Is chronic headache linked to a sinus disease?
Q: I am a 78 years old, hypertensive 150/80 mm/hg and type II diabetic. I am asthmatic and using an inhaler when required, wear a pacemaker for four years and having headache for the last one year. I was operated for left maxillary sinus. My headache starts from the right eye and runs over the head to the middle and disappears. CT scan of brain did not reveal any problem in the brain one year ago. I also had tooth ache and three root canals were treated. The headache becomes severe when I cough and disappears after a while. My lungs are weak and are not creating enough pressure to throw the phlegm out. I take expectorants to help and it takes time to push out. Once the phlegm is out the pain recedes. How to improve my lung performance? There seems to be less oxygen level in my house. Can air pollution be the reason for poor lung performance?
A:It appears you have a history of asthma, diabetes, chronic sinus disease and local headache from coughing. The symptoms you describe suggest that you have continued sinus disease or involvement of the local nerves in the area of the pain. Sometimes a previous viral herpes infection in that area can predispose to chronic pain. Also, local continued sinus disease in the frontal sinus may cause local pain. You should discuss with your ear, nose and throat specialist and also consult with a headache specialist (sometimes a neurologist) to evaluate this further. Diabetes can cause localised neuropathy (nerve involvement) also. The other aspect of your condition is the cough from postnasal drip - you should discuss with your ENT doctor about this also. Saline nasal rinse is sometimes helpful to decrease the sinus mucus build-up. Always avoid smoke and dust and if you have air conditioning make sure the filters are cleaned regularly. Pollution as you correctly state will make your lungs more inflammedinflamed - try and avoid it. Low oxygen supplementation needs to be specifically tested for before being prescribed and a lung specialist who treats asthma and other diseases like chronic bronchitis can evaluate you for this.