Is This a Sinus Headache or a Migraine?

You’ve felt this before: pressure behind your eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes. There’s pollen in the air, so you assume you have a sinus headache. You take nasal decongestants and over-the-counter pain reliever. It isn’t working.

Do You Have a Migraine?

If you have migraines misdiagnosed as sinus pain, you may be using ineffective treatments that don’t help you get back to work, school, and other responsibilities. A pain management Jacksonville FL expert can identify the root cause of your headaches. With a proper diagnosis, you can develop a treatment plan to both alleviate migraine symptoms and reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

How Can You Tell a Sinus Headache From a Migraine?

Sinus headaches and migraines are surprisingly similar. Symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and pressure in the forehead are common to both conditions. Migraines are so commonly misdiagnosed, one study found 95% of people who actually had a migraine believed that it was a sinus headache.

Look for symptoms that point to the root cause. A sinus headache is more likely to appear with yellowish nasal mucus, while a migraine is more likely to involve clear nasal drainage. Sinus headaches may include a fever due to sinus inflammation. A migraine can cause dizziness, fatigue, sound sensitivity, light sensitivity, or nausea and loss of appetite.

Is It Possible To Have Both?

Those with a runny nose due to allergies are 10 times more likely to have migraines than those without allergies. While sinus problems may not directly cause migraines, it is possible for them to occur together.

Even when both occur together, treatment for migraines is significantly different from sinus treatments which focus on reducing inflammation, draining fluid, and treating or preventing infection. For a migraine, these treatments are unhelpful and can even be harmful.

Effective treatment reduces debilitating symptoms and gets you back to doing what’s important to you. This starts with understanding the root cause of your headaches. Take a look at your symptoms and if you have doubts, consult a professional.