What Kinds of Headaches Do ENT Doctors Treat?
Many patients visit Dr. Burnett, one of New York’s top ENT doctors, for treatment of a sinus headache, only to discover that their headache is not the result of sinusitis, but is instead a migraine headache or a tension headache. In rare cases, headaches can also be caused by more serious problems, like tumors or systemic diseases.
What Are Signs of Different Headaches?
Sometimes, a migraine headache may be mistaken by a patient for a sinus headache, because it is causing irritation of the trigeminal nerve branches that are located in or near the sinuses. At other times, tension headaches can result in referred pain that the patient experiences in the sinus region.
Sinus headaches are often the result of inflamed sinus passages or nasal passages. Patients who are experiencing a sinus headache will often have other symptoms that can lead their doctor to a diagnosis, including fever and chills, pain or pressure around the forehead, eyes, or cheeks, pain in the teeth, a stuffy nose, yellow or green discharge, and facial swelling. If a patient has chronic sinusitis, these signs may not be evident when they come in for examination for a headache, but we will still evaluate the patient for a possible sinus headache, after ruling out migraine headaches or tension headaches.
How is a Sinus Headache Diagnosed?
Often, a patient with a sinus headache is diagnosed clinically, on the basis of symptoms and signs like those mentioned above. However, if the problem continues despite treatment, Dr. Burnett, one of New York’s leading ENT doctors, will frequently obtain a CT scan to see if the sinuses are blocked, and if so, how much blockage is present. Sometimes, allergy testing is necessary.
What is the Treatment for Sinus Headache?
Because the membranes that line the sinuses and nasal passages are swollen in patients with sinusitis, this may result in blocked nasal or sinus passages, causing mucus to be trapped, with air and pus, within the sinuses. Treatment of a sinus headache is focused on reducing swelling and helping mucus drain freely from the sinuses.
Dr. Burnett, one of the leading ENT doctors in NYC, often recommends simple home remedies to help patients who are suffering from a sinus headache. These remedies include humidifiers, warm and cold compresses, irrigation of the nose to fight infection and wash out mucus and particles, and decongestants to relieve pressure in the sinuses that results in the sinus headache. Antihistamines can relieve symptoms caused by inflammation, and over the counter medications for pain are very helpful, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxyn. Immunotherapy is sometimes used for allergic causes of sinusitis, and acute sinusitis that results from an infection is frequently treated with an antibiotic.
Some patients require treatment with endoscopic or image-guided surgery for persistent sinusitis, which can only be performed by an ENT surgeon. Call our office today at 212-867-4813 for an appointment with Dr. Burnett, a leading New York ENT doctor, for help with your sinus headache.