KAREN H.CALHOUNMDRONALD B.KUPPERSMITHMDFrom the Division of Rhinology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Limited functional endoscopic sinus surgery has a good chance of curing headache in the patient who has frontal and/or retro-orbital headaches, mild mucosal edema on endoscopy, and a normal sinus computed tomographic (CT) scan.
In considering the relationship of sinus disease and headaches, Stammberger and Wolf1 divide headache patients into 3 groups. One group has headaches specifically linked to sinonasal abnormalities, such as inflammatory disease, neoplasm, barotrauma, or other readily identifiable causes. A second group has headaches unrelated to sinus causes, such as migraines, neuralgias, ophthalmologic problems, and vascular problems. The third group has no clear cause for their headaches, and a sinus origin cannot be clearly identified. This third group poses a challenge for otolaryngologists and is the subject of this report.
Becker DO, Cunning DM. Directed Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Headaches. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(10):1274–1276. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.10.1274