Headaches are among the most common ailments. In many cases, headaches come and go without the need for medical intervention, but sometimes, persistent or severe headaches merit further investigation. If you’re prone to migraines or you have symptoms associated with sinus headaches, it’s beneficial to see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

ENT problems that are linked to headaches

There are numerous ear, nose and throat problems that could possibly be linked to migraines and headaches. Sinusitis, tonsillitis and ear infections can all impact the nerves around the face, contributing to an elevated risk of headaches. In many cases, managing the symptoms and causes of these issues can alleviate headaches.

Sinusitis is a common cause of headaches. Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become inflamed. If you have sinusitis, you may experience symptoms such as fever, a blocked nose, aches and pains in your face and jaw, tooth pain and increased pressure around the nose and eyes. If you have got sinusitis, you’ll often find that pain intensifies when you lean forward or blow your nose.

Ear infections tend to cause pain in the ears, but this can radiate to other parts of the body and present as headaches and muscular pain. Often, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat ear infections, but if you have recurrent infections, your doctor may suggest that you see an ENT specialist.

How ENT doctors treat headaches

If you experience headaches on a regular basis or you suffer from chronic sinusitis, it’s beneficial to see an ENT specialist, a doctor with expertise in treating and managing conditions and infections that affect the ears, nose and throat.

Sinus headaches occur when the sinuses become blocked and swollen. It is very common to experience facial pain as well as headaches when you have sinusitis. There are lots of different self-help techniques you can try at home to alleviate symptoms, but severe cases should be treated by an ENT specialist. Breathing moist air, using hot and cold compresses to ease swelling and taking over the counter medication can help. If your headaches don’t improve, more intensive treatments may be required.

When you see an ENT doctor, they will ask you about your symptoms and they may also order a CT scan, which will enable them to look closely at the sinuses and the nasal passages and determine the severity of any blockages. In many cases, antibiotics and decongestants can help to ameliorate the situation. If medication doesn’t work and you’re still getting headaches, surgery may be required. This will usually involve endoscopic techniques.

It is very common to experience headaches, especially when you’re under the weather, you’re tired, or you’re dehydrated. However, if you suffer from persistent headaches and you have additional symptoms, such as a blocked nose, sore ears or facial or dental pain, it’s advisable to see an ENT specialist. Your doctor will carry out tests and assessments to identify possible causes and confirm a diagnosis. They can then discuss treatment options with you, and hopefully, put a stop to painful headaches.