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Headache Care

Chronic Headache Related to Nasal Disorders

Sunday, Apr 18 2010


Migraine Headaches and Deviated Nasal Septum

Many individuals, diagnosed with’chronic migraine’ may actually have a deviated septum – a displaced cartilaginous/bonny wall that separates the nasal cavity into two chambers. A deviated septum is a common result of a nose injury, especially in athletes engaged in contact sports. Symptoms of a deviated septum may include:

* Chronic headache in the front, temples, cheeks, around the eyes or on the top of the head
* Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils
* Nosebleeds
* Frequent nasal infections or sinusitis

The disorder can be suspected during examination of the nose and confirmed by a CT or MRI (Picture 1) of the nasal sinuses. Treatment is by a small surgical procedure, called septoplasty, performed by an ENT surgeon; the procedure lasts for only about 20 minutes. According to The Migraine Imposter, a book written by Dr. Kevin Smith, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) and facial plastic surgeon from Houston, US, 90% of patients get headache relief after a septal deviation correction surgery.

Chronic Headaches and Nasal Polyps
Deviated nasal septum - MRI image

Nasal polyps are benign non-cancerous growths in the nose that can cause:

* Difficulty breathing through nostrils, mouth breathing
* Runny nose
* Chronic sinusitis
* Chronic headaches or facial pain
* Snoring
* Reduced sense of smell

Nasal polyps are caused by allergic inflammation, or irritants, like air pollutants, tobacco smoke or alcohol. Treatment is with steroids or surgery.

Other nasal-related causes of chronic headaches include: chronic (allergic)sinusitis, tumor in the nose or sinuses, congenital disorders.


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