Question: My 25-year-old son in law has had severe pressure and pain in his eyes and head. He is finishing med school as has been to various doctors trying to alleviate his problem and they have ruled out Vacuum Sinusitis as well as other obstructions. He does have a polyp, but according to the doctors, nothing that would cause this pain. He is devastated with the pain for over 2 months. What do you suggest?
Answer: Headaches can be due to many different causes. While sinus problems can frequently cause headaches, unless caused by an acute (new severe) infection, sinus headaches tend to be dull and persistent. They are usually located over the area of the sinuses involved, except for headaches from the sphenoid sinus, which tends to cause a headache at the top or back of the head. There is some thought that contact points- that is when the septum touches the side wall of the nose, can cause severe headaches- but not all agree with this philosophy.
We would be happy to see your son in law at the NY Sinus Center, to help find a cause and treatment of his headaches. Imaging by CT scan should be done if he has not had this already and he should have a thorough neurologic examination as well. We work closely with headache specialists and others who can help, should the pain not be from his sinuses.
Robert L. Pincus MD
NY Sinus Center