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pizzzzza 11-15-2004 09:49 AM

"Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Hi everyone,

First of all, I'm so sorry for the long post, but I wanted to be thorough in describing my problem.

I just stumbled upon this message board, and I figured I would give it a shot,
since nothing else is working.

I have had a "sinus-like" headache going on 8 weeks now.

A little background - I never had ANY allergy problems until I relocated to
Cincinnati. I had heard that this area was bad for sinuses, but I didn't
think much of it, since I never had any problems before I moved here.

I've been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis by my
allergist - After MONTHS of unsuccessful antibiotics and various drugs by my
allergist, I had endoscopic sinus surgery by my ENT this past March - he
enlarged the sinus openings and removed the sinus infection - I felt ok
until about 7 weeks ago - In the meantime, I had been getting my bi-weekly
allergy shots the entire summer from my allergist, and was not experiencing
any problems.

My symptoms include a VERY WARM forehead, along with pressure around my
temples, eyes, cheekbones, jaw and the lower part of the back part of my

Needless to say, it is VERY aggravating - it makes it VERY difficult to get
through a day of work, and my social life has become zilch lately.

I have taken EVERY headache/sinus/migraine type medication that's on the
market, with no relief.

I have been to my allegist several times, along with the ENT doctor that did
the surgery - they both have assured me it's NOT my sinuses, even though the pressure I'm feeling is from my sinus areas, and it's the SAME WAY I felt
months before my surgery, when I had my sinus infection. They said the CT
Scan and MRI show "some" inflammation, but not enough to make me feel the
way I do.

My medical doctor and my ENT suggested a neurologist, so I've got an
appointment with a neurologist next week, and have really been researching
my headache pretty much non-stop in an effort to find out what's causing it.

I have looked into rebound headaches, and even mentioned it to both of my
medical doctors - they sort of just shrugged it off.

I've also had blood work and a physical - nothing.

I called my dentist - he said my teeth were not the problem.

I went to see my optometrist - he thinks it "might" be how I hold my head
when I'm on the computer. He said this could be causing my headaches from
the muscle constriction in the lower part of my head/neck (back part). I
have an astigmitism - wear bifocals (which is good for reading and distance,
but not computers) - so you to kind lean your head back to see things up
close on the computer. He told me to make sure I am at arm's length from the
monitor, and that the top of the monitor is level with my eyes. In fact, I
can pretty much see the computer screen clearly without my glasses, but
taking them on and off all day makes me feel dizzy and worse, so I didn't
try that anymore. I've even read about computer glasses - might consider
that over my contacts (when I wear them) and/or reading glasses. I thought
maybe the eyeglasses/computer usage might be the culprit, but now I'm
doubting that.

I also have gone to my chiropractor several times, who also has a Licensed
Massage Therapist on site. He has been great for whenever my lower back
spasms pop up, so I thought I had nothing to lose by going to see him. Last
Wednesday, he had a very difficult time trying to adjust my neck - so he
sent me to the massage therapist who found several knots in my neck to work
out. I have had this done 5 times in the past week and a half - but to be honest, I DO NOT feel any better.

I have had friends recommend everything from cortisone shots in my neck to
acupuncture. One even suggested fibermyalgia (spelling?) - but I thought
that was only for women primarily (I'm a guy). And I really did not have
most of the symptoms - just a few.

Another friend said he had other friends with the same symptoms, and was told it's some type of virus going around, and there really wasn't much you could do about!

I also had someone say it sounds like some form of a migraine - without the nausea, dizziness, etc.

I used to religiously irrigate my sinus cavities until recently - I have NO congestion and nothing comes out. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THERE MIGHT STILL BE SOME OF THE WATER SOLUTION THAT I USED TO IRRIGATE IS 'STUCK' IN THERE SOMEWHERE??? The reason I ask is every so often I'll bend over, and few drops of water come out of my nostril - this has only started recently.

The ONLY thing that seems to help me at all is a cold pack across my
forehead/eyes and the back of my neck. Oh yea..sleeping is can't
feel the pain. For the first time in my life, I'm taking sleeping pills at
night, in an attempt to try and get some rest. I had a good suggestion from
a friend about a pillow with a gel in it to keep your head cool at night.
And would you believe I'm doing things like sticking my head out the window
on cool days, turning on the AC on cold days, and blasting the fan on my
face, in an attempt to keep my head cool.

As I type this, my eyes are really hurting - sore - and my temples on both
sides are throbbing. So many times during the day I have to stop whatever
I'm doing and hold my hands over my temple area or my forehead just to stop
the constant throbbing.

It's starting to become a strain financially, and working is become more and
more difficult.

I'm pretty frustrated at this moment, and would really ANY suggestions that
anyone might have to offer out there!

Greatfully yours,


CITYGAL 11-15-2004 11:17 AM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Hmmm.... I just happened upon your dilema and read your post.... I suffer from very similar "headaches" and from migraines.... sometimes I treat your mentioned type of headache with my migraine medicine... asssuming it is going to turn into a migraine...

I've been suffering from these for 10yrs... taking ALL kinds of various meds... these headaches can be caused, from allergies, significant or quick changes in the weather, STRESS, environment changes, food, no sleep, too much sleep, heat, cold.... and on and on............... I would imagine that my headaches could last weeks, if not for what I take... the imitrex and pills (butalbital).....

I have tried, chiropractic care, massage, neurologists, ... wanting to try acupuncture... the former to no avail....

just wanted you to know , you aren't the only one, but you need to find a doctor that specializes in headaches or is willing to try a few different things on you............. I can't imagine having one for so long, my longest has been a week then it breaks...

-good luck.... let me know if you have any questions.........

DylansMom 11-15-2004 04:21 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Sorry I can't be of more help, I just wanted to let you know I have very similar symptoms from a 3 week headache with the throbing temples, can't bend my neck down or my head fills up and feels like it will split open. I've had sinus problems in the past and do have pressure in my upper teeth, cheek ear but it has all been right sided. I've had 2 viruses in the past 2 months, all of this really started when I was put on Diuretics for hypertension. I'm waiting anxiously by the phone now for any word on a CT scan I had on Thurs.
I commend you on your strength. You certainly have had more testing than me. I still don't know if my GP will send me to a neurologist. I had been sleeping on 2 pillows for years and wondered if this aggrevated it. I was now forced to buy a cervical pillow and of course it's like a brick and I'm getting very little sleep. I was told to stop the diuretics and then got thrown on a calcium channel blocker but my symptoms are still there.

I'm a stay at home mom so luckily I don't have to go through the stress of a full work day with this. Just 2 active preschool boys!
Any chance you could investigate using herbal methods? Just a thought. Even chinese herbalists perhaps?

warmbreeze 11-15-2004 10:41 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Pizzzzza, I was amazed reading the description of your pain, it is identical to mine. I have one of my headaches right now which is why I ended up on this site. My pain is so excruciating that everytime I get this, I want to go to the emergency ward but I'm in too much pain to go sit and wait for hours like you usually have to do. I have to hold my head when I walk and I have extreme dizziness. I hurt at the base of my neck and I hear crackling sounds inside my head when I turn my neck (hard to explain). Your synuses go to the base of your neck as well. I usually get it bad on one side with the worst pain being in and around one of my eyes. That eye will usually look puffier than the other. Sometimes I can knock it out with Nyquil (sp?) and sometimes it won't touch the pain. I took 2 1/2 vicodins today and it barely took the edge off. Mine usually last 4 or 5 days. I am 49 and have been getting this since I was a teen and have never been able to get relief.

I also get it really bad if I get a massage. I belief it has something to do with my lymph nodes not draining right. I once massaged my lymph nodes on my face and ended up within an hour sick with one of these headaches. I believe if you don't massage just right so that the toxins in your lymphatic system doesn't drain properly you can end up sick, at least that's what happens to me.

Anyway I hope you find something that helps you, please share if you do.

pizzzzza 11-17-2004 03:45 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Well the lastest news is I got prescription glasses for usage with the computer only

Also, I had my apartment checked for Carbon Monoxide - my maintenance man suggested that - nothing found, thank goodness.

I also went by GNC - I was told by a good friend about Feverfew, as well as Magnesium Supplements.

What does everyone think of those two particular supplements?

I still got the neurologist next Tuesday - I'm very eager to get this over!

I sure do appreciate everyone's input on's greatly appreciated!


edited to add - I'm now on some type of Xanex generic medicine so as to keep me calm - it's hard NOT to think about your POUNDING headache when it's always there!

MagnaV45 11-19-2004 01:57 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Feverfew and Magnesium are a good start, calcium is a good thing to ad if you are taking the other 2. Sounds like you covered all your environmental bases too. Suggestion--watch the weather reports, barametric pressure and wind speeds when you have a headache, you may find a pattern. Limit video games and television for a while to see if it helps-sometimes the flickering lights will set off a ha. Best of luck.

veggie girl 11-20-2004 09:37 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
I had that for about 4 years. These are some of the factors that caused it;

Biting my cheek (causing tension in my jaw)
teeth grinding (at night)
Using computer without wearing glasses
sitting at computer for too long
Hunching shoulder up to hold phone between chin and shoulder
Carrying bag with lots of books/heavy stuff in it
Tooth infection that was too small to see on an xray
Sleeping on a pillow that is too high ( now I use the 'memory pillow' or if it get neck ache i remove all pillows from my bed and use none - it really helps)
Not drinking enough water
Too much coffee
Too much sugary feeds
Too much dairy
Not enough stretching

To get me on to square one to start rectifying all the above I had some botox injections in my shoulders, the back of my head, my neck and a few where I was frowning. I really ached for a few days but then the pain DISAPPEARED!! Since then I made lots of changes and as long as i keep on track i'm fine.

Jbanksies 12-05-2004 06:24 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Hi Mark- I read your post and I can relate to your "sinus" headaches. I too suffered for eight months with constant pressure on my face. The pain was mostly on the right side, sometimes migrating behind my eye, but almost always present at the bridge of my nose. Sometimes the pain was so bad that my nose would feel as if it was burning and it was very sore when I touched it. When the pressure would break my nose would run and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my face. I had this pressure/blocked feeling almost everyday (some days much worse than others). I had seen an ENT, two neurologists, my primary care doctor, TMJ doctor, two allergists, ect...but no one could diagnose what was causing the pain. My primary care doctor gave me some explanation like I had environmental allergies. I finally went on a migraine diet after finding out that migraine can present itself in many different disguises. I always thought I was not experiencing migraine, since most doctors most often categorize migraine as a completely debilitating pain, accompanied by an aura, vomiting, ect...These are the "classic" symptoms of a migraine, but in truth the mechanism can cause pain (inflammation/swelling of the blood vessels) anywhere in the head, neck, shoulders, ect. For me, the chronic pressure, neck pain, and burning in the back of the head was actually being triggered by the food that I was eating everyday. Since I was so oblivious to my triggers, I was just fueling the fire meal after meal....Anyways- check out this book- Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz- it really explains so much about "headaches" and pain associated with them.
Good Luck!!!

pizzzzza 12-06-2004 08:27 AM

Update! (Monday, Dec , 2004)
Hi everyone,

First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words, get well wishes and suggestions with my problem.

In a nutshell - I saw my neurologist 2 weeks ago - after a "5 minute checkup" he diagnosed me with "classic migraine".

He gave me some samples of a medicine called Depakote - I was to take 4 pills each day until I ran out (12 day supply). It was a 250 mg daily dosage - but I was to take 4 each day. I was told this particular medicine can be used for everything from seizures to epilepsy to migraines. My other options was 3 shots a day until I felt better - no thanks!

He said I had to "break the cycle" of my 10 week migraine, and it would take about that long for the pills to start taking effect...and lo and behold, about a week later, I noticed a slight difference.

I've also been taking a generic form of Xanex, and let me tell you - it helps! It keeps you calm and relaxed and not as stressed. I also have some sleeping pills (Ambien) just in case I can't sleep.

My medical doctor also gave me something for inflammation (a Voltaren generic) - it's suppose to help with my "hot" forehead - thank goodness the neurologist confirmed this - he felt my head and said, yep it's hot - LOL - no one else had ever seemed to feel this.

I'm also back on my allegra/nasonex routine, since my sinuses were NOT my problem.

I have a followup with my physician tonight for my physical that I had done last month, as well as some bloodwork (got high cholestorol...grrrrrrrr)

As I write this, I still have a headache and still feel warm, but it's not nearly as intense...I guess it's just a matter of time and it will simply go away.

I've also been using my NEW computer glasses, as well as exercising my neck muscles, so as not to get too tight (I'm on the computer a LOT at work).

I just wish I could've gone to the neurologist THE FIRST WEEK that I had this dang migraine, but I just didn't know.

But after exhausting all my resources......that was the answer!


p.s. I even went out and hit some tennis yesterday - oh man, that felt great!

healthawareness 03-28-2005 01:00 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
resurrecting this old thread...

i too have been experiencing similar problems. what has been the most frustrating aspect has been the "shotgun approach" to treating the symptoms. my MD will prescribe drugs and if they dont work then he will try something new. there seems to be little diagnosis.

at this point I dont know if i have migraines resulting in congestion or congestion resulting in migraines. my ears are always plugged, nose is stuffy, i feel dizzy, nauseous, etc... more uncoordinated than normal ;)

but back to the topic: pizzzza, did you finally find a cure??

gingerweezie 04-01-2005 05:17 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
I'm trying to type as I'm holding my HEAD with my other hand. Lastnight I could have picked my eyes out with a fork my head/eyes hurt so bad. I feel "asleep" with a bag of ice on my face. I've had a headache for 3 months and 4 days. The MD's have tried many things and are still trying. I also have the HOT head/face and have been reading these other WONDERFUL posts and making notes at the same time. That book sounds like a great thing to read. I have no idea what my triggers are! You can bet I will be asking my MD about the Voltaren med. THANKS :angel: !!

pucklover 04-30-2005 11:08 PM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Check out . or simply take a small bit of cayenne pepper and place on fingertip , place in nostril , breathe deep, rinse well , and pain is temporarily gone. The cayenne deadens the nerve endings , the Sinus buster spray contains cayenne and works pretty well on a variety of headaches.
Ask your pharmacist for migraine or headache spray containg the capsicum powder . Your doctors will probaly not know or not let you know about these . The powder burns a bit but when you are in severe pain it matters not.
Good luck

gingerweezie 05-01-2005 05:50 AM

Re: "Sinus-like" headache - not sinusitis!
Thanks for the tip on the sinus spray. My doctor's sure are trying but we still haven't found anything that's working. It's worth a try! Thanks!! :bouncing:

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