Are Migraines and Sinus Headaches the Same Thing?

Oftentimes, migraines can be mistaken as sinus headaches. While both types of headaches are painful, one is a sign of an infection while the other isn’t.

Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team provides helpful information on both types of headaches below, so keep reading!

What Are Sinus Headaches?

Sinus headaches are a common symptom of sinusitis, or a sinus infection.

When a sinus infection occurs, the sinuses become clogged with fluid, which cause pressure and pain in the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose. This pain usually gets stronger when you move your head suddenly or strain. At the same time, you might have other sinus symptoms, such as a runny nose, fever or the feeling of fullness in your ears.

Common Sinus Headache Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Stuffy nose
  • Thick, colored mucus discharge from the nose
  • Feeling of fullness in the ears
  • Swollen or puffy face

What Is a Migraine?

A migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.

While both types of headaches are painful, a differentiating factor between sinus headaches and migraines is mucus color. With a migraine, nasal discharge is clear, while a sinus headache caused by a sinus infection produces thick, discolored nasal mucus.

Other Migraine Symptoms

  • Intense throbbing or dull aching pain on one side of your head or both sides
  • Pain that worsens with physical activity
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Changes in how you see, including blurred vision or blind spots
  • Being bothered by light, noise or odors
  • Feeling tired and/or confused
  • Stopped-up nose

It can be difficult to know what your symptoms are indicating about your health. If you have questions or need general medical care, don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia center today!