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What Does A Sinus Migraine Feel Like

Allergy Sinusitis And Sinus Headache Resources

What Does a Migraine Feel Like? – The Excedrin® Migraine Experience

There are a number of very good resources available for people suffering from allergies, sinusitis, and sinus headaches:

  • Al-Hashel, J. Y., Ahmed, S. F., Alroughani, R., & Goadsby, P. J. . Migraine misdiagnosis as a sinusitis, a delay that can last for many years. Retrieved from
  • Bono, F., Messina, D., Giliberto, C., Cristiano, D., Broussard, G., Fera, F., . . . Quattrone, A. . Bilateral transverse sinus stenosis predicts IIH without papilledema in patients with migraine. Retrieved from
  • Cady, R. K., & Schreiber, C. P. . Sinus headache or migraine? Retrieved from
  • Chronic sinusitis. . Retrieved from
  • C. . Sinus Headaches. Retrieved from
  • December 62:752-754, J. F., & Author: Christopher Boisselle, MD Richard Guthmann, MD, MPH Kathy Cable, MLS. . What clinical clues differentiate migraine from sinus headaches? Retrieved from
  • ENT Health. . Sinus Headaches.
  • Migraine Symptoms. . Retrieved from
  • Migraines Are Accompanied By Nausea

    Wade Cooper, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and director of Michigan Medicine’s Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, told me it’s most likely a migraine if it’s “severe, or has a throbbing sensation, along with light and sound sensitivity or nausea.”

    But Dr. Williams details the assortment of stomach issues associated with migraines, including “loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or an unsettled stomach.” Clearly, migraines have way more additional symptoms and physical disruptions.

    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.

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    What Should I Do When A Migraine Begins

    Work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. Keeping a list of home treatment methods that have worked for you in the past also can help. When symptoms begin:

    • If you take migraine medicine, take it right away.
    • Drink fluids, if you don’t have nausea during your migraine.
    • Lie down and rest in a dark, quiet room, if that is practical.

    Some people find the following useful:

    • A cold cloth on your head
    • Rubbing or applying pressure to the spot where you feel pain
    • Massage or other relaxation exercises

    Talking To Your Doctor About Your Headaches

    Think You Have Sinus Pain? Youâre Wrong â Health and ...

    Your search for a migraine diagnosis and relief from your headaches usually begins with your primary care provider. He or she may send you to several specialists before you get answers, or you may go directly to a headache specialist or neurologist. In other words, you may find that you are repeating yourself to each new doctor. Dont let this discourage you. Sometimes it takes a little digging and searching to get answers, but it is worth it. Create your own headache file with notes and documentation from doctors visits and tests as well as your migraine diary.

    Dr. Ailani has this advice: Keep track of your headaches, write down when they happen, how long they last, and what symptoms come with the headache.

    She also recommends noting specific characteristics of your headache or migraine by considering these questions:

    • Do you prefer to be in the dark, or in a quiet area with a headache?
    • Do you find your stomach gets upset and smells bother you?
    • Would you prefer to sleep if you could?
    • Do your headaches last several hours or several days?
    • Have your parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, grandparents, and cousins ever had headaches? Migraines tend to run in families, but most families dont discuss this.
    • What have you tried for your headaches? What works or does not work?
    • How have your headaches changed over time?

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    This Is What A Migraine Really Feels Like

    Its just a headache. Cant you just take some ibuprofen and get back to work?

    People who get migraine headachesor migraine attacks, which is even more accurate since they dont always come with headachesare all too familiar with this kind of misperception.

    Migraines, which affect some 38 million Americans, consist of a web of symptoms that can make day-to-day functioning nearly impossible, including headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to sound, light, smell, or touch, tingling or numbness, and vision changes. So no, its not just a headache.

    For about 2% of people, migraines are chronic, meaning they rear their ugly heads on 15 or more days each month, says Elizabeth Seng, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and assistant professor at Yeshiva University in New York who specializes in the study and treatment of headache and chronic pain.

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    To help shed some light on what migraine suffererstechnically called migraineursare going through, we asked real women to tell us what its really like. Here, they describe the attacks.

    About 12 to 24 hours before a full-blown migraine, I start getting irritable or cry easily. Ill get strange food cravings, or I cant think straight. Ill hear words but none of them will make any sense, or I try to get an idea out, and its just jumbled when I try to speak., 46

    Symptoms Of A Migraine

    Migraines can vary from person to person and even from attack to attack. There are a wide range of migraine symptoms, but the most common include:

    • Head pain, often over one eye or on one or both sides
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Ear pain
    • Coughing

    To further compound the confusion between these two conditions, even treatment options are similar. Many people are very surprised to discover that sinus medications and treatments relieve their migraine pain. Dr. Ailani explains:

    Migraine can improve when using products like Sudafed or Advil cold/sinus. These medications work to reduce some of the chemicals that are elevated during a migraine, so dont be fooled into thinking that if you feel better with Sudafed, it is a sinus issue. Overuse of these medications can lead to more headaches, so if you find yourself using these medications more than 2-3 days a week, seek medical attention for an appropriate diagnosis.

    A diagnosis of either a migraine or a sinus headache is the first step in finding treatment that works.

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    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

    When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

    How To Relieve A Sinus Headache
    • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
    • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
    • Your headache comes on suddenly.
    • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

    Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

    • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
    • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

    Read Also: How To Get A Migraine

    Migraine Tension And Cluster Headaches Are Considered To Belong To Which Category Of Headaches

    The primary headache disorders include migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. Headache is the main symptoms of these conditions. Secondary headaches occur in response to another underlying condition. Many medical problems can cause secondary headaches, including overuse of certain medications.

    What Are The Treatment Options

    Your primary care provider, or a neurologist, can provide recommendations for treating your headaches based on their severity and frequency, and can rule out more serious causes of your headache. Treatment for migraines includes both over-the-counter and prescription medications and preventative medications for patients with severe or frequent headaches, or if headaches are present for more than 15 days per month.

    Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also be associated with rebound headaches or medication-overuse headaches if taken too often. Tell your doctor how often you take pain medications for headaches. Avoid triggers, and talk to your doctor about your sleep habits. Keep a headache diary to record your headache symptoms, triggers, and treatments.

    Sinus headaches caused by migraines or tension headaches should not be treated with antibiotics. Because there are similar symptoms between acute sinusitis and migraine headaches with nasal and sinus symptoms, it can be difficult to tell if your symptoms are truly a sinus infection. Sinus pain and pressure without discolored nasal discharge is most likely not a sinus infection. If you have been diagnosed with frequent sinus infections and have been treated with repeated episodes of antibiotics without improvement, migraines or tension headaches could be causing your sinus pain and pressure.

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    Symptoms Of Vestibular Migraines

    As mentioned earlier, in vestibular migraines, youre dealing with two enemies. On top of the symptoms of classic migraine, vestibular migraines also involve the following symptoms:

    • Spontaneous vertigo attacks
    • Dizziness from staring at moving objects like cars or running people
    • Motion sickness caused by moving the body, head, or eyes
    • Rocking feeling similar to when youre riding a boat
    • Loss of balance
    • Inability to focus the eyes
    • Light sensitivity
    • Neck pain

    Whats The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine

    If You Get Sinus Headaches or CONSTANT Congestion You NEED ...

    A tension-type headache, the most common type of headache, causes pain on both sides of the head. Its a tight pressure rather than a throbbing, and you might also have soreness in your temples, neck and shoulder muscles. Headache pain isnt usually considered severe.

    Migraine, on the other hand, has many symptoms including headache. This can feel like a throbbing pain that might be worse on one side of your head. You can also feel pain around your eyes, temples, face, jaw or neck. The pain may increase with physical activity, which is why it helps to lie down.

    But the key difference between a headache and migraine? Migraines can be distressing and debilitating and can affect your whole body. People can feel vaguely unwell for a day or two before a migraine headache comes on . Once it has started, a migraine headache can last for between 4 hours and several days.

    Migraine is a chronic disorder of the brain with recurrent severe attacks other common features are or even , explains Assistant Professor of Neurology Yulia Orlova on The Conversation. Many people have sensitivity to light, odours or sounds and are unable to carry on daily activity.

    Migraine is ranked the sixth most disabling disease in the world. Global Burden of Disease

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    Living With Vestibular Migraine

    Many people may find that lying down in a dark room or sleeping can help reduce migraine symptoms.

    Taking over-the-counter pain or nausea-relief medication at the first sign of symptoms may also reduce the severity of the symptoms.

    People who have vestibular migraine may experience periods in life with fewer occurrences, and other periods when there are more.

    When symptoms happen with high frequency, it can impact a persons ability to live their day-to-day life. This may include a negative impact on a persons career, education, and relationships with family and friends.

    Living with the condition can be isolating and discouraging. In addition to exploring treatments, looking for support from peers with the condition may also help.

    What Is A Sinus Headache

      If the linings of the ducts or tubes that connect the sinuses to the back of the nose become inflamed, the sinuses may not be able to drain normally, and pressure may build up within the blocked sinus. There may also be associated swelling and inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, resulting in increased mucus and fluid secretion. This increase in fluid combined with the inability to drain increases pressure within the sinus cavity, causing the pain of a sinus headache. The term sinusitis is used to describe inflammation of the sinus.

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      What Does A Migraine Feel Like

      Migraines typically are recurring headaches that surface on one side of the head rather than both sides, Dr. Moisi told POPSUGAR. This throbbing or pulsating pain in your head usually brings about nausea and vomiting. Migraines can also make you feel lightheaded or dizzy and very sensitive to lights and sounds. Speaking from experience, I can say that the pressure makes me feel, quite literally, like my head is going to explode. My eyes get hot, then symptoms like nausea set in.

      Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

      Episode 12 Adult tonsillectomy, difference between a sinus headache and a migraine.

      In some women, pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

      The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

      Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

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      How Do You Get Rid Of An Allergy Headache

      Treating allergy headaches often requires a multi-pronged approach:

      • Reduce your allergy symptoms and sinus congestion with an antihistamine, decongestant, or intranasal corticosteroid.
      • Take acetaminophen , migraine medicine, or other pain relievers to minimize or eliminate your headache.
      • Try at-home treatments like using a neti pot, drinking plenty of fluids, and applying a warm wet washcloth to your face.

      Sinus Headache And Neck Pain

      Inflamed and swollen sinuses can cause sinus headaches, and this can be due to infections, colds or allergies. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between a sinus headache and a migraine and it is always best to seek advice from your GP to be sure. Both conditions can cause very similar symptoms, including pain in the face and head, although there are some key differences. Sinus headaches tend to cause pain in the face and frontal part of the head , including the cheeks, eyes, ears and upper teeth, but rarely anywhere else. In migraines, the headaches are usually also more severe, one-sided and often preceded by an aura or symptoms that the migraine is about to start, such as flashing lights or a feeling of nausea. Pain that is felt predominantly in the neck area is unlikely to be due to sinusitis and is also rare due to migraine. Other causes might need to be considered, such as neck stiffness due to a musculoskeletal cause, an injury or a vascular cause. It is, however, possible to get some tightness in the neck due to tension or stress, and this can also accompany sinusitis or migraine, although the neck pain is likely to be less severe than the facial pain/pressure.


      Steps to Prevent flare-ups

      Signs Of Something More Serious

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      Migraines Have More Specific Locations

      The eyes have it! As Dr. Khorsandi explained, “Migraines are usually located behind the eye.” Indeed, my eyes almost always feel like ticking bombs during my worst migraines and I don’t want to use my peepers for anything, hence why I prefer to curl up in a fetal position in both darkness and silence.

      Your Sinus Headache Might Actually Be A Migraine

      Sinus Strain Headache Left Facet

        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:


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