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What to Expect When Getting Headache Treatments from an ENT
Headaches are common complaints that a lot of people often have. There are several instances where headaches disappear as quickly as they appear, with no need to resort to medication. However, in some cases, headaches may recur frequently and be quite unbearable. Such cases may primarily be due to migraines or sinus issues and call for an ENT doctor's expertise.
How ENT issues and headaches are related
Several ear, nose and throat issues can be related to headaches and migraines. Things like ear infections, sinusitis and tonsillitis can all affect the nerves in the face, which may contribute to a higher threat of headaches. To lessen the instances of a headache, you will need to manage the symptoms.
To help you manage the symptoms, doctors will often prescribe antibiotics to treat ear infections, if any. But ENT specialists are in the best position to solve a recurring problem.
Types of headaches and their treatments
There are different kinds of headaches based on their causes and how they are treated. Here are some of the most common types:
Migraines can be painful and leave you frustrated because aside from just the headache, other symptoms include nausea, dizziness and a bad reaction to bright light. With such a condition, you will have to consult an ENT specialist, who can provide medication that will offer you some reprieve and do away with the symptoms.
Medicines that an ENT doctor can prescribe are rizatriptan, eletriptan and sumatriptan. Depending on the severity of your migraines, you may be advised by your doctor to make use of anti-seizure drugs or muscle relaxants.
Another common cause of headaches is sinusitis, which occurs when the sinus is inflamed. Some of the symptoms you may encounter may include blocked nose, pains and aches in your jaw and face, fever as well as increased pressure around the eyes and nose. The pain may be quite unbearable if you try blowing your nose or when you lean forward.
Once an ENT doctor diagnoses the cause of your headache as sinusitis, there are a few treatment options that are available to you. If you’re experiencing blocked sinuses, the first step will be to eliminate the congestion by using decongestants and applying antibiotics to deal with any potential infection.
If that fails, the only option left is surgery. You will have to undergo a procedure that will remove the blockage and reduce your sinuses' pressure. This is a minor procedure, and you should make a full recovery within a week or two, contingent on the exact type of surgery you had.
This type of headache is usually restricted to one side of the head and often happens around the eye. Unfortunately, you will not be able to relieve the pain with painkillers from the pharmacy.
You will have to see an ENT specialist who will most likely prescribe ergotamine and sumatriptan shots if they diagnose your headache as a cluster headache for quick relief. In some cases, cluster headaches can be relieved by taking a short course of steroids or blood pressure medication.
This is probably the most common type of headache that people experience. This can efficiently be dealt with using over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin. But if it gets worse, you should see an ENT doctor to diagnose the kind of headache you have correctly.
Proper diagnosis and medication from an ENT doctor should help you relieve the pain. If things do not improve after that, there may be underlying conditions that need to be investigated and adequately addressed.
The diagnosis process
For an ENT doctor to properly diagnose your type of headache, they need to have all the information you can provide. This gives them an idea of what exactly it could be, and then that will inform the kind of treatments that will help you.
So, when you visit an ENT specialist, you should provide as much information about the symptoms, especially when they started and their severity. In most cases, you will have to undergo a CT scan to understand better what is happening. A CT scan will offer a closer look at your nasal passages and sinuses and provide invaluable insight on which medications or treatments will work best.
Depending on the severity of the situation, you may only need to use decongestants and antibiotics. In severe cases, you may have to undergo surgery where endoscopic techniques will ease the situation. Fortunately, ENT Specialists PC is at your service. Please give us a call at (402) 983-9948 for more information.