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Is It A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache? Know The Difference

Migraine pain and sinus headaches are often confused for one another. The sinus headache which people diagnose themselves is migraine pain majority of the times.

Is It A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache? Know The Difference

Migraine pain is usually associated with forehead and facial pressure over the sinuses

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Sinus headaches are often confused with migraine headaches
  2. Migraine patients have been found with at least one symptom of sinus
  3. The facial pain and headache caused by sinus resolves within 7 days
Migraine pain and sinus headaches are often confused for one another. The sinus headache which people diagnose themselves is migraine pain majority of the times. Migraine pain is usually associated with forehead and facial pressure over the sinuses, running nose and nasal congestion. A migraine pain is usually characterised by absence of fever, pus from your nose, alteration in smell and foul-smelling breath. Common symptoms of sinus headaches include facial pain and pressure, headache and nasal and sinus congestion. Sinus headache is medically known as rhinosinusitis. It is rare and secondary to a bacterial or viral sinus infection and is characterised by discoloured or thick nasal discharge, lesser smell, facial pain or pressure and fever.

The facial pain and headache caused by sinus resolves within 7 days after the remission of viral symptoms. Remission of symptoms occurs when treatment is done with the help of antibiotics. Antibiotics are used for treatment when sinus happens because of a bacterial or viral infection. In case the pain continues, the diagnosis needs to be done again.
 
 
headache

Migraine pain is usually associated with forehead and facial pressure over the sinuses

Also read: Sinus and migraine headaches

What is sinus headache?


Sinus headache is migraine, plus symptoms of sinus. Studies have shown that common symptoms of sinus occur with migraine. Many migraine patients have been found to have at least one symptom of sinus, which is either watery eyes or nasal congestion.

If the congestion is a part of migraine, it is likely to subside with the treatment for migraine.

To know if your headache is migraine and not sinus, you need to answer a few questions. Firstly, ask yourself how disabling your headaches have been in the last 3 months. Also see if these headaches are interfering with your ability to function normally, as in, if it is making you miss work or any other important activity.

Check if your headaches are associated with nausea and also see if your headaches were or have been ever associated with sensitivity to light.

If any 2 of the above 3 criteria are present, it is mostly migraine. If all there are present, the diagnosis of migraine is 98% likely.
 

 
migraine

Migrain pain and sinus headaches are often confused for one another

Also read: Get Rid Of Migraine Pain With These Home Remedies

Thus, it is important to go beyond nasal and sinus congestion and facial pain and pressure. In case the headache is interfering with your day-to-day functioning, it is most likely migraine.

Weather change, for instance, is commonly associated with sinus headache. However, weather change is a common trigger for migraine.

In case you feel that sinus headache could be migraine, ask your doctor to prescribe you medicine for migraine and if that could be helpful for you. Then, try this medication for the next 3 sinus headache and it will help you know if its migraine or not.

Watch out for the headache and associated symptoms to improve better than all previous treatments that you have been taking. If required, get a CT scan of your sinuses. It will help you rule out a secondary cause of sinus disease or will just help you know if you it's a migraine and not sinus problem.

sinus

Sinus headache is migraine, plus symptoms of sinus

Also read: How To Keep Safe From Sinusitis In The Changing Weather

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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