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Sinus Headaches

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Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches often accompany sinusitis.  Sinusitis is a condition in which the membrane lining your sinuses become swollen and inflamed. You may feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead.

However, not every headache is a consequence of a sinusitis. For example, many patients visit an ear, nose, and throat specialists to seek treatment for a sinus headaches and learn they actually have a migraine or tension headaches.

Dr. Gould has been treating sinus headaches for nearly 20 years and is committed to finding a solution to your headaches. The key to successful treatment is proper diagnosis, which involves considering all possible causes of facial pain/pressure.

Diagnosis

It is easy to confuse migraines and sinus headaches because the signs and symptoms overlap. In fact, studies have shown that approximately 90 percent of people who see a doctor for sinus headaches are found to have migraines instead.

As with sinus headaches, migraine pain often gets worse when you bend forward. Migraines can be accompanied by various nasal symptoms including congestion, facial pressure and/or a clear, watery nasal discharge, which also make the etiology of the headache confusing for patients.

However, sinus headaches usually aren’t associated with nausea & vomiting and aren’t aggravated by noise or bright light – all common features of migraines.

In addition to a thorough history, one of the first steps in determining if sinusitis is the cause of your sinus headache is to treat your sinus problems. Once your sinus problem disappears, so should your sinus headaches. There are occasions when a patient may only have mild sinus symptoms but still complains of terrible sinus headaches. At this point, it may be necessary to perform allergy testing, consult with a neurologist or TMJ specialists.

It is important to understand there is not one test that can simply diagnose sinus headaches. Instead, Dr. Gould takes his time to listen, ask the right questions and considers all the possible causes of facial pain, sinus pressure and headaches.

Medical Treatment

Many medications used to treat sinus headaches are the same ones used to treat sinusitis. These include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Allergy medications
  • Decongestants
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids

Occasionally it is necessary to use prescription migraine medication and/or pain medicine as well as antibiotics and steroids to control sinus headaches.

Procedural Treatment

If your headaches are caused by sinusitis, you may benefit from Balloon Sinus Dilation.

 


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