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What causes left-sided headache and burning sensation in head, sinus and nostril?

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Posted on Wed, 11 May 2016
Question: I have had a headache on the left side of my head for 2 weeks; about a week ago my headache began to burn as well as my left sinus and nostril. I was put on antibiotics for possible sinus infection which I have taken for a week. What could be causing this? I had a TIA 6 years ago.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Judging by that description I would agree with your doctor in saying that the most likely diagnosis is sinusitis.

However since it doesn't seem to respond to be promptly responding to therapy some confirmation through imaging is advisable. For that purpose the CT scan would serve both to confirm sinus infection as well as to exclude other possible causes like a tumor.

You mention TIA which would raise the question of a possible stroke, but I do not think it is the case as the location of the pain is not typical and usually there are other symptoms (like weakness of the limbs on the contralateral side).

One other possibility to be considered is also a condition called temporal (or giant cell) arteritis, inflammation of the arteries, mainly temporal artery which can manifest with unilateral headache. For that your physician should keep in mind palpation of the temporal artery during physical exam as well as a blood test for inflammation changes like raised erithrocyte sedimentation rate.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (3 minutes later)
Thank you and I appreciate your input.

XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
You're welcome

Detailed Answer:
I hope you will feel better soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (30 minutes later)
Dr. Olsi Taka,

I reviewed my blood work that was done a few weeks ago; the results were:

WBC 12.02
RBC 4.13
HGB 11.9
HCT 38.9
MCV 94.2
MCH 28.8
MCHC 30.6
ECG: POSSIBLE ANTERIOR INFARCT, AGE UNDETERMINED.
BUN 24
BUN/CREAT RATIO
27.3

EOS PCT 0.5
NEUTROS ABS 8.61
EOS ABS 0.06
BASO ABS 0.03
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (13 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
That blood test shows a mildly raised white blood cells count. It can be a sign of infection, but is not specific, meaning does not indicate the site. Could be justified by sinusitis.
As for the erythrocyte sedimentation rate which I mentioned before it is not included in these results. A moderate increase of it though may occur also in the case of infection, so one must think of temporal arteritis only when values are really high and are supported symptoms and physical exam.
The ECG shows a previous anterior infarct....perhpas it's an already known fact and it has no relation to your current symptoms. I suppose the doctor addressed that, but in case not it warrants some attention regarding risk factors, heart function and future preventive treatment.

I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (6 minutes later)
Thank you so much for your response. I have had a previous report on an ECG done years ago that stated a possible MI. I don't know when that could have occurred, but I have had chest pain in the past.

I greatly appreciate your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (43 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
As I said that has no relation with the headache and wouldn't want you to worry too much about it, since it was noted years ago it does not represent an emergency.
But once the headache issue is resolved, if you have not been evaluated and take no treatment for your heart and blood thinners, a check up with a cardiologist is advisable given that old MI and the chest pain episodes.

Wishing you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Olsi Taka

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What causes left-sided headache and burning sensation in head, sinus and nostril?

Brief Answer: Read below. Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Judging by that description I would agree with your doctor in saying that the most likely diagnosis is sinusitis. However since it doesn't seem to respond to be promptly responding to therapy some confirmation through imaging is advisable. For that purpose the CT scan would serve both to confirm sinus infection as well as to exclude other possible causes like a tumor. You mention TIA which would raise the question of a possible stroke, but I do not think it is the case as the location of the pain is not typical and usually there are other symptoms (like weakness of the limbs on the contralateral side). One other possibility to be considered is also a condition called temporal (or giant cell) arteritis, inflammation of the arteries, mainly temporal artery which can manifest with unilateral headache. For that your physician should keep in mind palpation of the temporal artery during physical exam as well as a blood test for inflammation changes like raised erithrocyte sedimentation rate. I remain at your disposal for other questions.