More than 4 out of 5 people who think they have a sinus headache, with symptoms like pain in the head, stuffy nose and watery eyes, may actually have a migraine headache. Sinus headaches and migraine headaches can have some common symptoms.
Migraine headaches are frequent, severe headaches of unknown origin that last between 4 and 72 hours and are accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.
Sinus headaches are infrequent, mild to moderate headaches associated with acute infection, chronic inflammation of nasal passages and sinuses or persistent allergic rhinosinusitis. The common symptoms include pain localized to the head, particularly the forehead, itchy or watery eyes and pain associated with head movement. Often, there are some distinguishing features of migraine headaches that are not seen with sinus headaches, including nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound and severe throbbing pain confined to one side of the head. Sinus headaches are usually caused by an infection and inflammation of the nasal passages and nasal sinuses, and lead to head congestion
that causes pain and pressure in the forehead and/or behind the cheekbones, the approximate location of the maxillary and frontal sinuses. A patient suffering from a sinus infection tends to say that constitutional symptoms like fever and chills, facial pressure and pain, swollen lymph nodes and copious mucopurulent nasal discharge, with or without post-nasal drip, tend to precede any headache symptoms. In short, the patient reports they were sick first and later developed the headache.