The Different Types of Headaches and How We Treat Them

Do you ever feel a throbbing pain in your head that won’t go away? How about headaches that seem to just be part of your life? At the Center for Sinus, Sleep, & Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Monica Tadros and our team understand how debilitating headaches can be. That’s why we offer comprehensive treatment options for New York and New Jersey patients.

Sinus Headaches

In case you didn’t already know, your sinuses are air-filled spaces located in the bones of the face, and there are four pairs of sinuses: the frontal sinuses (located above the eyebrows), the maxillary sinuses (located in the cheekbones), the ethmoid sinuses (located between the eyes), and the sphenoid sinuses (located behind the nose).

Sinus headaches are the most common type of headache we treat. They occur when your sinuses become inflamed or blocked. Blockages happen due to:

  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Structural issues

Sinus headaches are often described as a deep, dull, and constant pain, rather than a sharp or throbbing pain. The pain is typically felt on both sides of the face and may worsen with movement, bending over, or sudden changes in temperature or humidity. Other symptoms that may accompany sinus headaches include:

  • Congestion: a stuffy or blocked nose
  • Discharge: thick, discolored mucus draining from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Facial swelling: swelling and tenderness in the cheeks, forehead, or around the eyes
  • Fever: a low-grade fever may be present in cases of acute sinusitis
  • Toothache: pain in the upper teeth, which can be mistaken for a dental problem

Sinus headaches can be acute (lasting less than 4 weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks). They can also be classified as primary (caused by the sinuses themselves) or secondary (caused by another condition, such as a migraine or tension headache).

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are characterized by recurrent, severe, and throbbing pain. You may also notice other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, nausea and vomiting, and visual disturbances.

What causes migraines? Some research indicates that the blood vessels in the brain dilate (widen) and become inflamed.

Migraines are typically divided into two categories: migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Aura is a term used to describe a range of neurological symptoms that can occur before or during a migraine attack. These symptoms can include visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or zigzag lines, numbness or tingling in the face or limbs, difficulty speaking or understanding language, and rarely weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.

In our practice, we commonly see allergies and sinus symptoms causing migraine headaches to become more frequent and sometimes more severe. In susceptible patients with narrow sinus anatomy, a little inflammation can cause these neurogenic headaches to flare up. If you suspect your migraines escalate in association with nasal congestion, allergy or sinus symptoms, it’s worth getting a comprehensive evaluation by a specialist.

Headaches Can Have Multiple Triggers

While stress, anxiety, and changes in the blood vessels are common triggers for headaches, they are not the only ones. Other triggers may include certain foods, weather changes, hormonal changes, and environmental factors.

In some cases, headaches can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as a brain tumor, aneurysm, or infection. While these conditions are rare, seeking medical attention is important if you experience severe or persistent headaches.

Taking preventative measures can help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. This can include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and practicing stress-reducing techniques such as meditation or yoga.

If you suffer from headaches, it’s important to communicate with Dr. Tadros about your symptoms, triggers, and treatment options. She can help determine the best course of action for managing your headaches.

How We Treat Headaches

Dr. Monica Tadros and our team offer a range of treatments for headaches, including:


Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen can effectively treat tension headaches. For migraines, prescription medications such as triptans and ergots may be recommended. Dr. Tadros recommends staying away from allergens. Also, remember that saline solutions can help. Headaches lasting longer than 12 weeks might indicate inadequate draining in your sinuses. If that happens to you, speak with Dr. Tadros about what to do next.

Botox Injections

Botox injections effectively reduce the frequency and severity of chronic migraine headaches. The injections are given every 12 weeks and work by blocking the release of chemicals that cause pain.

Sinus Surgery

Dr. Tadros may recommend sinus surgery for patients who suffer from chronic sinus headaches. The surgery can help to open up the sinuses and improve airflow, reducing the frequency and severity of headaches.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, stress reduction techniques, and healthy eating habits can be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of headaches.

Why Choose Us

If you are suffering from headaches, you want to work with a team of experts who can provide comprehensive care tailored to your specific needs.

We provide top-notch care for patients with headaches, led by Dr. Monica Tadros, a renowned facial plastic surgeon, and otolaryngologist. Dr. Tadros and her team have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating headaches and use state-of-the-art technology and techniques to provide the best possible care.

In addition to headache treatment, we offer a range of services for patients with sinus, sleep, and facial plastic surgery needs. Whether you want to improve your breathing, enhance your appearance, or treat a medical condition, our team has the expertise to help you achieve your goals.