Is it a Sinus Headache or a Migraine?

AdobeStock_262302799_small.jpgHave you ever experienced what you thought was a sinus headache, but with no congestion whatsoever? If you have, then there’s a good chance that what you actually were experiencing was a migraine.

Migraines vary between individuals, and there is still a great deal that we still don’t know about what actually causes them. The commonly accepted theory is that they are caused by neurological issues in the brain. Still, many migraine symptoms are similar if not the same as other types of headaches. This of course makes them more difficult to correctly identify.

Like sinus headaches, some people who experience migraines can suffer from facial pain, watery eyes, and some drainage. And while some migraines present with pain on one side of the head, the pain can also focus towards the center of the head, or face. It’s not hard to confuse that with sinus congestion when the pressure is around the sinuses.

So how can you know what you are suffering from? Well, there are a few clues that can help.

  • Are you experiencing pain on one side of your head? Then it’s likely a migraine.
  • Are you congested? If not, and you have a headache that’s extremely painful, then you likely have a migraine.
  • If you have drainage, what color is it? If it’s clear, then you likely have a migraine. If it’s yellowish or green, then you likely have sinus congestion that is causing a headache.

Your best course of action is to see your doctor, even if you can’t do so until after the headache has passed. Write down your symptoms, activities for the few days prior, and any foods and beverages that you ingested prior to the headache. All of these things can help your doctor better assess what might have triggered your headache, and determine whether or not you suffer from migraines.