Sinus Headache Vs Tmj Migraine: Which One Do You Have
Many patients with TMJ disorder, short for temporomandibular joint disorder or simply TMD, experience pain on a regular basis. The pain can be chronic and debilitating.
Some might point to this as the difference between a sinus headache and a TMJ migraine. Thats not necessarily the case though.
Sinus headaches arent limited to when you have a cold or sinus infection. The sinus inflammation and congestion of allergies often lead to regular headaches.
Thats why it can be so confusing for people to identify what kind of headache theyre dealing with.
Lets take a moment to take a more in-depth look at the symptoms caused by TMJ pain versus sinus pain.
How To Tell If You Have A Headache Sinus Pain Or A Migraine
Headaches in any form can be disruptive to our lives, but not all of them are the same.
According to experts, most people dont know the difference between various types of headaches, like sinus headaches and migraines. That can make a painful situation so much worse.
Knowing which issue youre dealing with is vital to treating it. So HuffPost reached out to the experts to help walk you through the differences, dispel some myths and help you learn more about what you may be experiencing. Here are the different types and what you can do about each of them:
Sinus Pain Has A Variety Of Causes
If your head is throbbing and you feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks, or forehead, you could have a sinus headache. Many factors can cause a sinus headache, says Subinoy Das, MD, chief executive officer and interim medical director for the U.S. Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Columbus, Ohio. The most important factor is swelling of the lining of the nose and sinuses, causing pressure and pain on in the face and head.
Symptoms of sinus pain and headache include pain associated with congestion from a common cold or allergies pain around your eyes, forehead, or over your teeth pain that is worse in the morning and pain that gets worse when you bend over. Some of the more natural methods of relieving sinus pain that reduce swelling, thin mucus secretions, and improve sinus drainage are often very helpful.
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Your Sinus Headache May Not Be What You Think
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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.
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:
- Confusion or trouble understanding speech
Cleaning The Nose With Salt Water
A 2019 review found some indication that saltwater solutions can treat sinusitis. However, the researchers state that there was not enough evidence to confirm it helps or the best delivery method.
People can purchase nasal rinsing kits with premixed saltwater solutions. Alternatively, they can make the solution at home. To do this:
People should dispose of any leftover salt water, and make a fresh solution if using this technique repeatedly. A person should also clean any nasal irrigation devices thoroughly after each use. People should not use nasal rinses in children unless instructed by a doctor.
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How Do You Diagnose Sinus Headaches Caused By Migraines
Sinus headaches are most likely due to migraines or tension headaches. Migraines are diagnosed by symptoms, including the frequency and severity of symptoms, family history, and by physical exam. Migraines can also include nausea and vomiting. These episodes may be triggered by hormonal changes, lack of sleep, certain foods or alcohol or caffeine, stress, or environmental changes like weather, altitude changes, or allergens. Many patients with migraines have family members who also experience migraine headaches.
If you have unusual or severe symptoms, additional tests such as an MRI of the brain may be ordered to rule out more serious conditions that can cause headache pain, such as tumors or bleeding around the brain. If you have repeated episodes of sinus pain and pressure, a nasal endoscopy or imaging such as an MRI or CT scan can determine if sinus pain or pressure is due to a sinus infection or other sinus pathology. A normal sinus CT scan while you have symptoms could help rule out sinusitis, and determine if migraines, headaches, or other causes of facial pain and pressure are causing the sinus symptoms.
Other causes of facial pain and pressure can include temporomandibular joint syndrome, clenching or grinding your teeth, trigeminal nerve pain, temporal arteritis , dental infection, or other neurologic causes of facial pain.
Best Essential Oil For Sinus Pressure
What Is the Best Essential Oil for Sinus Pressure?
Before I tell you which oil to use, let me explain what Essential Oils are and how they work.
Also, I will explain what causes sinus pressure, and why you should try a specific oil.
Read on to discover more about the best essential oil for sinus pressure and how to use it to relieve sinus pressure.
If you suffer from sinusitis, youre not alone.
The lining of your nose becomes inflamed, and bacteria can multiply.
As a result, you feel pressure behind your eyes, difficulty breathing, and a chronic cough.
However, the symptoms of sinusitis dont have to be so severe essential oils can help relieve your symptoms and heal your body, naturally.
They also have a variety of uses, from treating emotional stress to relieving pain.
They can be applied to the face or nose, and some are even safe to take internally.
Always ensure that you purchase an essential oil that is 100% pure and undiluted.
If you have allergies, be sure to check if its derived from an organic source.
When using essential oils for sinus infections, remember to follow the manufacturers instructions.
Dont breathe in the essential oils straight from the bottle.
Dilute them before applying them to your skin.
You shouldnt use them if youre pregnant or have other health conditions, so its best to consult your doctor.
And remember to follow all safety guidelines for essential oils, including putting them out of reach of children and pregnant women.
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What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, medically known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen, and inflamed. Fluid buildup in the sinuses can cause germs to grow, leading to a sinus infection.
Sinusitis is usually caused by a virus and often lasts even after other upper respiratory symptoms are gone. In some cases, bacteria or, rarely, fungus may cause a sinus infection.
Other conditions such as allergies, nasal polyps, and tooth infections can also contribute to sinus pain and symptoms.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
- Long-lasting cold symptoms
- Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again
You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:
- Stuff congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
- Thickened nasal drainage
What Causes Sinus Symptoms
If you find yourself frequently dealing with sinus pain and sinus pressure, finding the cause is an important step toward finding sinus relief. Any time the tissue in your nose and sinuses gets swollen and inflamed, it can lead to sinus problems. Here are a few sinus problem causes to consider:
- Temperature changes
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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
Can Sinus Infections Or Sinusitis Be Prevented
Currently, there are no vaccines designed specifically against infectious sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there are vaccines against viruses and bacteria that may cause some infectious sinusitis. Vaccination against pathogens known to cause infectious sinusitis may indirectly reduce or prevent the chance of getting the disease however, no specific studies support this assumption. Fungal vaccines against sinusitis are not available, currently.
If you are prone to recurrent bouts of a yearly sinus infection it may be important to consider allergy testing to see if this is the underlying cause of the recurring problem. Treatment of the allergy may prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections. In addition, sinus infections may be due to other problems such as nasal polyps, tumors, or diseases that obstruct normal mucus flow. Treatment of these underlying causes may prevent recurrent sinus infections.
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Olive Oil For Pain Behind The Ear
You can use olive oil as a natural medicine to soften ear wax and help treat a mild infection of the outer ear. Warm olive oil helps to loosen and dissolve ear wax to naturally unblock your ears.
How to use olive oil for earache:
You can also use food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide to help clear a mild outer ear infection that is causing you pain.
How To Tell If You Have A Sinus Headache Or A Migraine
Headaches are usually no cause for alarm. However, they can be pretty uncomfortable to deal with. While they are a common concurrence, did you know that there are varioustypes of headacheswith different treatment options for them?
If you have a runny or stuffy nose and pain in and around your eyes, forehead, and cheeks, do you have a sinus headache or a migraine? People often mistake one for the other because they share similar symptoms and can be challenging to tell apart.
This article breaks down the similarities and differences between the two so that the next time you have a headache, you can try to figure out what type of headache it is. Keep reading to learn more!
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What Is A Sinus Headache
A sinus headache occurs when your sinus passages behind your nose, cheeks, eyes and forehead become congested. You can feel it on either side of your head or both at the same time. You’ll not only experience pressure or pain in your head, but also anywhere in your sinus area. In some cases, a sinus headache is a symptom of the ongoing sinus condition called sinusitis.
A sinus headache can occur seasonally if you experience allergies, or only once in a while when something triggers your sinuses for some other reason.
Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
According to the American Migraine Foundation, 50 percent of migraine misdiagnoses start with a person thinking they have sinus headache. Up to 90 percent of people who go to the doctor for sinus headache find out they have migraine instead.
People with migraine may develop symptoms similar to sinusitis, like a runny nose or congestion. Migraine headaches also cause pain along the trigeminal nerve, which interacts with the sinus passages. People experiencing migraine may think this pain is related to the sinuses.
If you dont have any of the symptoms that come specifically with a sinus headache, you may be experiencing a migraine. Migraine is treated differently from sinus headache. Symptoms specific to migraine include:
- sensitivity to light and sound
If youre experiencing symptoms specific to migraine, youre likely experiencing a migraine attack and not a sinus headache.
Sinusitis directly causes sinus headaches, so they share the same causes and triggers. These include:
- Viral infection. This is the most common cause of sinusitis and sinus headache. About
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What Else Does Nasal Breathing Do
One of the most important ways that nasal breathing helps oxygen flow is via a gas called nitric oxide. The role of nitric oxide in the body and respiration was only recently identified.
Nitric oxide is produced in the nasal sinuses by specific enzymes. Its instrumental in delivering oxygen around the body efficiently because it regulates blood flow. When it mixes with air delivered to the lung, it increases arterial oxygen tension and reduces blood pressure.
Nitric oxide also has a vital role deep within your bodys cells and is produced elsewhere in the body but the biggest contributor is the minute amounts inhaled through the nose into the lungs.
Preventing A Sinus Infection
To prevent sinus infections altogether, borrow strategies from your cold-prevention playbook. Most notably, practicing hand hygiene is the easiest way to prevent a sinus infection, Iloreta says. Sinus infections come from chronic allergies, or chronic inflammation in the nose, so by treating your allergies taking antihistamines, avoiding pollen exposure youll also help prevent subsequent sinus infections.
Kimberly Goad is a New Yorkbased journalist who has covered health for some of the nations top consumer publications. Her work has appeared in Womens Health, Mens Health and Readers Digest.
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How Is Sinusitis Treated
Sinusitis is treated in several ways, each depending on how severe the case of sinusitis is.
A simple sinusitis infection is treated with:
- Drinking fluids .
If symptoms of sinusitis dont improve after 10 days, your doctor may prescribe:
- Oral or topical decongestants.
- Prescription intranasal steroid sprays. .
Long-term sinusitis may be treated by focusing on the underlying condition . This is usually treated with:
- Intranasal steroid sprays.
- Topical antihistamine sprays or oral pills.
- Leukotriene antagonists to reduce swelling and allergy symptoms.
- Rinsing the nose with saline solutions that might also contain other types of medication.
When sinusitis isnt controlled by one of the above treatments, a CT scan is used to take a better look at your sinuses. Depending on the results, surgery may be needed to correct structural problems in your sinuses. This is most likely to happen if you have polyps and/or a fungal infection.
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Symptoms Of A Sinus Headache
Forehead Pain: There might be pain in your forehead or in the top of your nose and upper cheek area. The pain might feel achier and deep, not sharp. Pressure: With the buildup of mucus in your sinuses, you might feel pressure in your nose and face. Fatigue: Most people will feel very tired when they have a headache cause by their sinuses. Postnasal Drip: Postnasal drainage will drip down the back of your throat. This might cause coughing and can give you a sore throat that could be worse after lying down for extended periods of time. Tooth and Jaw Pain: The roots of your teeth are located very close to your sinuses. In some cases, sinus problems might come from dental infections spreading to them. Tenderness: For some sufferers, there might be increased tenderness in the skin and bones around the affected sinuses.
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