National Migraine Centre
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Cluster headaches? I'm not so sure

I've had migraine for years. I'm currently battling with chronic sinusitis (which started following a mild cold last summer) and haven't got better having tried home remedies and medication prescribed by GP. I saw GP again yesterday and mentioned that last week when I had a migraine my eye went watery and my nose blocked on one side - this happens sometimes if I have a migraine, and it is quite different to the sinus problems.

So she then suggested, based on this, that I might be suffering from cluster headaches. But I don't think I am. From what I've read, the pain and duration of cluster headaches don't match my symptoms. I've also been on the OUCH website and done their self-diagnosis test and it came up with "migraine" as a diagnosis! I definitely get auras as well so I am pretty certain it's not cluster headache.

The upshot is that I've refused to see a neurologist as she suggested, (I think I need an ENT specialist to look up my nose!) and I've got to increase my atenolol to see if it helps the migraines (confused? I am!) And I still have sinusitis!

I think I will see how it goes for a bit and then go back, armed with another migraine diary. Any ideas?

7 Replies

if you get the opportunity to see a neuro take t with both hands, at least he can rule clusters out for you. with all the cutbacks gettting refered is harder, make the most of it and if the neuro thinks you need to see an ent he'll send you and youll get ina lot quicker!

1 like

Where I live, hospital consultants can't refer to each other in different specialities, you have to go back to your GP to get a referral - it's a finding thing.


Why would you refuse the offer to see a neurologist ? probably he would have a long waiting list anyway! Iknow he wouldn't be the one to treat sinusitis but he could sort out your horrible migraines! My gp didn't offer me this option until Id suffered for30years!


I know, I sound a bit ungrateful. I think it's because I've been through the system numerous times over the past few years trying to get a diagnosis and treatment for chronic pain (we got there in the end), and I can feel it going the same way with this problem.


This all sounds so familiar. I started off with a sinus cold, quite severe it lasted five weeks, and then just as I thought it had ended, I started getting migraine, with vision disturbances, and my face on one side is swollen and my nose feels like I still have sinus issues, or as if I a allergic to something, because my face is hot and burning my head feels like it is being clamped, also still,getting mucus. I have tried sudafed tablets with Ibruprofen, they do help,a little, but as soon as I stop them it's all back again. I do remember last year about this time in March I had some issues, could it be tree pollen? Just a thought, like you I feel a ENT may be an idea. I don't know about you but life is miserable living like this. I used to get migraines many years ago, but they stopped, but now it has just all started up again, can youn relate?


Thanks for the replies. I have been formulating a bit of a plan - I think I may well have to go back to the GP sooner rather than later because I think I may have another sinus infection anyway. And I think that really does need ENT.

As for the neurologist, I will do some homework and ask around to see if there's one specialising in migraine locally. As the migraines got a lot worse when the clocks changed I'm hoping that when they go forwards again in a few weeks, things might be better.

I also have a pain clinic appointment coming up and I'm sure they will be able to give some advice.

It feels better with a plan. meanwhile, my head feels like it's being crushed from within - if I could just take it off for a bit like you do with a pair of new shoes....


Don't know if this helps - I get sinus problems as well - one thing I find really helps me is actually sleeping propped up rather than flat when the sinus problems hit.

I would still go and see the neurologist if it was me.


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