Sinus Headache or Migraine?

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  1. I have a doctors appointment on Monday and I plan to discuss this then, but I also thought I would post here to see if anyone here has any experience with this. I get headaches a few times a month where I don't feel good at the same time, and I'm getting a lot of messages about whether it's sinus or migraine related.

    I usually wake up with them, and for the most part they seem to be triggered by dryness (environment, not drinking enough water) and allergy season. Symptoms include:

    - Pressure in face, especially around the eyes (both sides) and cheeks
    - Feeling like I can't close my mouth because of the pressure
    - Upset stomach, not really nausea, but just upset
    - Exhaustion
    - Pain is dull and throughout my entire head, sometimes can be a little worse on the left side though
    - Watery eyes
    - Runny nose, but usually clear

    I have read that only 3% or so of people who think they have sinus headaches actually have sinus headaches and the rest are migraines, so it's really making me question what this is. I don't have an aura or sensitivity to light and sound.

    Any thoughts or experiences?
  2. #2 Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
    Sounds like sinus to me, I'm no doc, lol!
    But I have 2 children w/ different migraines and are on nightly meds to control them.
    If you wake up w/ a migraine or headache and you didn't go to sleep w/ one it typically points to sleep issues or food issues, like dinner the night before having a food trigger in it.
    One of my kids had reoccurring headaches 3-4 days/week w/ them being severe only once in a while. His neuro explained that's considered a migraine w/o the auras, light sensitivity, etc. . .
    My DD has more conventional ones, she got a concussion about 3.5 years ago and we believe that triggered hers plus she's a teenager so lots of hormones.
    I can count on 1 hand how many times either woke up w/ the headaches.
  3. I have both and this sounds like sinus.

    And it's funny because I would've thought it was the opposite. More people had sinus headaches and thought it was a migraine.
  4. Sounds like sinus to me too. I love Advil Cold and Sinus that seems to be the only things that works for me when I have these type of headaches.
  5. Sounds like sinus!!
    Neti pot should help with that!

    Using it the first few times is rather unpleasant, but Totally worth it!!
  6. I actually use the neti pot every day and I didn't on Wednesday so I'm wondering if that could have made my sinus headache worse yesterday?
  7. Do you get any side effects from it? I'm really weird with medication.

    That's what I thought too! But everything I read said that most people think they have a sinus headache but it's really a migraine. I had some migraines when I was younger and they were definitely different to what I experienced yesterday.

    You poor kids! I had migraines when I was around 14 and it was awful, and blamed on hormones.

    I could definitely see it being sleep issues and I'm going to have to look into the food issues too.
  8. Based on the symptoms you described it sounds like a sinus issue but i had migraines where my sinuses were affected. Only a doctor can give you a proper diagnosis though.
  9. I have allergies and my neurologist tells me to take Zyrtec every day just because allergies are thought to be related to some migraines. im glad you're going in to rule out sinus infection. And sounds like you need a humidifier while you sleep too.

    I usually can tell a difference in tension/sinus headache over a migraine because my migraines get drastically worse when I move. The tension headaches are the same whether I'm moving or lying still.

    My neurologist has me on 400 mg magnesium citrate, 400mg B-2, and a beta blocker. I also have some rescue meds that don't work. I've had just about every type of migraine or headache in the book, and they change and evolve over time. I think of all the procedures and meds I've tried that the b-2 is the most helpful.

    I hope you feel better!
  10. If you're feeling it around the eyes it's probably sinus headaches. That's the first place I feel it. If I rub around my eye area I can feel and hear a squishing noise. The neti pot done daily is great, it helps clear out any allergens that you breathed in that day. So doing that daily can help minimize the flair ups. The only thing that helps me when my sinuses are bad is 24hour Claritin D, I need something with a decongestant in it. Also watery eyes is another symptom of allergies as well. And the mucus that you are having is clear and white which also indicates that it's probably allergies too these colors indicate irritation in the sinuses. If it was yellow or brown or green it would mean your sick and your body is fighting off infection.

  11. Hi. I know your post is a few weeks old. I hope you got help. After 10+ years of the occasional migraine and the occasional sinus headache i have certain things that help me tell the difference.

    Migraine NOT sinus
    Lights begin to bother me. I have to look away from lights. Pain more to one side of my head.

    Sinus NOT migraine.
    Worse when lying down. If I sit up, pain disappears. Seems to hurt teeth. Pain more centralized.

    Migraine meds will not work for sinus and vice versa. So over time you will figure it out and as far as i know it is not dangerous to take them in close proximity. I also take advil with both. Inflammation is big factor in both of these headaches.

    And if your doctor happened to prescribe you Imitrex. Imitrex is simply sumatriptan (generic name for main drug) with ibuprofen which is Advil generic. So if your doctor happened to prescribe you imitrex and it is fairly expensive, ask for the generic sumatriptan and add in your own advil.

    Hope some of this helped.
  12. Sounds like sinus/allergy trouble.

    Try a Netipot- its a saline solution that passes over your sinuses. My ENT recommended it to me- and also Flonase and Claritin have been big helps to me.

    the Netipot is a lifesaver I swear.

  13. Have you been able to clear this issue?

    I had a left molar removed when the Maxillofacial Surgeon pointed out to me that the root was digging into my sinus cavity from their x-ray.

    I also suffered severe pain in the middle of my face, always in the middle of the night. My doctor called it a <facial migraine>. I was given Fiorcet and it helped.
  14. As a sufferer of migraines for many years, I highly recommend seeing a neurologist, possibly more than one, for your diagnosis. There are various types of migraine so it could be that, but you need a highly trained professional to diagnose you. Until your appointment you might want to keep a simple diary of your headache attacks.
  15. Sounds like sinus.

    I suffer from both also. My Mom swears by Aleve Cold and Sinus and I will say, when I take it for sinus pain, it goes away.

    yes, all of this. I have taken the meds in close proximity and sometimes it can be difficult to tell which is which. I usually take Aleve cold and sinus for sinus, and Excedrin Migraine for migraine. In the past and my migraines are really bad I need to take Maxsalt, that was the best!

    Yes, I do swear by the Neti Pot. I told so many people about it, and try to get people to use it!
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