Can Facial Pain Be A Migraine?

Question

Asked by springtimemum

Can Facial Pain Be A Migraine?

Hello

I have pain that is severe, fairly constant and pressure like that is all one side of my head - from the side of my nose, under my eye, up to my temple (most intense) and round to my ear. It has increased in duration, frequency and intensity over past year and the longest period it has lasted for is 12 days. In the past I have used ibruprofen and paracetomol in high dosages to bring the pain into tolerance level but recently I experienced two days of this pain without it responding to medication (I was going nuts!).

The pain is not at all like a headache, it sometimes feels like it radiates down to my jaw or up into my head, but usually doesn't. It is mostly on my face.

I have no aura or visual disturbances, no vomitting or nausea. Have had my eyes checked - I do not need glasses and my eyes are healthy.

My doctor has suggested it could be a migraine and has suggested I try beta-blockers but I have been unable to find reference to migraine's on the face that fit even close to my description... can anyone shed some light please or point me in the direction of finding more information? Thanks in advance.

P.S. I never previously had any history of migraines or headaches - this pain started approx 4 weeks after I had a whip lash injury to my neck.

Answer

During a Migraine, the trigeminal nerve becomes inflamed. When you see the position of that nerve, you can see why a Migraine can make your face hurt. You can see the location of the trigeminal nerve in this illustration - Pathways of Migraine.

That said, a diagnosis of Migraine requires symptoms other than headache -- nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound. You can read more about the phases of a Migraine attack and their symptoms in Anatomy of a Migraine.

Is there any history of Migraine, "sick headaches," or sinus headaches in your family? Most of what people think are sinus headaches are actually Migraines.

Another possibility is that this is post-traumatic pain. It can often act a lot like Migraine.

If your doctor isn't able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It's important to note that neurologists aren't necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.

hope this helps,

Teri

Answered by Teri Robert