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Migraines masquerading as sinus headaches

Migraines masquerading as sinus headaches

If you experience headaches that manifest themselves with a throbbing pain in the front of your head, doctors may assume that you suffer from sinus headaches. But hold on – not so fast! Is this really pressure or is it a constant throbbing pain? And why are you experiencing sinus pressure and pain to begin with? You may instead be suffering from migraines.

Sometimes, you and I suffer from conditions that cause us to have excess mucus and nasal congestion

Why do we have that mucus and where does it go? It turns out that it has to clear somewhere, and so it works its way through your sinus channel and hopefully out of your body. Unfortunately, the mucus sometimes gets stuck. Sinus pressure and pain is caused by inflammation in your sinuses, when there is a blockage. And if you are prone to allergies, you might experience pain much more frequently. In other words, there is constant pressure above and below your eyes. At times, the pain from the extra pressure is particularly problematic prior to going to bed in the evening and can often be there when you wake up. So, what could be happening?

Food allergies and intolerance may very well be the issue

Allergies, in general, can cause excess mucus production. If you have food intolerances, then your body tends to produce more mucus than normal. As a result, you likely then experience what you believe to be sinus headaches from the congestion. Those of us with migraines know that we need to avoid certain foods in order to avoid migraine headaches. We tend to be much more intolerant of a wide variety of food items. The classic example is dairy, which is known to cause mucus buildup if you have intolerance.

How do we distinguish sinus headaches from migraines?

Determine whether migraine or sinus headache
Headache Types

This can be tricky and normally involves a good deal of trial and error.  Even if you suspect that the condition is seasonal, you should start keeping a food journal to help determine if particular foods may be the cause. Furthermore, if you are experiencing pain consistently, and not just pressure, you might very well be dealing with migraines. Migraine symptoms sometimes vary, but most of us tend to experience the more common ones.The pain tends to sit on one side or the other, usually above your eye. When you move you head from side to side, the pain also gets worse. You are extremely fatigued, with extra buildup of mucus in your throat. And, with a particularly difficult migraine, you might even feel like throwing up.

On the other hand, if there is more pressure than pain, with the pain sitting near the center of your face, then sinus headaches could be the issue. The pressure above or below your eye area tends to stay at the same level and does not get better or worse when you shake your head. In other words, the throbbing pain is consistent.

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What we may believe to be sinus headaches might very well be migraines that result due to food allergies or intolerances. The congestion and inflammation in our sinuses is there because of the excess mucus build up. Food intolerance and allergies is accompanied by significantly more mucus buildup. Our body needs to be able to discharge the mucus in our sinuses. But, when the canals get inflamed, very little draining occurs. The pressure buildup is telling us to do something drastic to get rid of the mucus in the sinus canals.

We need to make sure that we get to the root cause and properly identify whether or not we are dealing with migraines or sinus headaches. By keeping a food journal, we may be able to attribute the pain and pressure to specific culprits that can then be removed from our diet.

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