pressure.
Other causes include ear infections where a fluid buildup occurs in the sinus cavities and most respiratory conditions including bronchitis.
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What Exactly Is A Migraine
The “classic” migraine is preceded by aura, which typically consists of strange visual disturbances zigzagging lines, flashing lights, and, occasionally, temporary vision loss. Numbness and tingling affecting one side of the lips, tongue, face, and the hand on the same side may also occur. But only about a third of migraine sufferers experience aura, and fewer still with every attack.
The migraine headache, with or without aura, often but not always produces pain that usually begins on one side of the head. A migraine headache also often has a pulsating quality to it. Many people experience nausea, extreme sensitivity to light or sound, or both.
It’s also possible to confuse other sorts of headaches with migraines. Migraines can cause nasal congestion and a runny nose, so they’re sometimes mistaken for sinus headaches. And the regular headache that most of us have experienced can have some of the features of a migrainous one, such as unilateral pain and nausea.
In short, arriving at a definition and diagnosis for migraine is complicated. Yet a simple headache diary keeping track of headaches and factors that might have provoked them can be very helpful in making a diagnosis.
Spice Up Your Diet To Ease Sinus Pressure
Many people find that spicy food like peppers or hot mustard opens up their nasal passages and gives them some relief from sinus pain. There is good evidence that capsaicin, which is the active ingredient found in chile peppers, is effective in relieving some types of pain, says Das. Capsaicin preparations have been investigated for the treatment of some facial pain syndromes and of rhinitis with promising results. But if you have the taste for them, you can try spicy foods to help with sinus discomfort.
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Sinus Headache Vs Migraine: The Symptom Checklist
So how do you know if you actually have a primary headache such as Migraine, or a headache from sinusitis? Consider the similarities and differences in the symptoms, although keep in mind that many of these symptoms can be present in both conditions:
- Intense facial pain or pressure
- Nasal congestion and/or runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Common triggers: weather changes, inhaled irritants, allergies
Symptoms Associated with Migraine
Seven Signs Your Headache Is A Migraine
While 39 million Americans have migraines, most people dont understand the condition or know how it’s different from a headache. Many people think theyre having a migraine, but just have a severe headache, while others have migraines but dont make the connection between their symptoms.
A migraine is a neurological disorder that causes a variety of debilitating symptoms, including severe headaches. Attacks last anywhere from 4-72 hours and often lead to missed work, school, and social activities.
Our anesthesiologist and pain management expert Syed Nasir, MD, here at Skilled Pain Care Clinic, PA, in Houston and Katy, Texas, diagnoses migraines and offers customized treatment including Botox® injections.
How can you tell if your headache is a migraine? Look for these seven signs.
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How Do You Know If You Have Sinus Headache Or Migraine
Listing all the symptoms separately can be confusing and is perhaps why so many sinus headache sufferers have not been correctly diagnosed.
Instead, below are the key symptoms side by side, Sinus Headache vs Migraine, in an easy to follow checklist so you can quickly find out the truth.
If youre not experiencing fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a persistent green or yellow nasal discharge and you have a headache in the sinus area, then you likely have migraine. It is difficult for doctors of patients with migraine and sinus symptoms to acknowledge that a CT scan of their sinuses looks normal and does not show the inflammation, fluid or swelling they would expect after years of rhinosinusitis. Patients and their doctors often fall into the trap of believing that they are nipping sinus infections in the bud with frequent antibiotics and that is why they never get infected drainage.
Take a moment to digest. Most people from the study who were told this rejected the finding at first. They had been told by on average by 4 doctors that it was their sinus. They had also been wrongly diagnosed for an average of 25 years