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Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Jul;80(7):908-16.

Sinus headache: a neurology, otolaryngology, allergy, and primary care consensus on diagnosis and treatment.

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  • 1Headache Care Center, Primary Care Network, Inc, 3805 S Kansas Expressway, Springfield, MO 65807, USA.


Sinus headache is a widely accepted clinical diagnosis, although many medical specialists consider it an uncommon cause of recurrent headaches. The inappropriate diagnosis of sinus headache can lead to unnecessary diagnostic studies, surgical interventions, and medical treatments. Both the International Headache Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have attempted to define conditions that lead to headaches of rhinogenic origin but have done so from different perspectives and in isolation of each other. An interdisciplinary ad hoc committee convened to discuss the role of sinus disease as a cause of headache and to review recent epidemiological studies that suggest sinus headache (headache of rhinogenic origin) and migraine are frequently confused with one another. This committee reviewed available scientific evidence from multiple disciplines and concluded that considerable research and clinical study are required to further understand and delineate the role of nasal pathology and autonomic activation in migraine and headaches of rhinogenic origin. However, this group agreed that greater diagnostic and therapeutic attention needs to be given to patients with sinus headaches.

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