Sinus headache VS Migraine Pain


Is headache ruining your life? Yes, you hear that right! Headaches can really become the menace of your life and mess your life completely.  They can be really stuffy and you can suffer from itchy, watery eyes and running noses. When we suffer from sudden onsets of headaches, we generally take it as a sinus headache. However, the fact is it could be a migraine headache instead. And we are often found to be confused between the two of them.

Considering a sinus headache as a migraine and vice versa is a misconception and it has been surveyed and found that 4 out of 5 people feel that they suffer from sinus headache while the fact is they have migraines.

Common Symptoms Between Sinus Headache and Migraine Pain

  • Mild to severe Pain in the forehead.
  • Watery eyes accompanied with itchiness in the eyes.
  • Pain can be felt whenever you move.

Some Specific Symptoms of Migraine

  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting.
  • Excessive sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Experiencing severe pain, which is generally throbbing in nature and mostly felt on one side of the head.
  • It has to be kept in mind that if you have sinusitis, then you will not complain of headache in the beginning. You will say that you are feeling sick, uneasy and suffering from a headache.
  • If you suffer from a headache which comes and goes very frequently, then most of the times it is found to be migraine.
  • The headaches of sinus are generally accompanied with inflamed nasal passages and infection which gives rise to congestion. You will feel pain behind the cheekbones and in the forehead if you have sinus.

Differentiate Between A Migraine And A Sinus Headache:

The Location Of The Pain:

  • First and foremost, the pain location will help you understand whether it is a sinus headache or migraine. You will have pain on one side of the head if you have migraine headaches. You will either feel it at the top, front or back of the head. Hence, to cut short, if you are a patient of migraine, you can feel pain in many parts at the same time however the pain will never be an overall pain.
  • Sinus pain can be felt usually near the cheek areas, the bridge of the nose and above your eyes. You can feel it at both sides of the head however the pain is not felt at the neck areas.

 Signs And Symptoms Of Migraine

  • We discussed about the pain location of migraine. Besides the pain location, the symptoms of migraine pain and sinus headache are also not the same.
  • If you suffer from sinus headache, then you will have symptoms like nasal discharge which is generally thick in nature and with no colour. In addition, you will feel pressure on the sinuses accompanied with fever and pain. It can also include persistent cough. The sinus headache worsen during the cold weather. If you bend over or its early during the day time, you can feel more pain especially in the forehead areas. Sinus headache can be as severe as making the patient incapable of doing any kind of work or job.
  • Unlike sinus headache, you will feel nauseating and vomiting if you have migraine symptoms. You may also experience eye pain. You will experience sensitivity to light with throbbing pain and a pulsing. Compared to the symptoms of sinus headache, migraine symptoms are worsening. If you have a physical movement, the symptoms worsen more. The best treatment for migraine is to lie on the bed preferably in a darkened room and you can apply a cold compression on your forehead. If this makes you feel better, then you are suffering from migraine headaches for sure. Triggers for Migraine are hormonal changes, stress and certain foods.

How To Get Relief From The Headaches:

sinus headache

As you must have understood that sinus headache and migraine pain are not the same. Hence, their treatment should also not be the same.

  • The patients those are suffering from sinus headache are found to get relief when they are treated with antibiotics. The medical history of the patient along with the physical examination can get your sinus  headache diagnosed. X-rays are not required for the diagnosis. The antibiotics work towards reducing the infection. Your doctor can suggest nasal sprays that can help dry up the congestion. Analgesics can help reduce the pain.
  • Anti-depressants are used to treat migraine headaches. Also, one can go for lifestyle modifications. It will help reduce stress and also BOTOX injections can cause a relaxation to the muscles that put pressure on the nerve which cause migraine.


As you go through the article, you will understand that migraine pain and sinus headache are two different types of headaches however the fact is patients often think both to be the same and self-treat themselves. Knowing the exact problem is essential if you are suffering from headaches. Proper diagnosis is very important and you should ask your medical practitioner about it. Hope this article could throw some light on the painful, stuffy headaches that can dis-balance our daily lives.

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Debalina Chakraborty

I am Debalina, a writer by profession. Writing is my passion. Also, I am a voracious reader which helps in writing.

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