Is Migraine a Symptom of Sinusitis?

We often hear people talk about their throbbing and pulsating headache. Some of us may have even experienced it; it feels like someone is banging our head from the inside. Migraine is a type of headache that occurs at explained or unexplained situations. A person who has a migraine might be sensitive to lights or sound, will experience a mild headache which develops into a severe and throbbing headache. Moreover, it will also cause other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, numbness on one side of the face. In this blog from Supreme Hospital, we aim to provide clarification over the most asked question to our ENT Doctor in Padur

The simple question that our patients often ask is, “How long does a migraine last?” “Is it a symptom of Sinusitis?” A migraine can last up to 4 hours; however, in severe cases, if you do not have your medications at your disposal, then it can last for 3 days. Before understanding if migraine is a symptom of  sinusitis, let’s take a look at the prevalence of migraine globally. Studies say that 14 to 15% of the global population suffer from episodic migraines and only 1% to 2.2% of the population has chronic migraines. Interestingly, women are affected more when compared to men. The Lancet, a medical journal, in 2021 stated that 213 million, that is 21.3 crore population in India, have migraines. It makes migraines one of the common nervous problems in India.

Coming back to the most asked question, “Is a migraine a symptom of sinusitis?” No, migraine is not a symptom of sinusitis. While migraine and sinusitis can cause headaches, they are separate conditions. For some people with sinusitis, inflammation and congestion from sinusitis can trigger a migraine headache. This is because the inflammation can irritate the trigeminal nerve, which plays a role in both migraines and sensation in the face.

Difference Between Migraine and Sinusitis

1. Cause

Migraine: Exact cause unknown, but likely involves a complex interplay of brain chemicals, nerves, and blood vessels. Triggers can include stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, and lack of sleep.

Sinusitis: Inflammation of the sinuses, usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

2. Pain Location and Quality

Migraine: Throbbing or pulsating pain, often on one side of the head, but can occur on both. Can involve temples, forehead, or back of the head.

Sinusitis: Pressure and aching pain primarily in the face, around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Pain can be felt on both sides.

3. Additional Symptoms

Migraine: Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, aura (visual disturbance).

Sinusitis: Facial congestion, runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, cough, fever (if caused by infection).

4. Worsening Factors

Migraine: Physical activity, bending forward, bright lights, loud noises.

Sinusitis: Bending forward, straining (like blowing your nose), changes in air pressure.

5. Duration

Migraine: Migraine attacks typically last 4-72 hours, but can vary significantly.

Sinusitis: Symptoms of sinusitis usually last 7-10 days, but can persist for up to 4 weeks.

6. Treatment

Migraine: Pain relievers, medications to prevent attacks, lifestyle changes to manage triggers.

Sinusitis: Over-the-counter decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, antibiotics (if bacterial infection).
Migraines can be a debilitating condition, but you don’t have to fight them alone. Here at Supreme Hospital, our ENT Doctor in Padur offers comprehensive diagnosis, treatment plans, and preventive strategies to help you manage your migraines and get back to feeling your best. If you’re experiencing symptoms of migraine or sinusitis, don’t hesitate to contact Supreme Hospital. We can help you determine the cause of your headaches and develop a personalized treatment plan to get you lasting relief. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing migraines effectively. Schedule an appointment with Supreme Hospital today and take control of your health!

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