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Sinus Headaches

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  1. I have a complex issue. I have a untreatable sinus infection....kind of untreatable. we have been working on squashing it for 2 years now.

    Recently my new dr diagnosed me with daily migranes. I thought i was just having sinuse headaches but they are sinus headaches that turn into migranes.

    so we have been trying to mitigate the migranes. I tried topomax, but passed out on that. so i am on amitrpityne now.


    1. Gonzo, one of the most frequent misdiagnoses of Migraine is sinus headache. Unless you truly have an uncontrolled sinus infection, it is highly unlikely that you are experiencing a sinus related headache. If you think you have an infection, get to an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor who specializes in disorders of the sinuses) so that the problem can be addressed. If you question your Migraine diagnosis, I would suggest seeing a headache specialist who has extra training to diagnose and treat headache and Migraine. As to treatments, there are literally hundreds of different medications and combinations of medicines to try for prevention. As you are experiencing daily bouts of pain, I can't help but wonder what you are doing treatment-wise. Are you taking OTC or other pain relief more than 3 times per week? You may actually be suffering from something called medication overuse headache (MOH) Ther are actually many directions to go with this conversation, but additional information is really important.

      1. Hey Ellen, thanks for the reply. I definitely have an untreatable sinus infection. I have been to 5 ENTS in the past 2 years. And have had 5 sinus surgerys in the past year and all of the antibiotic classes via different routes.

        I am currently on these daily max dose of tramadol , amitrypine, zoloft, max dose of ibuprofen (i cant do celebrex so this is a subtitute), flonase, sinus rinses, and get steroid shots monthly at the DR.

        We have tried, Topomax, propanalol, and another one without much help so i discountinued those.

        Triptans relieve my headache but i can't them every day obviously.

        I have always had the sensitivity to light and sound, but it is getting much worse. I have daily migranes but i think they start as sinus headaches. the problem is my sinues are so messed up that they put pressure on my head so i think it is a losing battle against the migrane because of the sinus stuff.

        I guess we are in a defensive posture. I was wondering if anyone else has had these issues...or advice :!

        1. GONZO,

          My best reply to you is to check this link which explains MOH Medication Overuse Headache Bottom line, if you are using Triptans, Tramadol or ibuprofen more than 3-4 times per week, you are likely having MOH. This does NOT mean that you are abusing medications like an addict. In fact, what happens is that the medicines you are taking to relieve the pain actually work neurologically to begin causing pain. This is something well beyond your control when it occurs.

          That said, Flonase is also known to include headaches as a side effect. I was personally unable to continue sinus treatment with Flonase because it triggered daily Migraines for me.

          I really wish I could help you with the infection - obviously it is antibiotic resistant. Have they cultured it to see susceptibility? Do they have you on long-term antibiotics for treatment then? Have you tried alternatives such as probiotic therapy - I mention it because research has shown that it can help in the treatment of conditions such as pneumonia. It is cheap and otc so easy to get.

          If the nerve in your sinus is being stimulated, there is treatment for that I have heard of. Additionally, often Neurontin and Lyrica are used to help nerve pain and might be something you might want to ask your doctor to try. Remembering of course that it may take a few months of consistent therapy at the correct dosage to see much of a change.

          One other off the wall question - have you had your teeth really seriously looked at with this sinus infection in mind? I ask because I had a molar go bad a few years back, that I was unaware of because the roots went directly to my sinuses. It caused a sinus infection that didn't go away until the tooth was fixed with a root canal.

          Just thinking up a few ideas... 😀

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