Medical Myths: Sinus Headaches

Medical Myths: Sinus Headaches


It’s actually a pretty complex answer, but to start I would say, most sinus headaches are not from the sinus, and they are not headaches. So, it’s actually a misnomer. Most commonly, we’re talking about facial pain – cheek and forehead pressure. Majority of patients that present to an office with these exact pain symptoms do not have sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, they have something more like migraine, tension headache, or other chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia. In general, the most important aspect here is getting the diagnosis correct. So, we’re going to ask questions – do you have migraines, do you have tension headaches, do you have seasonal allergies, do you have sinusitis? Sinusitis would be an actual infection or severe inflammation of the sinus cavity. There are specific questions we ask. We take a lot of time with these patients. But, by the end of it, we should have a good idea of what the proper diagnosis is, then we can move into the proper treatment. What does the treatment entail? It may entail a sinus surgeon like myself, but a lot of times, these are medical conditions that need to be treated by headache specialist who manages chronic pain conditions – facial pain, migraine. And then, may also include allergy testing to see if allergies are a contribution. Between the multiple specialties, we’ll get the proper treatment done in an efficient manner.

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