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Ask the doctor: Mistaken migraines

June 13, 2014
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Q. I have suffered from sinus headaches for years and have tried over-the-counter allergy medications without any improvement. Is there something else I can do?

A. Seasonal allergies can cause sinus congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose, but when you experience pain and pressure in your head it may be time to consider other causes. Headache is an unusual symptom for pure sinus problems, unless you also have an acute infection with yellow-green nasal discharge and fever. A daily headache over the eyes and cheeks, along with nasal congestion, is often labeled a "sinus headache," but it is much more likely to be a migraine headache.

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