image courtesy bel marra-health

Headache pain along with a stuffy, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Sounds like a sinus headache, right? Think again.

Sinus headaches and migraines can have some symptoms in common, including:

a. Pain in the head, particularly the forehead
b. Itchy or watery eyes
c. Pain when you move

But migraines often happen with other symptoms, including:

a. Nausea or vomiting
b. Sensitivity to sound or light
c. Severe throbbing pain on one side of the head

A migraine is usually to blame in people who have severe headaches that happen often, says neurology professor Stephen Silberstein, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University. He wrote the American Academy of Neurology’s guidelines on migraine diagnosis and treatment.

“If you walk into your doctor’s office with disabling headache pain that comes and goes, 95% of the time it’s a migraine,” Silberstein says. “People with sinus infections don’t complain of a headache first. They say they are sick and have a headache.”

Sinus headaches are usually caused by an infection and inflammation of the nasal passages. That leads to congestion. And that causes pain and pressure in the forehead and behind the cheekbones.

Source: WebMD

  1. December 31, 2018

    Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions: In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have: Moderate-to-severe headache

  2. January 14, 2019

    The helpful discussion so far! Migraine is commonly misdiagnosed as a sinus headache. Self-diagnosed sinus headache is nearly always migraine (90% of the time). Migraine is commonly associated with forehead and facial pressure over the sinuses, nasal congestion, and runny nose. Thank you so much and keep posting things like this.

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