Is it a sinus headache or a migraine?

If you suffer with bad headaches, you might not care what kind of headaches they are or what causes them – but, of course, you and your doctor have to determine what is causing your headaches so that they can be treated effectively. Sinus headaches and migraines, for example, can have similar symptoms but have very different causes and treatments.

Sinus headache vs migraine

Both migraines and sinus headaches can cause facial pressure, a stuffy, runny nose, and watery eyes. However, there are important differences between the two. A sinus headache may be accompanied by a fever, and if there is any draining of mucus it will be yellow. With a migraine, this drainage would be clear. Migraines also often come with sudden vision problems, nausea, and sensitivity to light and/or sound. If migraines run in your family or if you are a woman, the odds that you will get migraines are increased, and you might notice that certain foods or stress trigger your headaches.

If your headaches are keeping you from enjoying life or getting work done, if you are having them more often than you used to or they are more severe than they used to be, or if your headaches used to be helped with over-the-counter medication but they aren’t any longer, it may be time to see your doctor.

If you are having sinus headaches, there are a few different options your doctor will discuss with you. Your headaches may be the result of sinus issues such as small sinus openings, a deviated septum, nasal polyps that block the sinuses, or even an infection in the sinuses. Other signs that you may have sinus problems are facial pain and pressure, difficulty breathing, and tenderness in the upper part of the face. Balloon sinuplasty, oral decongestants, or a steroid spray may help to relieve the pressure in your sinuses and help with your headaches.

Have you been having a lot of headaches lately? Determining what is causing these headaches is the first step toward feeling better. Lakeside Allergy ENT has offices in Rockwall, Forney, and Wylie. Call (972) 771-5443 for an appointment today!

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