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HeadWay Issue #210 👃🏽 The Migraine Trigger In Your Nose?
February 21, 2022

In this issue:

The Migraine Trigger In Your Nose?

New at Headache and Migraine News

Say what?! Septoplasty

The Migraine Trigger In Your 👃🏽 Nose?

When people find significant relief from migraine, sometimes - not always - but sometimes - they come back to our community to tell us about it. And we're thankful when they do!

That was the case with Donna from the USA. After four decades of migraine attacks, and who-knows-how-much spent on migraine medication, she wrote to the HeadWay MailRoom and said, "All gone!"

Her secret won't work for everyone, but it's probably more common than you think.

The problem? The nose.

Many - if not most - people have what might be called "irregular" nasal passages. In Donna's case, it was a bone spur in the nose. But this is related to a more common issue - a deviated septum.

A nasal spur is basically a bony projection, which may be there from birth, or may develop later. One common cause is constant trauma to the face, such as involvement in a high-impact sport.

A deviated septum is a "crooked" septum - the cartilage and bone that separates your two nasal passages.

For many people, these may not cause any noticeable symptoms, and so no attention is required.

But for others, symptoms may include:
  • Difficulty breathing (which may make allergies worse)
  • Facial pain (possibly one-sided)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Snoring
  • Headaches, including migraine and "sinus headache" symptoms
You may only notice one of these symptoms, and they may not be constant.

Nasal issues can actually make migraine symptoms worse. For example, you may have monthly migraine attacks based on your cycle, and even that may be triggered by nasal problems ("the straw that broke the camel's back").

To make matters worse, these issues can actually cause problems with migraine medications taken as nasal sprays. You may not be actually getting your full dosage (see this study).

If you suspect that a deviated septum or spur may be causing problems, your doctor can check it out. Sometimes, a CAT scan will be needed to get a clear picture.

Surgery may be needed to correct the problem. This is usually called a septoplasty, which refers to surgery of the nasal septum (although a spur may occur elsewhere).

During the surgery, the doctor can remove the spurs (if any) and straighten the septum.

The tricky part here is deciding if nasal problems are actually contributing to your migraine attacks. This can be a complex issue, but you and your doctor can work together to decide if surgery or treatment will help.

For more information, see:

New At Headache and Migraine News

Watch for announcements regarding the upcoming free Migraine World Summit! The first announcement is here, but by the time you read this there may be more.
--> Dates and Details Announced! Migraine World Summit 2022

And speaking of the nose, check out:
--> A Balloon Up The Nose For Migraine (no, seriously)

In a couple recent posts, I shared some brand-new tips for dimming your world - in a good way! Here they are:
--> Turn Down the Lights! -Dark Reader-
--> Turn Down the Lights! -LightDims-

And don't miss this important announcement:
--> Important Announcement: Migraine Research Foundation

Say what?! Septoplasty

You can probably guess the origins of the word septoplasty now, if you look close. "Septo" refers to the septum, and "plasty" - think of plastic, as in plastic surgery. It refers to shaping, or reconstructing the septum.

Septoplasty is also known as submucous septal resection, because it involves the mucous membrane that lines the inside of your nose.

So septoplasty refers to the surgical reconstruction of the nasal septum.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom.  Your password is nomoache.
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