Despite Spring Allergies, Symptoms May Not Be Sinus-Related

Sparrow Pain Management Doctor Says Sinus Infections Often Confused With Headaches

Published: May 20, 2011

LANSING, Mich. (May 20, 2011) - There's pain in and around the nasal, cheek and ocular areas of your face. Pain and pressure seem to worsen with any type of head movement. With Michigan's ever-changing weather patterns, you're sure that your symptoms are sinus related. Well, they may not be, according to Dr. Amit Masih, M.D.,of the Sparrow Pain Management Center.

"You should absolutely be seen by a medical professional if you are experiencing what you know to be sinus-related symptoms; however, if the antibiotics your doctor prescribes don't alleviate your pain and further testing doesn't indicate a sinus problem then it's time to look to other causes for your discomfort," Dr. Masih said.

Sinus infections can often be misdiagnosed when in fact they are migraine or cluster headaches. All three present similar symptoms, but migraine and cluster headaches are accompanied by additional red flags. Dr. Masih encourages people to look to more "warning signs," or symptoms, associated with both pain disorders. They are as follows: Migraine Headache Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Sensitivity to loud noises

Cluster Headache Symptoms (on one side/same side of your face)

  • Severe pain (occurs the same time every day for 5-10 minutes but up to 2-3 hours)
  • A teary and/or droopy eye
  • Runny nose

Editor's Note: Dr. Masih is available for media interviews. He has substantial expertise in new headache and migraine treatments. He completed a pain and headache fellowship at the University of Michigan, following a neurology residency at Sparrow.