Dr.K.O.Paulose FRCS DLO, Consultant ENT Surgeon, Jubilee Hospital, Trivandrum, Kerala, India;
Migraine And Sinus Headache
The presentation of sinus headache from sinusitis Â is so similar to migraine that it is often mistakenly diagnosed and treated like just another headache. However, despite overlapping symptoms, differences between the two entities can be distinguished through a careful evaluation.
Most people who suffer from migraines get headaches that can be quite severe. A migraine headache is usually an intense, throbbing pain on one, or sometimes, both sides of the head. Most people with migraine headache feel the pain in the temples or behind one eye or ear, although any part of the head can be involved. Besides pain, migraine also can cause nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also may see spots or flashing lights or have a temporary loss of vision.
Migraine can occur any time of the day, though it often starts in the morning. The pain can last a few hours or up to one or two days. Some people get migraines once or twice a week. Others, only once or twice a year. Most of the time, migraines are not a threat to your overall health. But migraine attacks can interfere with your day-to-day life.
Sinus headache, on the other hand, typically occurs in the area of the sinuses in the area of the cheeks (maxillary sinus), bridge of the nose (ethmoid sinus), or above the eyes (frontal sinus). Less often it may refer pain to the top or back of the head (sphenoid sinus). Sinus headache may occur on one side or both sides of the head and the neck is typically not involved. The symptoms are frequently worsened by bending over or coughing (as with migraine), and examination of the facial area may reveal local tenderness, redness, swelling, and possibly the presence of clear or discolored nasal discharge. Sinus disease can happen to people who suffer from migraine or to those who do not and may lead to increased migraine activity in migraine sufferers, often confusing the diagnosis.