9 doctors weighed in:

What's the biggest difference between a migraine and sinus headache? I've had this headache in my eye brows and sockets since the dust storm yesterday

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Taylor Pollei
Facial Plastic Surgery
5 doctors agree

In brief: Nasal symptoms

Sinusitis has nasal symptoms (congestion, drainage, pressure/pain) that accompany it.
There is a high rate of misdiagnosis and the only way to truly diagnose sinusitis is with a CT scan.

In brief: Nasal symptoms

Sinusitis has nasal symptoms (congestion, drainage, pressure/pain) that accompany it.
There is a high rate of misdiagnosis and the only way to truly diagnose sinusitis is with a CT scan.
Dr. Taylor Pollei
Dr. Taylor Pollei
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Dr. Robert Stachler
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Migraine vs sinus HA

Migraines have prodromal (before the headache ) symptoms like flashing lights .
They usually affect one side of the body. There is a waxing and waning of the pain due to the vascular relationship these headaches have . Sinus headaches are more related to swelling of tissue or inflammation in a closed place like a sinus. They can be related to the weather and atmosphere. Allergies make worse.

In brief: Migraine vs sinus HA

Migraines have prodromal (before the headache ) symptoms like flashing lights .
They usually affect one side of the body. There is a waxing and waning of the pain due to the vascular relationship these headaches have . Sinus headaches are more related to swelling of tissue or inflammation in a closed place like a sinus. They can be related to the weather and atmosphere. Allergies make worse.
Dr. Robert Stachler
Dr. Robert Stachler
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Dr. Devin Cunning
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Pound vs Pressure

Common migraines are usually both sides of forehead.
Classic migraine usually one side with nausea, aura (ie light sensitivity), pounding. Sinus headache usually pressure behind/between/above eyes and above upper teeth often with nasal congestion.

In brief: Pound vs Pressure

Common migraines are usually both sides of forehead.
Classic migraine usually one side with nausea, aura (ie light sensitivity), pounding. Sinus headache usually pressure behind/between/above eyes and above upper teeth often with nasal congestion.
Dr. Devin Cunning
Dr. Devin Cunning
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Dr. Nick Debnath
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery

In brief: Very difficult...

to tell sometimes, even for a sinus specialist such as myself.
History of migraine headaches, family history of migraine, light and sound sensitivity, and pain without other sinus symptoms are highly suggestive of migraine rather than sinus. Sinus medications such as decongestants may sometimes help migraines as well. See an ENT or neurologist for recurrent or chronic pain.

In brief: Very difficult...

to tell sometimes, even for a sinus specialist such as myself.
History of migraine headaches, family history of migraine, light and sound sensitivity, and pain without other sinus symptoms are highly suggestive of migraine rather than sinus. Sinus medications such as decongestants may sometimes help migraines as well. See an ENT or neurologist for recurrent or chronic pain.
Dr. Nick Debnath
Dr. Nick Debnath
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