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What’s Worse Than A Migraine

Can A Sinus Headache Cause A Migraine

Are Cluster Headaches worse than Migraines? | Apollo Hospitals

A common misconception is that sinusitis triggers migraines , but that isnt likely to happen. Sinusitis originates in a different region of the body than migraine and they are not necessarily connected However, the two conditions do share the same nerves that can be stimulated, and they do both produce many of the same chemicals in the body during an attack. There are certain signs that can help distinguish between the two and knowing this can help facilitate appropriate treatment of the condition that is present.

Dr. Ailani explains how easy it can be to mistake a migraine for a sinus headache:

With a sinus infection, you will often have a fever, bright colored mucus from the nose in large amounts, and pain that is worse when you lay down . You may notice the pain is worse in the morning after sleeping for several hours. Occasionally, someone may have a chronic sinus infection, something that has been going on for several months. In this case, a person may not have any symptoms, and may not have a headache either.

If you have a severe headache with sinus type symptoms and also have light or sound sensitivity, upset stomach, lack of appetite, and no fever, and you notice the pain resolves in 4-36 hours- this may be a migraine. If you notice the pain improves when laying in a dark, quiet room, or when taking over the counter pain medication, this again goes along with migraine.

What Are Rebound Migraines

Women who use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month can set off a cycle called rebound. As each dose of medicine wears off, the pain comes back, leading the patient to take even more. This overuse causes your medicine to stop helping your pain and actually start causing headaches. Rebound headaches can occur with both over-the-counter and prescription pain-relief medicines. They can also occur whether you take them for headache or for another type of pain. Talk to your doctor if you’re caught in a rebound cycle.

Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided

Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.

Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.

There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.

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Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches

What most people dont realize is that true sinus headaches are actually quite uncommon and are often over diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, often due to a bacterial infection. The sinuses are air pockets that are situated at certain points in the facial bones. Scientists are not certain the exact purpose of sinuses. Some believe that it helps enhance the voice through resonation while others believe it may be a way for the body to humidify the air during inhalation. They are usually empty but do have a very thin mucus layer along the walls.

There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses, meaning that there are two at the same points on the left and right. They are:

  • Frontal sinuses: above the eyes just over the eyebrows
  • Maxillary sinuses: on each side of the nose, in the cheekbone
  • Ethmoid sinuses: between the eyes, under the bridge of the nose
  • Sphenoid sinuses: behind the eyes and ethmoid sinuses

Inflammation of the sinuses can occur due to bacterial, viral, or fungal causes and can present in one of the sinus pair, or several. If there is an infection present, it is important that it is treated. Failure to properly treat a sinus infection can cause serious health risks and can create a propensity to develop sinus infections in the future.

Migraine More Common Than Cluster Headache

Migraine or Bad Headache: Whats the Difference ...

More people have likely heard of migraine than of cluster headaches because migraine is much more common. The National Headache Foundation reports that more than 37 million Americans have migraine. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world.

Cluster headaches, on the other hand, are rarer, affecting between an estimated 200,000 and one million Americans, according to Eileen Brewer, president of the patient advocacy group Clusterbusters, speaking to the American Migraine Foundation.

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Changes In The Weather

Storms, excessive heat and changes in barometric pressure are common weather-related migraine triggers that can lead to a migraine attack. High humidity and heat can easily lead to dehydration, another common trigger.

How to cope: We cant control the weather, so if the current conditions are not favorable for your migraine, stay inside or adjust your schedule accordingly. If theres an errand you need to run and its the middle of July in Arizona, take care of it in the morning before it gets too hot!

Why Are They Called Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches get their name from how they affect you. They come on in clusters, or groups, before temporarily going away for most people.

Each headache tends to last 30 to 45 minutes, though some are shorter and some longer. You may experience up to eight of these headaches within 24 hours. And this may happen for weeks or several months.

Then the clusters usually pause, for reasons that arent yet understood. The headaches go into remission for months or years before returning. Some people never get much of a break, though. They experience chronic cluster headaches. This happens to about one in five people who get cluster headaches.

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Migraines Worse Than Childbirth New Study Reveals Impact Of Migraine

Migraines Worse than Childbirth? New Study Reveals Impact of Migraine

A new study commissioned by Eli Lilly, a migraine pharmaceutical company, surveyed 1,000 adults, including 518 migraine sufferers and 200 people with migraine sufferers in their families. They asked respondents to divulge how migraines impact life.

The general population, and many migraine sufferers too, will be shocked by the results. Most migraine sufferers will say, yeah, duh, while other migraine sufferers will discover that they are not alone in the devastation that migraines bring.

Passing this information along to the general public and medical professionals will help to get past the stigma that migraines are just headaches.

Lets first discuss the pain of a migraine, which is only a small portion of this survey.

The chart above shows the average pain score that migraine sufferers gave for a typical migraine, the worst migraine pain theyve experienced, and other conditions.

A typical migraine was rated a 7.1 and childbirth was just a notch above at 7.3. However, the worst migraine pain experienced was rated 8.6, which falls just short of the most painful thing that person ever experienced at 8.7.

Whether youre a migraine sufferer or not, you may think: is this true? or its not true for me. It is subjectively true. The 10-point pain scale bases no pain at zero and unimaginable pain at 10 or pain so severe that you would go unconscious shortly.

What Are Migraine Symptoms Like

Whats Worse? Hiccups or Headaches?

This is arguably the most important section of the article! In fact, it best answers our title: why migraines are so much worse than headaches.

While they are brought on by different triggers and have different risk factors, one of the biggest reasons migraines are so different from headaches is that, simply put, the symptoms are much more intense.

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Nausea Worse Than Headaches

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I’ve been suffering with what i’ve been told are migraines for over 3 years now. I have been so sick that ive had many times where ive wanted to end my life. The headaches arnt the worst symptom of all, its the constant nausea. I thought i’d share a list of my symptoms that i suffer on a daily basis, and have only had respite from these symptoms on average 1 day a fortnight for the past 3 years.

worst symptom nausea, like having gastro bug. the feeling of being ready to vomit and paralysed by this in bed unable to move- constant headaches which vary from throbbing in my forehead to sharp pains- ringing in ears, underwater sensations- visual aura such as black tadpoles flying through my vision, unable to see through certain parts of my eye, white lights, shadowing, blurred vision- diziness and fainting sensation, like im about to pass out- flu like symptoms, shaking, hot flushes, pains throughout entire body, basically zombified- vomitting- face from lips upwards numb and pins and needles everyday

Ive had ct scan, mri, lumbar puncture and told my neurologist all of my symptoms which he confirmed is all migraine?! I have tried various medications and now feel like my doctor thinks im making it up or im crazy and puts it down to stress. Ive led a very stressful life and up until 3 years ago i never even had as much as a headache.

Sending strength, power, love, courage and hope to all migraine sufferers out there. Xxx

What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine

If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.

    You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.

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    What Else Can I Do For Cluster Headaches

    Some alternative therapies may provide relief from cluster headaches, including:

    • Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese treatment, acupuncture uses small needles. Theyre inserted into your skin at various points to relieve pain.
    • Physiotherapy: Treatment focuses on stretching, moving joints and massaging.
    • Spinal manipulation: This chiropractic adjustment adjusts the alignment of your spine.

    Your healthcare provider can recommend what might help for your situation. Ask about your options.

    Nasal Steroids And Decongestants

    Causes and Triggers of Chronic Migraine »

    Nasal steroids and decongestants indicated for chronic allergies are stimulants, and some include caffeine in their chemical makeup, which has been shown to be an on-and-off migraine trigger. These drugs promote systemic absorption, which means they enter the circulatory system, affecting the entire body. It has been shown that regular long-term use of these medications, such as intranasal corticosteroids, can be a trigger to migraines.

    One problem with nasal steroids, decongestants, and the aforementioned PPIs is that people get put on a medication and they just stay on it, even if the symptoms resolve, said Dr. Charles. Its best to use these medications intermittingly, as needed. Keep in mind, however, that a rebound reaction is possible after stopping nasal steroids and PPIs. A healthcare provider can provide guidance.

    Dr. Charles said that the use of menthol, instead of nasal steroids and decongestants, can be used to treat sinus issues and prevent migraine.

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    Can Migraines Be Prevented

    You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

    Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

    The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

    What Triggers Cluster Headaches

    If you experience cluster headaches, you likely know the triggers. These are things that can start headaches or otherwise affect them.

    There are two ways to look at triggers:

    • Triggers that start a new cycle of headaches: Most people go months or years between cluster headache periods. When headaches start again, the shift often appears tied to changes in seasons. It may happen because of suspected ties between cluster headaches and the hypothalamus. This part of your brain contains your circadian clock, a built-in schedule that responds to sunlight.
    • Triggers that affect headaches during a cycle: During headache periods, the blood vessels in your brain change. These changes make you more sensitive to alcohol and nicotine. Drinking just a little alcohol can bring on a headache. Smoking can also make headaches feel worse or trigger a headache.

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    Do Migraine Attacks Last Longer Or Happen More Frequently Than Cluster Headaches

    A migraine attack typically lasts between 4 and 72 hours, says Rajneesh. Thats longer than a cluster headache lasts, which is between 15 minutes and three hours.

    Most people with migraine have one or two migraine attacks per month, but some people have them much more frequently. About 1 percent of the population has chronic migraine, which is defined as having at least 15 migraine days per month, according to American Migraine Foundation.

    Cluster headaches come in bouts, or cluster periods. These periods last for weeks or months, according to the International Headache Society, and are separated by remissions lasting months or years.

    During a cluster period, the frequency of headaches ranges from one every other day to as many as eight per day.

    I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

    What Really Causes a Migraine?

    Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

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    The Different Types Of Migraines

    A migraine is not just a really bad headache, as some people believe. Instead, it is an illness with a constellation of neurological symptoms that may include really bad headaches. There are several types of migraines, and many share some of the same symptoms, which typically include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to touch, smells, and light, andin a few peoplenumbness and difficulties with speech.

    Allergy Sinusitis And Sinus Headache Resources

    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
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    What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers

    Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .

    Common migraine risk factors include the following:

    • Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
    • Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
    • Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.

    Common migraine triggers include the following:

    • Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
    • Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
    • Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
    • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
    • Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
    • Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.

    Foods that may trigger migraines:

    • aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
    • aged cheese
    • soy sauce


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