ZocdocAnswersCan a congested nose cause headaches?

Question

Can a congested nose cause headaches?

I am a 25 year old woman:) I have a long lasting problem (my whole life really) with my nose and throat:( I have a mostly one side stuffed nostril, alot of mucus going down in the throat which results in coughing and a sore throat. I have been to an ear, nose and throat specialist. He said my septum was slightly deviated and my tonsils a little big. I have been to an ear, nose and throat specialist 3 times. Which resulted in two conchoctomies, which didn't last, and now I am on a cortisone nose spray called Avamys. It doesn't work! The reason I went again this last time was that I had sinustitis, it went away after 6 weeks. But I continued to have spontanious headaches and mostly in my forehead. They are mild, but irritating. I function at 70-80%, but I would like to be at 100%. So my work can go effortlessly and I can train without feeling like a 90-year old and a head thats about to split open. I wonder what more could be done? I can see my tonsils in the mirror, is that normal?

Answer

Thanks for this interesting question. Based on the information that you have provided, it is possible that the cause of your symptoms has nothing to do with your nose or sinuses at all. Many people will go to an ear nose and throat surgeon (AKA ENT AKA otolaryngologist head and neck surgeon) who will attempt to treat them for sinus problems with no real success. This can go on for some time in some instances, which will often eventually prompt the surgeon to consider other causes. This will often happen before or after other treatable causes of your pain have been treated and not led to a resolution of your symptoms. One of the more common causes of this sort of headache and facial pain is actually something that stems from your brain. In many instances, this is a sign of atypical migraines, which will often present with some of the signs of a normal migraine (nausea, light sensitivity, and inability to function at full potential), and many patients will have a history of migraines either themselves or in the family. Because there are so many potential causes of this complaint, some of which are serious, you need to keep speaking with your doctor. Please discuss this question with him or her.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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