“Sinus Headaches” mean a lot of things to different people. Most patients refer to any facial pain or pressure as a sinus headache. In their truest definition sinus headaches are headaches or facial pain/pressure brought on by changes in barometric pressure. There are many things that can cause facial pressure and pain that are not sinus related. These include migraines, cervical neck problems, and TMD or temporo-mandibular disorders.
Dr. Atkins has been treating sinus headaches since 1991. Over the years he has developed a very successful program for the diagnosis and treatment of sinus headaches. The key to the treatment is considering all the possible causes of facial pain/pressure.
Many patients have sinus headaches at times, migraines at other times, or sinus headaches that turn into migraine headaches. This often makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. The first step in diagnosing sinus headaches is to clear up and control your sinus problems. Once the is achieved you may notice your headaches disappear or have significantly improved . There are occations when a patient may only have mild sinus symptoms but still complain of terrible sinus headaches. At this point it may be necessary to perform allergy or food tests, consult with a neurologist or TMJ specialist.
To be clear there is no one test that can be done to diagnose sinus headaches. It takes patience, listening, asking the right questions and considering all the possible causes of facial pain/pressure/headache.
Many medications used to treat sinus headaches are same ones used to treat sinusitis such as over-the-counter pain relievers, certain allergy medications, and decongestants. Occasionally it is necessary to use prescription migraine medication and pain medicine as well as antibiotics and steroids to control sinusitis.
Many patients whose headaches are caused by swelling of the structures of the nose or blocked sinuses, have found significant relief from sinus surgery.
The majority of patients with sinus headaches can have Balloon Sinus Surgery to help relieve their facial pressure/headaches.