So how do you know what type of headache you have? There are a few symptoms that can help classify your case. The common symptoms of both sinus and migraine headaches include pain in the forehead region; itchy, water eyes; and pain associated with movement. However, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to sound or light, and severe throbbing pain on one side of the head are typically migraines. And if you think diagnosing the cause of your headache is tricky, treating it can be even more difficult. “The best data that we have says that sinus surgery can help with certain headaches, but the results have proven to lose their effectiveness over time,” says Dr. Todd. Occasionally, physicians are able to identify some triggers and mitigate them. “Women who have hormonal headaches with their menstrual cycles are often helped with medications. Meanwhile, patients with mold or food allergies may benefit from avoidance or allergy shots,” Dr. Todd says. As for long term, Dr. Todd says that these treatments vary based on the frequency and severity of the headache. “If the headaches are rare, we often use medications on an as-needed basis. But if the headaches are more frequent, we use a daily preventative approach such as focusing on visual triggers and mitigating those inputs.” And if you want to look a bit more “relaxed,” it’s even proven that Botox has shown promise. If all these remedies sound like a lot of prescription medication, shots and procedures, Dr. Todd says there’s an array of alternative therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, vitamins and hormonal supplements that have variable success. “I never hesitate to bring up the possibility of a trial of a gluten-free diet,” he adds. “I’ve had numerous patients improve on that alone.” Just like the human brain itself, detecting the source of a headache or sinus pain is complex. But there is hope for sinus and allergy sufferers—it just may take a little detective work to find all the clues sfw to cure your pain.
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