Sound Health Services

How to Tell the Difference Between a Migraine and a Sinus Headache

Migraine or Sinus HeadacheWhen you have a bad headache, it’s hard to focus on anything else but getting rid of the pain. Headaches can be debilitating, causing you to be less productive at work and affecting the way you act toward everyone around you. To figure out the best way to deal with a headache, it helps to know what’s causing the pain.

Sinus Headache Symptoms are Different Than Migraine Symptoms

If you’re treating a sinus headache the same way you would a migraine, it probably won’t work. That’s why it helps to know the difference in symptoms.
Sinus Headache Causes and Symptoms

The pain felt during a sinus headache is usually caused by a sinus infection. Inflammation of the nasal passages leads to congestion, causing facial pain and pressure along with the headache. You can tell if you have a sinus headache if you have:

•Pain that feels like pressure, often in or near the forehead
•Facial pain
•Pain can increase when you move
•Itchy, watery eyes

Migraine Causes and Symptoms

Migraine headaches can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes, something in your diet such as caffeine, side effects from a medication, or after not having enough sleep. You may have a migraine if you experience:

•Throbbing pain usually on one side of the head
•Nausea and/or vomiting
•Sensitivity to sound or light
•Vision disturbances including spots or flashes of light


How to Get Relief

Treating a migraine can require lifestyle changes such as relieving stress, getting more sleep, reducing caffeine consumption or changing a medication. If you suffer from migraines often, talk to your doctor.

If your symptoms match those of a sinus headache, you’ll want to see an ear, nose and throat specialist who may suggest you try decongestants or other ways to ease sinus pressure and congestion. Since sinus headaches are often caused by sinus infections, you may be prescribed an antibiotic to cure the infection.

Sometimes, chronic sinus infections are caused by obstruction of the sinuses. This can happen when the structure of the nasal cavity doesn’t allow drainage to flow properly. If this is a case, an ENT doctor can perform a simple procedure called balloon sinuplasty to open the nasal passage with a tiny balloon, or may suggest endoscopic sinus surgery to clear the blockage.

Sound Health ENTs Can Help Cure Your Sinus Headaches

You don’t have to keep living with terrible headaches. Call Sound Health Services at (314) 332-1377 to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable ENT doctors today.