Eyes , Ears , Nose & Oral

What is Difference Between Sinus Headache and Migraine Headache ?

Globally, the percentages of the adult population with an active headache disorder are 46% for headache in general.

Sinus headache or migraine headache are quite different from each other.
Every person at one point of time would have been attacked by headache.
The word headache is just a vague term. There are different types of headaches like that of cluster headache , tension headache ,sinus headache , migraine headache..
Each of which has a particular reason and a cause.

Of all these different types of headache most common headache ranking would be the sinus related headache and migraine headache comes latter.

Globally, the percentages of the adult population with an active headache disorder are 46% for headache in general.

11% for migraine and 3% for chronic daily headache as per research done by LJ Stovne .  

“I work with ear, nose, and throat doctors very closely. They get a lot of referrals for sinus headaches, but however most of those end up being migraines,”
Kevin Weber, M.D., a neurologist who specializes in treating patients with headaches at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“Sinus headache is very over-diagnosed, and migraine is underdiagnosed.”

what is headache exactly means?

 headache symptoms

Headache is a pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain originates from the soft tissues and the structures that surround the skull or the brain. The brain has no nerves which supply it to give rise to the sensation of pain. The main reason of headache is that the thin layer of tissue (peritoneum) which is surrounding the bones, and the muscles that surrounds the skull, sinuses, eyes, and ears, as well as the thin tissues that cover the surface of the brain and spinal cord (meninges), arteries, veins, and nerves. if any of these get inflamed or irritated by any cause and that can lead to a headache. The pain can either be a dull ache, or a sharp, or throbbing, constant.

what is the difference between sinus-related headache and a migraine?

Sinus headaches are the headaches that are due to infection in the sinuses (sinusitis). You may feel the pressure and pain around your eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Sinusitis usually commonly occurs after a viral upper respiratory infection or common cold and that includes the thick, discolored nasal mucus, the decreased sense of smell, and the pain in one cheek or upper teeth. Headaches due to sinus disease can often last days or longer.

Signs and symptoms of sinus headache would be:

  • Heaviness, the pressure, and fullness in your cheeks, or your brows or forehead
  • The Worsening of the pain if you bend forward or lie down
  • The Stuffy nose
  • General Fatigue
  • Achy pain in your upper teeth


A migraine is the throbbing painful headache, usually comes on one side of the head, that would often be initiated or “triggered” by the specific compounds or the situations ( like the environment, or stress, or hormones, and many others). The women show about 75%, approximately in research due to the above factors. the researchers speculate that the mixing of blood vessel permeation and the brain chemicals to interact with brain cells to cause the migraine. migraine headaches most commonly last for about hours to a day or two.

Signs and symptoms of migraine headache would be:

 Signs and symptoms of migraine headache

  • “Classic” migraines begin with an aura such as seeing visual field changes (dots, wavy lines, blurriness) about an hour or less before the pain begins.
  • 25% of migraine patients can have a phase called prodromal phase. The prodromal phase can occur as long as 24 hours before the migraine pain develops; this phase consists of mood changes (depressed, excited, irritable) and the sensations of odd smells or the tastes, while others may feel severely tired or tensed.
  • Children may experience stomach pains (abdominal migraine), frequent and forceful vomiting, unsteady balance, and involuntary eye movements and behavioral changes.


Often a headache caused by the migraine and the sinusitis is confused many times and lead to misdiagnosis. Headache is just a vague broad term. As both headaches are different from each other, knowing about the scientific facts behind the cause of these two headaches and the various symptoms and signs which differ from each other helps to easy diagnosis and effective treatment of the two diseases.

For more related articles click below:

What is Sinusitis and How it is Cured

Migraine is linked to pregnancy complications- Research proven

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