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More Myths of "Sinus Headache"
#3) There are many myths about facial pain. “Sinus headaches” are common—myth. All facial pain in the face and forehead is sinus—myth. If an over-the-counter sinus medication gets rid of the headache, then the headache is sinus—myth.
Sinus headaches are an American problem only—true! Europeans do not have “sinus headaches.” This myth all started on the Ed Sullivan Show. His show is famous for introducing The Beatles to America. The Ed Sullivan Show is infamous in my book—literally! His show introduced a seemingly innocent advertisement for Anacin as a cure for “sinus headache.” This advertisement caught the attention of the naive. These unfortunate headache sufferers were horrified by an image of a man’s head being pounded on by a large mallet. To the enlightened, it is obviously a migraineur having a throbbing migraine with sinus congestion and drainage. To the unsuspecting victims of this distorted propaganda, it ensnared them in a web of deception. The evils of too much Anacin (or like products) will be discussed in the next myth.
#4) This daily Anacin (or like product) is the only thing that takes my “sinus headache” away; therefore, it is good for me—myth.
All too often the patient is prescribed or takes too much narcotics and other medications and develops rebound pain. If someone were to take Tylenol, aspirin, Excedrin, Fiorinal, Anacin, narcotics, Ultram, Darvon, Lortab, Percodan, or many other medications, then the person could develop rebound headaches. This perpetuates the pain and prolongs recovery. For example, many simple neck injuries become permanent when over-prescribed inappropriate medicine is taken.
If someone used Afrin Nasal Spray all the time, then the nasal passages would be stopped up unless Afrin was used constantly. Rebound works much the same way. The pain receptors get “confused” and perceive pain unless the rebound medicine is continually used. Relief is only temporary at best. Usually people with migraines transform to chronic head, sinus, and/or neck pain with regular pain medications. Frequently, the episodic pain has changed to a more constant state and often there is less nausea and throbbing.
#5) Sinus surgery is the answer for my “sinus headache.” This unfortunately is usually a myth.
Regrettably, the presentation of migraine as “sinus headache” usually receives a prescription of antibiotics rather than appropriate care. Just as bad, the patient gives up on seeking medical care and resorts to self-medicating which can lead to complications, such as rebound headaches or chronic daily headaches. Proper diagnosis is essential to beginning appropriate care. CT scans of the sinuses can also be confusing. Fifteen percent of patients with primary headaches (not from sinusitis, tumor, or other secondary cause) have a CT abnormality of the sinuses. No wonder many people with migraines have surgery for sinus problems, which unfortunately does not resolve the symptoms completely. I am pleased to report that the efforts of headache experts are starting to be realized. I have found ENT surgeons in my area of the country are now more aware of migraine presentations and are more alert to recommend that their patients receive appropriate care.
To find additional information about “sinus headache”, migraines, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), palpitations, vertigo, hypoglycemia, panic attacks and their interrelationship, go to http://www.migrainesyndrome.net.
About the Author: J. Wes Tanner, MD is a family practice and headache specialist who has been treating people for about 30 years. He has extensive experience in treating migraines and fibromyalgia with excellent success. In "Doctor, Why Do I Feel This Way?", Dr. Tanner exposes the secrets and myths about fibromyalgia and the migraine syndrome. To find out more, go to href="http://www.migrainesyndrome.net">http://www.migrainesyndrome.net.