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Do I Have a Migraine or Sinus Headache?

- Arthur Boia

Is your headache a migraine or in fact due to stuffed sinuses? When people self-diagnose a sinus headache, 90% of the time it’s really a migraine, according to the American Migraine Foundation, although they may still seek sinus headache relief. Results of the American Migraine Study II cited that just 50% of those diagnosed with a migraine (out of 30,000) correctly guessed they did.

Symptoms of both may include pain in the forehead, pain when moving, and itchy or watery eyes. A sinus headache is often felt in the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, and above the eyes. However, a migraine is also associated with nausea, light/noise sensitivity, and a throbbing or pulsing sensation on one side of the head. The pain may also be substantially worse when one is active.

distressed women on headache

Causes of a Migraine Headache

Migraines may be caused by environmental and genetic factors. Theories of their causes include imbalances in serotonin in the brain (levels are lower during migraine attacks) and a release of neuropeptides in the meninges surrounding the brain. Changes in the brain stem and interactions with neural pain pathways may be involved as well.

Risk factors include family history, age, and gender; women are three times more likely than men to have migraines, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hormonal changes are just one of the triggers. Changes in estrogen levels can trigger a migraine headache, but other triggers include:

  • Processed and salty foods
  • Avoiding eating for long periods of time
  • Artificial sweeteners and preservatives
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Bright lights
  • Strong odors
  • Loud noise
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Physical exertion
  • Changes in weather
  • Medications

What Causes Sinus Headaches?

Usually triggered by a head cold or allergies, a sinus headache occurs when mucus cannot drain from the sinuses and builds up, causing congestion. Inflammation (sinusitis) is involved as well. When the sinuses become blocked, bacterial infections can result, while viruses and fungi can thrive, too. The causes of sinusitis range from allergies and colds to hay fever and flu.

You’re more at risk for sinus headaches if you have a history of allergies or asthma. Inflammation, polyps, bone spurs, and tumors affecting the nasal passages can trigger headaches, as can conditions such as a deviated septum or cleft palate. People who frequently swim, dive, or climb/fly at high altitudes are also at risk.

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Treatments

Experts often recommend avoiding triggers as the most effective way to prevent a migraine headache, but nerve stimulation techniques, coping methods, adopting a daily routine, and regular exercise can help, as the Mayo Clinic explains. Sinus headache relief is possible with medications, nutrition, homeopathy and, in some cases, surgery, but another option is Sniff Relief. The USB mask and temperature controller features eight temperature settings. It has an adjustable strap and moldable nose bridge to ensure a snug fit and comfort.

Sniff Relief is available now with free shipping. Add one to your shopping cart today or contact us on the Web for help.

Sources 

  1. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/sinus-headaches/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201

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