The Difference between Sinusitis and Migraines

November 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Migraines

The term sinus migraine evolved from the combination of two kinds of head pains experience by an individual at the same time – pain in the top of the head and pain in the face. These two pains are both characteristics of a migraine and sinus, correspondingly. However, in order to determine if the term sinus migraine is actually valid, let us first look into the facts on both migraine and sinus headaches.


Inflammation of one’s sinuses membranes due to nasal problems as well as bacterial infection is what you call sinusitis or sinus. If you have sinus, you will experience pain around the face, especially on your cheeks, areas surrounding the eyes, as well as above the eyebrows. Symptoms that occur with sinusitis are colds, phlegm, and fever. These symptoms can worsen if you apply pressure on your face by positioning it awkwardly. Sinuses appear irregularly, but once you start having high fever, experience stiffness in the neck, and throbbing around the eyes, you need to get yourself checked by medical professionals ASAP. Doctors prescribe nasal sprays and antibiotics that can minimize the pain. However, corrective surgery will be conducted, should such medication cease to work.


In contrast, the type of pain focusing on an individual’s crown portion of the head is called a migraine. Factors, like your sleeping and eating habits, environmental and hormonal changes, among many others may cause migraines. You will know when you are experiencing one if you are emotionally stressed, have visual delusions, and see flashes and spots while feeling an excruciating pain on specific head areas. If you continuously experience headaches as well as extreme pain brought about by the migraine, you should seek medical attention. If not treated properly, it may increase the pain.


Current studies show that because of overlapping symptoms, migraine headaches and sinus have been misdiagnosed. For example, some physicians assume that when a patient experiences pain on each side of the head, it is a sinus headache since for migraines, pain is only at the crown. Or, because a runny nose is not a symptom associated with migraines, it is therefore diagnosed as sinusitis, even though it really is not.


Keep in mind that there are key distinctions between the two. If one emits a greenish yellow nasal residue, this is clearly a symptom of sinus and not migraines. However, if a person is visually disturbed and feels pain pulsating in a particular head portion, these are not symptoms of sinus, but rather of migraines. With proper information, you will understand that sinus and migraines are each different and should not be collectively called sinus migraine.


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