New research shows that migraines are quite common among patients with sinus headache.
Symptoms in sinus area are often reported during migraine attacks, but are not considered in making a diagnosis.
This was reported in the ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’ by Dr. Mary S. Richardson, of GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and her colleagues.
Under-diagnosis of migraine may be partially attributed to variableness in the patient’s symptoms, and migraines with sinus symptoms may be part of the problem.
The rate of migraine-type headaches in 2991 patients who experienced sinus headaches in the past were examined by the researchers. Of these patients, more than 80 percent met the diagnostic criteria for migraines.
The most common sinus symptoms reported by patients were pain, nasal congestion and pressure.
Sixty seven percent patients with migraine were not satisfied with the medication they used to treat their sinus headaches.
Richardson and colleagues write: “The results indicate that the presence of nasal or (eye) symptoms often considered to be features of ’sinus’ headache should not automatically trigger a sinus diagnosis or exclude a diagnosis of migraine but should prompt assessment of the patients for migraine as well as sinus headache,”.
They concluded: “Accurate diagnosis of headache is essential for patients to receive appropriate therapy and to achieve an optimal treatment outcome,”.