General Ear, Nose, Sinus and Throat Problems

General Ear, Nose, Sinus and Throat Problems

“Headache Secondary to Diseases of the Ear, Nose & Throat” Headache:


In preparing notes for a lay persons web site about the ear, nose and throat causes of headache, one must appreciate that only a brief and incomplete description of the causes, clinical presentation, investigation and management of these conditions can be provided. Further information can be obtained by searching key conditions either on the web or via libraries, textbooks, scientific journals, etc, or by seeking expert advice from suitably qualified health professionals.

On no account should any individual make any assumptions about symptoms they or others have based on the general information provided at this website. Patients with persistent symptoms should always seek appropriate advice from suitably qualified health professionals. There is considerable overlap between the various health professionals in the management of patients presenting with headache and it is not uncommon for two or more experts to be involved in the care of some patients.

I hope those of you taking a look at this site find the following information useful, if not a little dry!! Remember that the objective of this site is to educate patients and other interested persons about the possible causes of headache. Don’t expect an exhaustive account about each topic.

Pain causing headache is a common symptom for which there are many causes. From the perspective of the Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon, such conditions are best described based on regional causes, i.e., the ear; nose and sinuses; and neck, including throat.

Headache secondary to nose and sinus disease is not uncommon and well known patterns of headache are recognised according to the particular area of the nose and sinuses affected as well as the underlying disease process. There are four groups of sinuses: the maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses. Most headaches due to nose and sinus disease are associated with other symptoms and most are due to either viral (common colds) or bacterial infection. It is common for there to be more than one underlying cause. Hence, there is great variation in how patients present.

The face, nose and sinus structures are predominantly supplied with sensation from a nerve coming through the skull base called the “trigeminal nerve”. It consists of three branches, upper (ophthalmic), middle (maxillary) and lower (mandibular). It is the fifth “cranial” nerve and these branches are known as V1, V2 and V3 ! Pathology involving one of these branches can cause pain in the distribution of other branches or in more remote areas according to connections of the trigeminal nerve with other nerves in the skull. This is called “referred neuralgia”.

An understanding of the anatomy and function of this nerve and its connections is necessary to explain and diagnose headache causing conditions in this region.

Key Words: sinus pains, sinus, sinusitis, rhinosinusitis, rhinitis, tumours, infections, sinus infection, sinus headaches, nose pains, nose, trigemminal neuralgias, temporal arteritis, facial cellulitis, ent specialist, ent surgeon, ear nose throat specialists,

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Mr Anthony J. Guiney MBBS FRACS

Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgeon

Consultant Surgeon, Mercy Private Hospital and Rhinology Unit (Nose & Sinus Clinic), Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital

Member Australian Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Member Australian Association of Facial Plastic Surgeons

General & Paediatric Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery

Head & Neck Surgery including Thyroid & Parotid Surgery, Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Audiology Assessments

Medicolegal, TAC & Workcover Assessments (Registered Impairment Assessor)

Special Interests:

Nose & Sinus Surgery

Rhinoplasty & Otoplasty, Facial Skin Malignancy

Sleep Disordered Breathing (Management of Snoring & Sleep Apnoea)

Voice Disorders & Phonosurgery

Author:Contact Details
Anthony Guiney 100X100
Mr Anthony Guiney MBBS .FRACS

Address: Essendon ENT, Head and Neck Clinic
62 Buckley Street Essendon 3040
Suburb: Essendon
Phone: 03 9375 2099
Also consulting in Blackburn

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