Migraine or Sinus?

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TerryM2
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/16/2013 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I'm new and tried to search to see if this common question has been answered already, but I couldn't find it, so..sorry if this is a duplicate.

I've had headaches all my adult life (I'm in my late 50s now) and had assumed they were sinus because the point of pain is always on the side of my nose, though the pain can sometimes radiate up to my eye and above.

My triggers are always weather related. But in reading online resources, it says in many places that sinus headaches have to be accompanied by an infection.

How does one tell the difference between the two types of headaches? I do become light and sound sensitive and sometimes feel queasy but not to the point of vomiting. They were much worse and more frequent pre menopause.

My paternal grandmother had classic migraines that sent her to bed for days. My father (her son) had what he called sinus headaches and would put his head over a steaming kettle with a towel over his head to find relief.

Lastly, I went to an ENT doc for a different problem, asked about the headaches and he said he didn't know what they were; maybe a combination of both types, yet he had no suggestions on how to deal with the pain (which usually lasts up to 3 straight days).

Would a neurologist be able to tell what's going on, or should I find a headache specialist? I'm sick of the pain, especially as the seasons change and I get pounded with pain.

Thanks in advance-
Terry

sparkleplenty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 567
   Posted 5/19/2013 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
My neurologist would say it doesn't matter it's a migraine. He doesn't believe in categorizing them at all. I think either a neurologist or headache specialist would be a good place to start. They can always refer you to someone else if need be.

Hope you find some relief.
Diagnosed w/Crohn's in 2005. Meds: pentasa, synthroid, allergy meds, B-12 (liquid), multi-vitamin, probiotics, glutamine, bcq, migraine meds prn, and xanax, and vicodin prn. No surgeries.

Have tried: sulfasalazine, Asacol, entocort, imuran, humira, remicade (serious joint pain/fatigue stopped after 2 doses), 6MP, cimzia

TerryM2
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/19/2013 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
But isn't the treatment different depending on whether it's sinus vs migraine? I'm still searching for a headache specialist but may have to start off with a neurologist.

Thanks for your response!
Terry

Alcie
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5012
   Posted 5/20/2013 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I've struggled with headaches since an accident 4 years ago.

The ENT gave me antibiotics, which worked briefly, but they always came back. He tried sinus surgery which made it worse. He has had me on a Budesonide sinus wash, but it's expensive and gives me only minor relief.

The allergist has me taking my allergy shots weekly, using saline sinus wash and trying antihistamine sprays and steroid sprays. Some of the antihistamine sprays seem to help, but I'm still testing.

The neurologist said there was nothing he could do since I had already tried all the medicines.

He sent me to the pain doc (anesthesiologist) who did a nerve block in my forehead which hasn't worked, but that was only 2 weeks ago and I still have a bruise. I did have partial relief from a facet joint injection (actually 6) in the lumbar spine, during which the steroid and local anesthetic migrated up to my neck and head. I may investigate, with him, the possibility of cervical spine involvement and getting another nerve block in my neck.

TerryM2
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/20/2013 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie,
Wow, that's pretty intensive. I'm so sorry for your pain! I don't think mine is anywhere as horrible as yours, thank goodness. It IS hard to know where to start, though. I see there is a headache specialist in Ann Arbor, MI, which is 45 minutes from me, but the online reviews on him aren't so great.

Gotta figure out where to start. My internist said to try over the counter migraine meds, but those or my regular regime (Advil + decongestant + nose spray) only (sometimes) takes the edge off the pain.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5012
   Posted 5/20/2013 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Terry -

My headache isn't one of those screaming ones, just mild to bad 24/7/365. I'd be happy to get it to where my tramadol covers it.

I forgot to mention that one of the things I'm trying is Mucinex 12 hour at bedtime. If the sinuses aren't draining properly, especially in dry weather, this seems to help some. It thins the secretions. I wake up with less headache when dry sinuses is part of the problem.

I think the trick is to figure out what is causing the headache.

TerryM2
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/20/2013 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Still, a daily headache is horrible to deal with. I just made an appointment with a general neurologist to see what he thinks is going on. It would be nice to be headache free when the weather changes, which where I live, is a constant issue.
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