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What’s the difference between a migraine and sinus headache?

Both can cause pain, but many people who think they have a sinus headache may in fact have a migraine.

By Donna Fleming
Both can cause extreme pain, but many people who think they have a sinus headache may in fact have a migraine, say experts at the University of California’s headache programme.
It’s important to know the difference so they can be treated correctly.
A sinus headache occurs when the lining of the tubes that connect the sinuses to the back of the nose become inflamed so the sinuses can’t drain properly and pressure builds up, causing pain. Some symptoms include:
  • Throbbing pain, especially in the forehead and behind the cheekbones
  • Sore, tender face
  • Pain that gets worse with sudden movement or if you bend forward
  • Worse pain in the morning, after mucus has built up in the sinuses overnight.
Migraines symptoms include nausea, sensitivity to light and impaired vision.
Migraines are due to blood vessels enlarging and triggering the release of chemicals that can lead to inflammation and pain.
As well as pain that can be made worse by moving, other symptoms include:
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Severe throbbing pain on one side of the head
  • Impaired vision
  • Flashing lights.

Take a look at seven ways to beat winter bugs here.

Iamges: Rob Shaw/ bauersyndication.com.au.

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