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Can Sinus Infection Cause Migraine

How Can Migraines Be Prevented

Sinus Infection or Sinus Migraine?

If you are prone to migraines, there are many steps to take to prevent or diminish the attacks:

  • Identify triggers so you can avoid them. That can take some time and real detective work.
  • Keep to a regular, stress-reducing schedule that includes a full night’s rest, balanced meals, and exercise.
  • Wearing blue- or green-tinted glasses can help fend off an attack in people with light sensitivity.
  • Try medications, such as beta blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. All have side effects, so they should be taken at low doses and only if migraines are frequent.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension

Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.

Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

Aura before onset of headache;x

Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.

Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.

There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.

You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.

Other Headaches That Cause Neck Pain

“Neck pain can be its own headache, called a cervicogenic headache,” says Dr. Ahmed. According to the National Headache Society, cervicogenic headaches come from a source in your neck. The pain starts in the spine of your neck, called your cervical spine, and travels up to your head. The problem in your cervical spine could be due to pressure on a nerve or blood vessel from a cervical vertebra, one of the bones in your neck. Headaches can be traced to neck trauma or arthritis of the cervical spine.

Cervicogenic headaches can be severe. They usually cause pain and a stiff neck, and typically the pain gets worse when you move your neck. Pain can shoot into your shoulders, arms, face, head and eyes. Pain can mimic a migraine and be only on one side. Treatment of these headaches depends on the cause, but it may include physical therapy, nerve block injections, pain medication and sometimes surgery.

“A severe headache with neck pain could be a migraine or cervicogenic headache,” Dr. Ahmed says. “The most important thing to do is get the right diagnosis so you can get the right treatment.”

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Tmj Headache And Migraine Symptoms

  • Pain in the jaw joints, cheeks, forehead, back of the head, and/or neck
  • Tight facial muscles, particularly those of the cheeks and jaw
  • Restricted movement of your jaw you cant open your mouth very wide or it locks
  • Ear pain and/or ringing in your ears
  • Theres a clicking noise in your jaw joint
  • Your teeth dont always seem to fit together properly

Are there similarities between the two types of headaches? Absolutely, but upon further investigation, you can start to notice some differences.

Once you know what kind of headache youre dealing with its much easier to treat.

Can Sinus Infection Cause Migraines And Dizziness And Confusion

Sinus Migraine: When Sinus Pain is More than a Headache ...

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What Can I Do About Recurring Sinus Headaches

Many sinus headaches, especially those that recur, are actually migraines. But its smart to see your healthcare provider to figure out the cause of your headaches.

You may find that the best long-term solution is figuring out what triggers your migraine headaches so you can avoid them. Its helpful to keep a headache diary to track potential triggers. Triggers you can control include:

  • Alcohol.
  • Specific foods, such as chocolate, red wine or strong cheese.
  • Lack of sleep.

Treatment For Sinus Pain

If you have pain thats caused by sinusitis, the following self-care measures may help ease your symptoms:

  • Inhaling steam.Inhaling steamy air may help loosen mucus and ease inflammation. You can do this by draping a towel over your head and leaning over a bowl of warm water. Standing in a warm, steamy shower may also help.
  • Using a nasal wash. A nasal wash is a saline solution and helps to flush out your sinuses. You can buy saline washes over-the-counter or make your own at home.
  • Taking OTC medications. Various OTC medications may help relieve symptoms like pain, inflammation, and sinus congestion:
  • pain medications like ibuprofen , naproxen , and acetaminophen
  • nasal decongestants, such as Sudafed and Mucinex Sinus Max
  • nasal corticosteroids like Flonase and Nasacort

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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!

What Is A Migraine Attack

When to Apply Essential Oils: Relieve Sinus Headaches

Migraine is a common primary headache disorder . In essence they are the result of a neurological malfunction that is thought to originate in the brain stem. Medical scientists and researchers still arent exactly sure what causes a migraine attack.

Leading theories relate to hyperexcitability within certain areas of the brain or a disorder from the brain stem which triggers the migraine;attack.

The brain stem is a small but extremely important part of the brain. It allows the nerve connections of the motor and sensory system to pass from the brain to the body. This controls bodily sensations and movement.

At the start of an attack, chemical changes are thought to develop in the brainstem which triggers a series of reactions causing the brain to respond abnormally to otherwise normal signals. The result from this hypersensitive response could be migraine.

Interestingly, at least 50% of people who experience migraine still have not been diagnosed.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

  • I get frequent sinus headaches. Is this the same thing as having a migraine or tension headache?
  • If I also have trouble breathing and have a heavy discharge from my nose, what does that mean?
  • Are migraines a symptom of a potentially bigger problem? Should I get an MRI or see a neurologist?
  • Ive tried over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but they dont always work. Are there other prescription medications I could use instead?
  • What Are The Sinuses And What Do They Look Like

    Sinuses of the face are cavities or spaces within the bones that help humidify the air and secrete mucus to help with air filtration. Additionally, they contribute to the strength of the skull and its ability to resist trauma. The sinus cavities also allow more resonance to be added to the voice.

    The sinuses are often referred to as the paranasal sinuses because of their location and connection to the back of the nose. The sinuses develop as air sacs within the bones of the skull, which are named by their location.

    • Frontal sinus: located above the eyes within the frontal bone of the skull
    • Maxillary sinus: located beneath the eyes under the cheekbones within the maxilla bone of the face
    • Ethmoid sinus: located in the ethmoid bone separating the eyes from the nose
    • Sphenoid sinus: located in the sphenoid bone at the base of the skull

    While infants do have sinuses, they are very poorly developed. The maxillary sinuses cannot be seen on an X-ray until 1 to 2 years of age and the frontal sinuses are not seen until age 5 or 6.

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    What Nasty Symptoms You Should Watch For

    Research shows that approximately forty-two percent of the patients that have migraines are incorrectly diagnosed by some physicians as having sinus headaches.

    42%! That’s almost half.

    In most situations, having a sinus infection is what causes the pain.;

    Sinusitis is swelling, or an inflammation, of the tissues that line the sinuses. Your sinuses are usually filled with air. But when they become congested and filled with fluid, germs grow and can cause an infection.

    The symptoms that you might experience when having a sinus attack are:

    • Sinus pressure
    • Puffy eyelids
    • Headache and localized pain

    Sinus headaches do not cause nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light or photo-phobia. Some doctors say that migraines do not commonly have a nasal discharge, fever, post-nasal drip, or a sore throat.

    With every attack my right eye swells up and the sinus drips. My husband often says “are you getting a cold?”

    Sinus attacks from allergies, like migraines, usually reoccur repeatedly and can impact daily functioning significantly. And having an infection would increase the pain associated with a sinus attack.

    So, you can see how easy they can be confused, but just remember the sensory sensitivities, nausea and vomiting as a telltale sign of migraine.;

    Telltale signs of a migraine are: sensory sensitives , nausea and vomiting. You will not get these with a sinus headache.

    Is It A Migraine Attack Or A Sinus Headache

    Sinus or Migraine Headache? How to Tell the Difference to ...

    Migraine attacks are often mistaken for sinus headaches. Heres how to tell the difference.

    Have you or someone you know ever uttered the words Its just a headache? Did you know that there are actually more than 150 different types of headaches, according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders ? And because its estimated that about half of people with migraine never get a diagnosis, many people arent getting the right treatment for their symptoms.

    Case in point: sinus headaches. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that of the 2,991 participants who thought they’d had at least six sinus headaches in the six months prior, 88 percent of them actually had migraine, according to the ICHD guidelines on diagnosing migraine.

    Migraine is far more common than sinus headache, says Kevin Weber, MD, a neurologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. About 35 million Americans have migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

    Unsure of what type of headache you have? Here are some clues for distinguishing between sinus headaches and migraine.

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    How Are Migraines Treated

    Migraine has no cure. But your migraines can be managed with your doctor’s help. Together, you will find ways to treat migraine symptoms when they happen, as well as ways to help make your migraines less frequent and severe. Your treatment plan may include some or all of these methods.

    Medicine.;There are two ways to approach the treatment of migraines with drugs: stopping a migraine in progress and prevention. Many people with migraine use both forms of treatment.

    Acute treatment.;Over-the-counter pain-relief drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen relieve mild migraine pain for some people. If these drugs don’t work for you, your doctor might want you to try a prescription drug. Two classes of drugs that doctors often try first are:

    • Triptans, which work by balancing the chemicals in the brain. Examples include sumatriptan , rizatriptan , zolmitriptan , almotriptan , eletriptan , naratriptan , and frovatriptan . Triptans can come as tablets that you swallow, tablets that dissolve on your tongue, nasal sprays, and as a shot. They should not be used if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
    • Ergot derivatives , which work in the same way as triptans. They should not be used if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.

    Prevention.;Some medicines used daily can help prevent attacks. Many of these drugs were designed to treat other health conditions, such as;;and;. Some examples are:

    How Are Sinus Headaches Diagnosed

    Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, its really a migraine. So, its important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

    Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:

    • X-rays.
    • Computed tomography scan.
    • Nasal endoscopy .

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    Can A Sinus Infection Cause Toothaches And Headaches

    If you have a persistent toothache that you have been ignoring, either by dealing with the pain or taking over-the-counter medication, it may actually have become more serious. A toothache is often a sign that tooth decay has penetrated close to or into the nerve of the tooth. Once an infection enters the tooth nerve, it can travel through the inside of the tooth into the sinuses, resulting in recurring sinus infections that may cause pain, fever, and other symptoms.;

    If you believe that you have an infected tooth, look for the following symptoms:

    • Discolorated tooth
    • Small sore that looks like a pimple on the gums

    If its a sinus infection and not an infected tooth you will experience;

    • Nasal congestion
    • Swelling and tenderness in nose
    • Postnasal drip;

    If you used to have a toothache, but now you have sinus headaches, you need to see a dentist. You may need a root canal to stop your toothache and headache.

    What Is The Difference Between Sinusitis Or Sinus Headache And Migraine

    Is it a Migraine or a Chronic Sinus Headache? Know the Difference

    There is a night and day difference. Sinusitis is a local infection. Migraine is a fundamental problem with the nervous system that produces a wide variety of symptoms related to neurochemical and electrical changes within the nervous system.

    One of the points of confusion is that there is an overlap in the distribution of pain that can be caused by migraine and pain that might be caused by sinusitis in the frontal or in the maxillary regions.

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    Can You Have Both Migraine And Sinus Headaches

    People with migraine can get a sinus headache, says Rajneesh. Migraine headaches have both genetic and environmental factors, and one of the environmental factors is allergies. If the allergies flare up in a person with preexisting migraine headaches, the migraine headache can get worse in the setting of sinus conditions or sinus disease, he says.

    In that case, as a neurologist, I would co-treat the headaches along with the primary care physician or the ear, nose, and throat surgeon. I would work on addressing the migraine, and the other care provider would treat the underlying sinus headaches, says Rajneesh.

    Because sinus congestion can be a trigger for migraine, it can lead patients without a diagnosis of migraine to believe they are having sinus headaches, Weber says.

    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.

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      What Causes A Migraine

      One prevailing theory is that migraines are caused by rapid waves of brain cell activity crossing the cortex, the thin outer layer of brain tissue, followed by periods of no activity. The name for this phenomenon is cortical spreading depression.

      Cortical spreading depression makes sense as a cause of aura, but researchers have also linked it to headache. Proponents cite experimental evidence that suggests it sets off inflammatory and other processes that stimulate pain receptors on the trigeminal nerves. This “neurogenic” inflammation and the release of other factors make the receptors and the parts of the brain that receive their signals increasingly sensitive, so migraine becomes more likely.

      Some leading researchers have expressed doubt about whether migraines start with cortical spreading depression. Experimental drugs that inhibit cortical spreading depression have shown a preventive effect on aura, but not on migraine headache.

      So, say some researchers, migraines are best explained as beginning lower in the brain, in the brainstem, which controls basic functions, such as respiration and responses to pain, and modulates many others, including incoming sensory information. The theory is that if certain areas of the brainstem aren’t working properly or are easily excited, they’re capable of starting cascades of neurological events, including cortical spreading depression, that account for migraine’s multiple symptoms.


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