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Do Sinus Infections Cause Migraines

What Is A Migraine Attack

Can sinus headache occur without congestion? – Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy T M

Migraine is a common primary headache disorder . In essence they are the result of a neurological malfunction that is thought to originate in the brain stem. Medical scientists and researchers still arent exactly sure what causes a migraine attack.

Leading theories relate to hyperexcitability within certain areas of the brain or a disorder from the brain stem which triggers the migraine attack.

The brain stem is a small but extremely important part of the brain. It allows the nerve connections of the motor and sensory system to pass from the brain to the body. This controls bodily sensations and movement.

At the start of an attack, chemical changes are thought to develop in the brainstem which triggers a series of reactions causing the brain to respond abnormally to otherwise normal signals. The result from this hypersensitive response could be migraine.

Interestingly, at least 50% of people who experience migraine still have not been diagnosed.

Why Is My Sinus Not Going Away

It’s possible for an acute sinus infection to develop into a chronic infection over time. However, most chronic sinus infections are caused by: Problems with the physical structure of your sinuses such as nasal polyps, narrow sinuses, or a deviated septum. Allergies such as hay fever that cause inflammation.

The Most Common Misdiagnosis For Migraine Is This

You guessed it, sinus headache.

According to recently published research, over half of all those with migraine who participated in their study were misdiagnosed. The authors concluded that the under-recognition of migraine constitutes a significant public health problem.

Why are so many people not diagnosed?

There are a number of reasons why an individual with symptoms of migraine report that they havent been diagnosed by a health professional. These include:

  • Migraine patients may not seek medical care for their headaches
  • They may seek care but not receive a diagnosis
  • They may be diagnosed but forget their diagnosis
  • Not seeing a doctor for what they believe to be just a headache
  • Poor patient-physician communication may be a barrier to appropriate care. Diagnosis is complicated as physicians rarely see a patient during a migraine so they must rely on a patients retrospective description of prior symptoms.
  • Consultation lengths may also be a factor which recent research showing consultation lengths may last around 11 minutes on average. This provides little opportunity for patients to communicate the information required to diagnose migraine and initiate appropriate treatment.
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    Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches

    What most people dont realize is that true sinus headaches are actually quite uncommon and are often over diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, often due to a bacterial infection. The sinuses are air pockets that are situated at certain points in the facial bones. Scientists are not certain the exact purpose of sinuses. Some believe that it helps enhance the voice through resonation while others believe it may be a way for the body to humidify the air during inhalation. They are usually empty but do have a very thin mucus layer along the walls.

    There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses, meaning that there are two at the same points on the left and right. They are:

    • Frontal sinuses: above the eyes just over the eyebrows
    • Maxillary sinuses: on each side of the nose, in the cheekbone
    • Ethmoid sinuses: between the eyes, under the bridge of the nose
    • Sphenoid sinuses: behind the eyes and ethmoid sinuses

    Inflammation of the sinuses can occur due to bacterial, viral, or fungal causes and can present in one of the sinus pair, or several. If there is an infection present, it is important that it is treated. Failure to properly treat a sinus infection can cause serious health risks and can create a propensity to develop sinus infections in the future.

    Can Sinus Infections Cause Headaches

    Sinus Headache No Congestion

    by Social Joey | Dec 1, 2021 | Uncategorized

    Yes, they can, sinus headaches arent the most common sinus infection symptoms. In fact, its often the case that most migraines are mistaken as sinus headaches. Why is this, though?

    Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team provides some helpful answers and information on sinus infections below, so keep reading!

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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

    Melinda recommends only using reputable resources such as the CDC, OSF HealthCare or your primary care provider anytime you have questions or concerns about an illness.

    Sinus Migraines: All You Need To Know

    Migraines are excruciating conditions that can leave women bedridden and hating life. When combined with pressure and pain in the nasal passages, you end up with a sinus migraine. Continue reading to learn all you need to know about sinus migraines, and get back up and going to a more concentrated you today.

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    Can Sinusitis Cause A Burning Sensation In My Head

    Infections of the sinuses and lungs Sinus infections, colds, flus, and other illnesses cause irritated and inflamed sinuses. As the sinuses swell, they might exert pressure on nearby nerves. When this happens, it might cause head paresthesia. Head paresthesia is a feeling of numbness or tingling that isn’t due to any physical problem with the body.

    Sinus infections are very common and usually go away on their own without treatment. Medications can be used to treat sinus infections or reduce the pain and swelling associated with them. Antibiotics are recommended for severe cases or when there’s evidence that the infection is spreading beyond the sinuses into the brain.

    Headaches are the most common symptom of a sinus infection.

    Pain, redness, and/or swelling of the face Pain in the teeth, forehead, or neck Pains that don’t go away Allergic reaction to bacteria found in the nose, throat, or lungs

    Sinus infections can also lead to anxiety and depression. If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a sinus infection, see your doctor to prevent complications from developing.

    Will My Insurance Pay For My Hearing Aids

    Diagnosing sinus headaches

    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 Symptoms Of Silent Sinus Syndrome

    Typically unilateral, patients usually present with facial asymmetry, and diplopia. There is no history of trauma, and no obvious clinical features of chronic sinusitis. Hypoglobus and enophthalmos are other signs and symptoms seen. Key Diagnostic Features: Diminished volume of maxillary sinus is noted.

    At Raleigh Capitol Ent We Treat The Pain Of Sinus Headaches

    Sinus headaches interfere with every aspect of your life. Whether trying to concentrate on schoolwork or preparing for that corporate presentation, sinus problems affect your concentration, mood and overall well-being.

    Theres no reason for you to live like that.

    Well determine the source of your headache, and if its found to be caused by the sinuses, well offer the latest state-of-the art treatment provided by compassionate physicians.

    See why were the premiere ear nose and throat doctors in the Raleigh area. Contact us for an appointment today.

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    Does Blowing Nose Help Sinus Infection

    Avoid blowing your nose Many medical experts feel that blowing your nose causes the bacteria that normally live in your nose to be propelled into the sinus chambers. The sinus inflammation prevents the bacteria from being swept out by normal cleansing, which can lead to more significant bacterial sinus infection.

    Can A Sinus Infection Cause Dizziness

    Why Your Sinus Headache Is Almost Definitely A Migraine

    Yes. One possible side effect of sinus infections is a feeling of dizziness. It might be hard to see how an infection in the sinuses has any effect on your sense of equilibrium and balance. So its first important to explain the interconnection of your ears and nose. Your ears actually connect to your nasal passageways. So issues that affect the nose may have an effect on the ears, and vice versa .

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    Treating Sinus Headaches And Migraines

    Despite their similarities, sinus headaches and migraines may be treated differently. For sinus headaches, treating the underlying sinus infection can usually resolve the headache. Taking over the counter headache medications can also help with the pain and inflammation of sinus headaches.

    Because migraines are more complex, they may not respond to conventional OTC pain relievers. While some prescription migraine medications are designed to provide relief once a migraine has started, others prevent them by addressing the underlying physiology

    Why Do I Have A Headache That Wont Go Away

    First things first: If your headache wont go away, you need to figure out if its a sinus headache that wont go away or something else. Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure in sinus cavities that have become inflamed and are blocking regular mucus drainage.

    Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:

    • Feeling of pressure and/or throbbing around your sinuses
    • Increased pain upon bending over
    • Toothache in your upper teeth

    Many of these symptoms, including congestion and increased pain upon bending over, can also be found in patients struggling with migraines. However, migraines are unlikely to last more than a few hours, whereas untreated sinus headaches can last for days at a time.

    For more information about what might be behind your latest sinus headache, reference these additional posts:

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    What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches

    Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.

    You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:

    • Specific foods, such as chocolate, red wine or strong cheese.

    What Is Sinus Headache

    Sinus Headaches: Causes & Treatment

    A true sinus headache, called rhinosinusitis, is rare. The cause is a viral or bacterial sinus infection characterized by thick, discolored nasal discharge. Youll get symptoms like possibly weaker smell or no smell, facial pain or pressure and commonly, fever. Facial pain and headache should resolve within seven days after viral symptoms improve or after successful treatment with antibiotics . If pain continues, then your diagnosis should be reconsidered.

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    Your Sinus Headache May Not Be What You Think

    Topics in this Post

    Nearly everyone experiences a headache at some point, and the pain can range from mild to debilitating.

    Sometimes, headaches are accompanied by pain and pressure in your brow and forehead, and cause nasal symptoms. Many people associate sinus and nasal symptoms with a sinus infection, also called sinusitis, or with an upper respiratory infection, a cold. They may say that they are experiencing a sinus headache. But sinus and nasal symptoms often can signal something else: a migraine headache.

    The term “sinus headache” is not an actual medical diagnosis. Studies show that 90% of people with symptoms of a sinus headache are experiencing migraine headaches.

    Sinusitis or migraine?

    Migraines and headaches from sinusitis are easy to confuse because the signs and symptoms of the two types of headaches may overlap. Also, migraine headaches affect people differently and symptoms can change over time. This is why many who have had migraine headaches in the past are surprised when they begin having sinus and nasal symptoms with a migraine headache.

    Sinusitis, however, usually isn’t associated with nausea or vomiting, nor is it aggravated by noise or bright light all common features of migraines.

    Previous misdiagnosis

    These are a few ways you can tell whether your sinus and nasal symptoms are part of a sinus infection or part of a migraine headache:

    Risk factors

    Proper diagnosis

    • Confusion or trouble understanding speech

    What Are Sinus Headaches

    Real sinus headaches are almost always from a sinus infection. Sinus infections are common with 10% to 30% of the population experiencing at least one sinus infection each year.

    Sinus infections are also known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis. This occurs when the sinus becomes inflamed. Common symptoms include thick nasal mucous, blocked nose and facial pain. Sinus infections may be caused by an infection, allergy or air pollution. Most cases are due to viral infection. Infections are often transmitted through coughing, sneezing, kissing, contact with contaminated surfaces, food or water or contact with infected animals or pets.

    To understand how sinus headaches are confused with migraine its important to know what migraine is.

    Recommended Reading: How To Treat Severe Sinus Congestion

    How To Tell The Difference Between A Migraine And A Sinus Headache

    An actual sinus headache, also called rhinosinusitis, is not as common as most people think. The most common causes of a sinus headache are viral or bacterial infections. These infections can cause yellowish thick nasal discharge, diminished smell/ taste, fever, headaches, bad breath, cough, and pain in the teeth or ears. The typical treatment includes antibiotics and should clear up within seven days.

    Migraines, on the other hand, are more than just bad headaches. According to The American Migraine Foundation, migraines affect at least 39 million patients in the U.S. alone. But, as many people do not have a correct diagnosis, the real number is potentially much larger. The most common symptoms of migraines include headaches accompanied by pounding or throbbing sensation, sensitivity to light, sound, or other stimuli, nausea, nasal congestion with thin, clear mucus, and fatigue.

    Its an excellent idea to schedule a visit with your doctor when your headaches grow worse over time or become more frequent when over-the-counter medication ceases to provide relief and begins to interfere with your ability to function at a normal level.

    How Does A Doctor Know Whether Its Sinus Or Migraine

    The Fastest Way to get a Prescription for a Sinus Infection Online [2021]

    Migraine is a clinical diagnosis, says Weber. That means that the doctor will ask you about your family history of migraine, allergies, and any other symptoms to determine if you have migraine or sinus headache.

    To help your doctor make the correct diagnosis, it can be really helpful to track what youre experiencing, says Lauren Doyle Strauss, DO, a headache specialist and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Write down your symptoms, says Strauss. Where is the pain located? Are you tired or dizzy? Are you sensitive to light or sound? Do you have an upset stomach or vomiting?

    In addition to considering your symptoms, there can be tests used to identify sinus problems. A headache caused by a sinus infection is typically diagnosed with a CT scan of the sinuses, says Weber.

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    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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    Signs Of A Sinus Headache

    Usually, the pain associated with a sinus headache occurs in a very specific area of the face, often by the eyes, forehead and cheeks. Along with feeling pain similar to a standard headache, people suffering from sinus headaches often also feel pain when they touch their faces.

    The symptoms of a sinus headache can be more severe or worse under certain conditions. For example, some people notice that their symptoms are most noticeable when the weather is humid or cold. Changes in pressure, which affect the pressure in the sinus cavities, can also make the pain of the headaches worse. Some people feel more pain if they put their head down, turn to the left or right quickly, or if they fly while suffering from a sinus headache.

    In some instances, a person may experience cold symptoms along with a sinus headache. Its not uncommon for a person to have a runny nose or congestion at the same time as the headache, for instance.

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    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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