My doctor told me that the headaches I thought were sinus headaches were migraines. Apparently, that’s correct since sumatriptan stops them, and I’m glad to have a correct diagnosis and treatment that works. But I’d really like to understand why I have so much sinus pain during these migraines. All my doctor says is, “It’s just part of your migraines.” Can you give me a real answer? Thank you so much, Veronica.
Yes, we can answer your question. The trigeminal nerve is impacted by a migraine, and that can result in pain from any of the three branches:
- The opthalmic branch runs above the eyes and can cause pain above and around the eyes.
- The maxillary branch runs below the eyes and can cause pain in the facial sinus areas, upper teeth, and even the ears.
- The mandibular branch runs along the lower jaw (mandible) and can cause pain along the jaw and in the lower teeth. It also can contribute to ear pain.
We hope this information explains your sinus pain to you.
Thank you for your question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.