sinus or migraine

It’s almost impossible nowadays to maintain regularity and hygiene so any factor doesn’t get detrimental to our health. Winters have almost approached and so the time to take better care of yourself. Sinus and migraine are serious problems and are really capable of stealing away your calm and peace of mind as they are all about pain and discomfort that could be mind-boggling for you. Let’s have some insights into the symptoms, causes and prevention of both these problems.


Sinus, called Sinusitis in medical terms, is the common inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which are the cavities that produce the mucus necessary for the nasal passages to work effeciently.

Related important facts:

  • Sinus can be an autoimmune reaction.
  • It can be due to some pathogens- virus, bacteria, and fungi.
  • Because of some allergy.
  • Chronic sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks. (Read about: Permanent Solution for Chronic Sinus)
  • Accompanied by uncomfortable and painful symptoms.

Symptoms of having Sinusitis:

 Other advanced symptoms can include:

Causes  of Sinusitis

  1. Pollutants: Build-up of mucus can be triggered by chemicals and pollutants in the air that we breathe.
  2. Bacteria: 1-10% of cases of the sinus in adults are due to bacteria.
  3. Viruses: 90% of cases of sinusitis are due to viruses.
  4. Nasal polyps: The sinuses or nasal passages can be blocked by such abnormal tissue growth.
    (Read About: How To Get Rid of Nasal Polyps At Home)
  5. Respiratory tract infections: Some bacterial, viral or fungal infections might block your sinus membranes and block mucus drainage.
  6. Other medical conditions: Medical complications such as cystic fibrosis, HIV and other problems that can impact the immune system can lead to nasal blockage.

Complications involved

  • Vision problems: Severe sinus infection is capable of spreading to your eye socket and cause permanent blindness.
  • Infections: Some serious skin infections or infection of the bone may occur due to chronic sinusitis.

Also Read: Foods to avoid in Sinusitis


Migraine is a condition in which there is a sharp ache on either one side or both sides of the head. The pain is throbbing which might be followed by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smell. The intensity of migraine pain varies from person to person and it usually lasts from 4-72 hours.

Symptoms of migraine

  • Neck stiffness
  • Hunger cravings
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings- majorly depression
  • Thirst 
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue and laziness
  • Abrupt, severe headache
  • Pulsing or throbbing headache
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, smell and sometimes touch
  • Nausea and vomiting

 Causes of Migraine

  1. Stress: The hectic lifestyle is stressful enough to cause frequent headaches which could be approaching migraine sins.
  2. Drinks: Too much consumption or withdrawal from several drinks like coffee or wine.
  3. Sleep cycle: Sleeping too much or not properly, a long duration of incomplete sleep can trigger a migraine.
  4. Weather changes: Barometric pressure or change in weather can trigger migraines with sharp pains.
  5. Foods: Skipping meals, fasting, eating aged cheese and salty foods can cause migraines followed by hunger pangs.
  6. Sensory stimuli: Bright flashy lights, loud sounds, pungent smells- that of paint, smoke, etc. can trigger a migraine.
  7. Hormonal changes in women: Pregnancy, menopause, fluctuations in estrogen levels, menstrual periods or other hormonal medications can cause migraines in women.
  8. Medications: Some particular types of medications e.g., oral contraceptives etc. can aggravate migraines.

Risk factors and complications involved

Several risk factors that can make you prone to severe migraines can be – family history, hormonal imbalances or changes, age, sex (Women are three times more likely to have migraines.

What are the Similar Symptoms of Sinus and Migraine?

A similar symptom of sinus and migraine is a headache. Other than the headache, other symptoms of sinus and migraine are-

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Pressure in the forehead and cheeks

Sinus VS Migraine- How To Differentiate Between a Sinus and Migraine

The common question people have whenever they have a headache is whether it is due to sinus or migraine

Here are some point of distinctions to look out for-

The snot due to sinusitis is yellow mucus or pus.The drainage due to migraine is clear.
You can have a fever or foul-smelling breath along with headaches.Migraine causes nausea, irritation to light and sound, low appetite, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue.
This doesn’t occur due to genetic factors.It tends to run in families.
Decongestants, antihistamines or nasal sprays can help.You can take pain-relievers to get relief.

Prevention Tips for Sinus and Migraines

Avoid respiratory infections by avoiding contact with people who have a cold.Avoid sun glare, night driving, pub parties and loud music.
Wash your hands frequently, especially before meals.Cheese, sweeteners, red wine, chocolate can induce headaches. Avoid them in excess quantity.
Contaminants present in cigarette smoke and polluted air can inflame lungs and nasal passages.Keep a headache diary and eating regime diary.
Avoid exposure to the things you are allergic to.Have a strict check on hormonal changes.
Avoid foods with refined sugars and heavy spices as they have inflammation properties.Keep magnesium deficiency at bay as it’s responsible for initiating migraines.
Avoid red meat which will produce excessive mucus and make your sinus worse.High humidity and hot weather can initiate a migraine.
Wine and other alcohols can be a problem as they can enhance inflammation.Avoid stress. Sleep properly and eat nutritiously.
Pizza should be avoided as it contains cheese, tomatoes and gluten –all of which lead to worsening sinus.Avoid weight lifting exercises. Rather choose relaxing exercises.


Therefore, one can know whether it’s the symptoms that will lead to sinus or migraine. Maintain a proper record of habits, once the symptoms trigger and one should consult to doctor on an immediate basis as it might worsen the pains and discomforts. By catching the symptoms and prevention methods early, you can avoid the severity of both.

Also Read: Correlation between a deviated septum and chronic sinusitis!

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