Can Sinus Pressure Cause Migraines
Sinus headaches and migraines are often commonly confused, but its important to know which type of headache you have since that affects the type of treatment you need.
In this blog, Dr. Cecil Yeung of Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute explains more about sinus headaches and migraines, including whether sinus pressure can cause migraines.
Whats The Difference Between A Sinus Headache And A Migraine Headache
While sinus headaches are caused by a viral or bacterial infection, the cause of migraine headaches is, in large part, unknown. It involves a complex interplay between nerves, brain tissue, blood vessels, and brain chemicals. What makes it so complex is that in addition to the cause being unknown, they can be triggered by almost anything, from red wine, to bright lights, to not getting enough sleep one night .
While migraine pain can be noted in the cheek area and involve nasal membrane swelling like sinus headaches, theyâre often associated with very different symptoms.
For example, migraines can be associated with light and /or sound sensitivity and nausea, with or without vomiting. These are only seen with sinus headaches on very rare occasions. On the flip side, migraine headaches are typically not associated with thick discolored nasal discharge or fever.
Causes And Symptoms Of Sinus Headaches
Causes of a real sinus headache are an infection in your sinuses known as sinusitis. It may feel like the following:
- Pressure and fullness in your cheeks, forehead, and brows.
- Bending over causes increasing pain
- Stuffy nose
- Ache in your your upper teeth
- Swollen or puffy face
Sinusitis usually occurs after a respiratory viral infection or cold. There is normally a thick discolored mucus, a reduced sense of smell, and in a nutshell, with a sinus headache your whole face hurts.
You may develop a sinus headache from the common cold, a deviated septum where there is not sufficient air flow to help drain the mucus from your sinuses, seasonal allergies which cause congestion and mucus, and nasal polyps which also prevent mucus from draining properly.
Recommended Reading: Advil Sinus Congestion And Pain Walmart
Your Sinus Headaches Explained
Youre congested. You feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. And your head is throbbing. It feels like a sinus headache but dont jump to conclusions.
Headaches often accompany sinusitis, a condition in which the membranes lining the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. But many people who assume they have sinus headaches actually have migraines or tension headaches.
When headaches caused by sinusitis do occur, proper diagnosis and treatment are the keys to relief.
How Do You Treat Sinus Headaches
If you think you have a sinus headache, consider taking a hot shower, using a Neti Pot and /or warm compresses to loosen up the secretions. Make sure to hydrate with warm liquids like chicken soup and tea. You can try to reduce nasal membrane swelling with a short course of a decongestant and/or an over-the-counter nasal spray like fluticasone . Facial pain may improve with acetaminophen or an NSAID. If the symptoms persist for more than 7-10 days, you should see your doctor as a prescription for an antibiotic may be needed.
Read Also: Does Amoxicillin Clear Up Sinus Infections
Barometric Pressure: Effects On Sinuses
Most people donât think much about how barometric pressure might affect them, especially when theyâre younger. However, as the body ages, it may become more susceptible to environmental triggers for pain. When the barometric pressure changes, it can cause changes to the way blood flows through the body, causing increased or decreased blood pressure, sinus pressure, and more.A change in barometric pressure may be responsible for increased instances of migraines and weather may cause changes so subtle that itâs difficult for sufferers or their physicians to discern the problem.Barometric pressure and sinuses also share connections that are not yet fully understood by the scientific or medical communities, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact changes that trigger migraines, stuffiness, changes in blood pressure, and more.Watching the weather for upcoming changes in the barometric pressure, and being aware of when those changes are taking place, can give sufferers a chance to head off problems and pains before they begin with a proactive, preventative approach as recommended by their physician.
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.
Read Also: Advil Sinus Congestion & Pain Coated Tablets
How Is A Sinus Headache Different From A Migraine Attack
Whereas a sinus headache is a result of pressure on the nasal walls, migraine attacks originate in the brain, says Rajneesh. Theres often a clear association in a person who has a history of allergies, and then their allergies flare up, which then leads to headaches, and the headache is usually frontal, he says.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, people with allergic rhinitis are more than 10 times more likely to have migraine.
Although both migraine and a sinus headache can come with a runny nose, with migraine the discharge is usually clear, whereas in a headache that comes with sinusitis, it can be colored or foul smelling, says Rajneesh.
Migraine attacks are often associated with other symptoms besides a headache, which can include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity, according to Weber. Some migraine patients have an aura, typically visual, with spots, lights, or colors prior to the onset of a migraine attack, he says.
How a Migraine Attack Unfolds
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.
Read Also: Ny Allergy And Sinus Murray Hill
Ocular Migraines Coming From Sinus Inflammation
Asked by matthewjames83
Ocular Migraines Coming From Sinus Inflammation?
For 2 years now I’ve been experiencing what I would call ocular migraines that I believe are caused by sinus inflammation. I’ve spent thousands of dollars with CT scans, MRIs, etc… If someone feels they can assist with what I’m experiencing, please let me know.
Here’s a quick summary:
Kaleidoscope like visuals start in a very small area of my vision, making it difficult to focus on printed words or small objects. The kaleidoscope visuals grow in size, larger and larger over the period of about 30-40 minutes. Note: I see this in both eyes, not just one. After 30-40 minutes, the visuals will completely disappear and be followed by a severe migraine that typically lasts anywhere from an hour to 4 or more hours.
I’ve never had much of any headaches in my life until these started in 2011. I’m 30 years old. Doctors sent me for a CT scan and MRI, which showed nothing but very inflamed sinuses. I was not sick or suffering from allergies at the time, but I’ve had sinus issues all of my life. Can the headaches be caused by the swelling/inflammation of the sinuses? Anything that can be done to reduce that swelling?
How Do You Stop Sinus Headaches
If youre wondering, why do I keep getting sinus headaches every day and how can I get some relief from my frequent sinus headaches? you have options. For many, sinus problems can be treated effectively with the use of OTC medication and home remedies. Patients whose sinus issues and frequent sinus headaches do not respond well to traditional treatment, however, may wish to seek additional treatment. And one of the safest and easiest treatments available today is balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, in-office procedure performed at Sinus Solutions of South Florida Dr. Napoleon Bequer, a highly acclaimed ENT of South Florida. The procedure lasts less than 20 minutes and has provided thousands of patients nation-wide with long-lasting sinus relief. The concept of balloon sinuplasty is simple. During the procedure, your doctor inflates a balloon within the sinus cavities, restoring proper sinus drainage.
No cutting of bone or tissue is involved, and most patients are able to return to regular activities within 24-48 hours.
Tired of dealing with frequent sinus headaches? Ask your ENT about balloon sinuplasty.
This 20-minute procedure has proved highly successful at providing long term relief from common chronic sinus problems including sinusitis, allergies, frequent sinus headaches, sleep apnea, and more.
Also Check: How To Get Of A Sinus Infection
Natural Remedies For Sinusitis
Its normal to want to treat the current sinus infection quickly. That said, it is a good idea to get to the root of the problem. Treating your chronic nasal congestion can end your toothaches for good. This will let you get back to your normal life.
Once you treat the tooth pain, you can tackle your underlying problem. Here are some natural remedies for sinusitis:
- Flush your sinuses. Use a neti pot or a saline solution to flush your sinuses. This will also keep them moist.
- Do not over-use nasal sprays. Over the counter, nasal sprays are habit forming and can cause more problems than they solve.
- Try a bromelain supplement. Bromelain is an ingredient in pineapple stems and can help reduce swelling in the body. Check with your doctor before taking this supplement.
- Steam your face. Hot steam can really moisten your sinuses and loosen mucus. Try a hot shower or a steam tent.
- Drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is key when it comes to a natural remedy for sinusitis.
- Spicy foods. Chili peppers, mustard, and horseradish can all help clear your sinuses.
- Try a humidifier. This will keep the air in your home moist and easy to breathe.
How Symptoms Of Vh Can Be Mistaken For Sinus Headaches
When the eyes are no longer aligned vertically, the brain forces the extraocular muscles to work overtime to correct this problem in an effort to avoid double vision. The longer the muscles are compelled to do this, the more fatigued and overworked they become, at which point the symptoms of VH start to come to the forefront. The overworked eye muscles cause head pain, which can be focused around the eyes, sinuses, forehead and temples. This pain is very similar to that felt with a sinus infection or headache, which is why many patients who unknowingly have VH are misdiagnosed as having chronic sinus headaches.
Recommended Reading: The Best Over The Counter Sinus Medication
Migraine Sinus Headache And Allergies: What To Know
Spring has sprung! While this means warmer weather and more hours of sunlight, it also means allergy season.
Allergies can cause migraines and sinus headaches for some individuals. Not sure which one you are dealing with? Youre not alone. In fact, migraines are often mistaken for sinus headaches.
Learn how these ailments differ and how allergies can play a role in the severity of each.
Please Follow These Instructions For 14 Days:
- DO NOT blow your nose. Air pressure must not be increased in the nasal or sinus cavities.
- TRY NOT to sneeze. If you should, keep your mouth open to prevent an increase in air pressure in the sinus cavities.
- DO NOT use a straw.
- DO NOT spit.
- DO NOT rinse vigorously for several days. Chew on the opposite side as much as possible.
- DO NOT fly in an airplane.
- DO NOT swim or submerge your head.
- DO NOT do any vigorous exercising.
- DO NOT SMOKE.
You May Like: Will Amoxicillin Help With Sinus Infection
Is There Really A Sinus Migraine
Technically, the answer is no. There are migraines and there are sinus headaches. They are not the same, but some people have coined the phrase sinus migraine to make the distinction that their migraines seem to have a sinus component. They may be familiar enough with migraines that they know the typical symptoms, so they rule it out because their headaches dont fit that mold. The truth is, there are many different types of migraines and headaches and they often have very similar, if not identical, symptoms.
Dr. Ailani explains, Migraine pain can be located in the temples or back of the head, but often is in or around the eye and can, on occasion, be located under the eye, around the nose, and into the jaw. The reason for this is that the nerve that causes facial sensation and sinus sensation and the one that also causes facial and sinus pain, are one and the same, the trigeminal nerve.
She continues, When this nerve is turned on, you can experience pain- which can be all different types such as pulsating, throbbing, pressure, searing, jabbing, tingling, and burning, anywhere in your head and face. This nerve also connects to other nerves at the back of the neck and in the sinuses. When one nerve decides to be turned on, other connected nerves can follow- where there is a party, all like to join in!
Do Wisdom Teeth Grow Back
No. But it is possible to have more than one set of wisdom teeth.
In extremely rare cases, in under 2 percent of the population, people are born with an extra set of wisdom teeth, beyond the usual four. These supernumerary, another word for extra, usually appear after your first set of wisdom teeth has been removed.
Dont worry you wont just wake up one day with a second set of wisdom teeth growing in. Your dentist will see these teeth on X-rays and inform you about them well before they begin to grow. Often people mistakenly think an extra set of wisdom teeth means the ones you had removed grew back, but clearly this is not the case.
Don’t Miss: Dr Atkins San Antonio Sinus
Signs And Symptoms Of A Sinus Infection Or Sinusitis
- If there is an infection, fever, chills, feeling poorly, or achy muscles occur.
- Opaque or greenish-yellow nasal drainage.
- Postnasal drainage, in which secretions drip down to the back of the throat. This can cause a cough and sometimes people have signs like coughing up yellow sputum. However, they may actually be coughing up the drainage that has dripped down from the sinuses instead of coughing up phlegm from the lungs.
- Swollen lymph nodes may occur in the neck if an infection is present, which is no different than the swelling of lymph nodes that accompanies an acute sore throat or ear infection .
Your Sinus Headache Might Actually Be A Migraine
Sinus headaches and migraines can both feel like tiny construction workers are jackhammering away inside your skull. Otherwise, though, they may seem like completely separate issues. The surprising truth is that sinus headaches and migraines are a lot more connected than you might thinkso much so that what you think of as a sinus headache might be a migraine instead.
I work with ear, nose, and throat doctors very closely. They get a lot of referrals for sinus headaches, but most of those end up being migraines, Kevin Weber, M.D., a neurologist who specializes in treating patients with headaches at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Sinus headache is very overdiagnosed, and migraine is underdiagnosed.
Knowing the correct cause of your head pain is the first step toward making it go away. Heres what you need to know about sinus headaches, migraines, and how to tell the difference.
Sinus headaches happen due to sinusitis, or an inflammation of your sinuses, the cavities in your skull that are connected to your nose, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can be acute, meaning it lasts for under 10 days, or seems to recede then comes back with a vengeance. It can also become chronic and last for 12 or more miserable weeks. You can get sinusitis thanks to things like a cold, allergies, or abnormalities in your nasal passages, like a deviated septum.
Here are some clear signs you may indeed have a sinus headache:
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get S Sinus Infection