We are in the throes of flu, cold and sinus infection season all across the land; from Chicago all the way down to Houston. Migraines and sinus headaches are often confused with one another. So, it’s not surprising that when you visit your doctor this season with a cold and complain of head pain, chances are you will not receive the migraine procedure you might really need.
Instead, you will likely start a regimen of cold remedies and even antibiotics for your ‘sinus ’ headache and underlying sinus infection. After all, you are prone to these sinus headaches—right? Maybe your recurring sinus pain problems are in fact something else?
Surprisingly, the symptoms for migraines and sinus headaches can be very similar. According to WebMd, pain in the forehead that worsens with movement, accompanied by watery and itchy eyes, could be signs of either condition. Migraines differ in that the pain can come and go, be accompanied by nausea, and occur on one side of the head. Sinus headaches on the other hand start with being sick, developing nasal congestion and inflammation of nasal passageways. This results in a pressure build-up inside the head. Typical treatment for this condition includes decongestants and nasal irrigation to clear out nasal passageways, thereby alleviating headache pressure.
Finding out for sure that you have migraines and not sinus headaches, is the only way you have a shot at finally getting the right headache treatment. Instead of antibiotics, decongestants and analgesics, you will experience pain relief with migraine therapies. These include triptans, certain epilepsy, depression and hypertension drugs, Botox injections or even a migraine procedure.
Although its cold and flu season in cities across the U.S. from Chicago to Houston, migraines may be lurking behind sinus headache diagnoses for many people. Be sure to track your headaches throughout the year, and don’t assume that if everyone else is fighting sinus infections, that must be the cause of your headaches also.