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  • "Popping" and pressure shifting in sinuses and extremely painful headaches

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    Old 04-18-2016, 05:46 AM   #1
    bellevie
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    "Popping" and pressure shifting in sinuses and extremely painful headaches

    Hi, I'm new here. I joined this forum because I am desperate for answers regarding my chronic headaches, and I've been unable to find much information online matching my symptoms. I'm 27 years old, and this headache is ruining my life. I can barely function. (I also posted this question in the headache and migraine group, because there's an overlap between headaches and sinus problems, of course.)

    I will try to keep this brief. If you have ANY input at all, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I've had headaches/migraines my whole life. They would usually happen once every few months and I could deal with excederin. About three years ago, I got the flu. After the flu, my headaches started happening more frequently and with greater intensity. I've been given ergotamine, immitrex, and sometimes I need to get a diclofenac injection from my local doctor when the headaches get really bad. Sometimes I get migraine with aura, but sometimes I don't get aura. With aura, the immitrex usually kills the headache before it starts. Without aura, sometimes the meds work, and sometimes they don't. These headaches (usually the ones without aura) are excruciating. Sometimes all I can do is rock back and forth and cry. My most recent episode lasted 9 days. If you suffer from migraines or severe headaches, I'm sure you can imagine how utterly exhausting that was.

    Eventually, I was sent to an ENT for problems breathing through my nose, and we also discussed my headaches. He did a CT scan and diagnosed me with a nasal contact point due to a deviated septum. Besides that, he said my CT was clear. No infection. No sinusitis. I had a septorhinoplasty 3 months ago. The doctor (a very famous, widely published ENT) was confident that this would cure my headaches.

    Well, the surgery worked for about 2 months. Then, I started waking up with what I assume to be sinus headaches. Actually, I'd been having these off and on in the 3 or so months leading up to my surgery as well, but I assumed they'd be corrected with the surgery. I know about the controversy regarding sinus vs. migraine headaches, but I am CERTAIN this headache is sinus related because i also get migraines, which are different. The headaches are bad in the morning, and I wake up with them almost every day. As soon as I stand up, I can feel pressure moving around in my sinuses. It clicks and pops and makes little ticking sounds. As the pressure shifts, it can affect the pain of the headache. One click - no pain at all. Another click - the headache is back in full force.I also feel a lot of fullness and pressure in my face when I bend forward. The really bad part is that these headaches build in intensity and then trigger my trigeminal pathway (I'm assuming) and explode into a full force migraine.

    So, my question is, has anyone experienced something similar? I've read tons of medical literature and googled every phrase I can think of, and can't find anyone with the same type of headache. I need answers. I'm seeing my ENT again this Wednesday and plan to discuss my certainty that this is sinus related. I'm wondering if FESS or the balloon sinus surgery will help. It feels as if there's air/pressure trapped in my sinuses, and the way "out" is clogged or something.

    Oh, and the other important part of this headache (and the reason that I'm so sure it's sinus related) is because as the headache progresses, I can feel the clicks and pressure moving around in my sinuses. When the headache finally "releases," a little squeak or "opening" type of feeling will happen in my nose or sinus cavity, almost like a burst of air, and the headache will instantaneously be gone.

    SO, if you have ANY ideas as to what this is, I would be so very grateful if you could give me some input. As I said, my ENT said my CT was normal. Is it possible to have sinusitis without it showing on the CT?

    Thank you so much for your time. I hope I haven't rambled too incoherently.

     
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    Old 04-21-2016, 11:06 PM   #2
    Katana
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    Re: "Popping" and pressure shifting in sinuses and extremely painful headaches

    I too had awful headaches, after several surgeries it was apparent my frontal sinus could not be fixed, I had the full frontal obliteration. I would think you have some kind of issue with your frontal sinus(es), perhaps they should look more closely at your CT, or do an MRI to see if there is swelling or something not visible on the CT.

     
    Old 04-22-2016, 04:29 PM   #3
    bellevie
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    Re: "Popping" and pressure shifting in sinuses and extremely painful headaches

    Thank you so much! I'm not familiar with the phrase "full frontal obliteration," but I will research it.

     
    Old 04-22-2016, 05:28 PM   #4
    Katana
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    Re: "Popping" and pressure shifting in sinuses and extremely painful headaches

    An obliteration isn't something that is a first line treatment, except for fractures and other specific instances like mine, where I failed all the fancy and modern surgeries. I reread your post..so, your surgery was only to correct a deviated septum? There was no indication on the CT of congestion or mucosal thickening or blockage in any of your sinuses?

    Do mucus thinning agents like Mucinex (guaifenesin) or decongestants help? How's your blood pressure? Is it high when you get a headache? Ice packs help? I ask about your frontal sinuses because they can give terrible headaches while you also have no congestion symptoms in your other sinuses. My right frontal stayed blocked for literally years..so I understand about headaches without congestion..a CT is the only way to see what is happening.

    Last edited by Katana; 04-22-2016 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Add thought.

     
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