Headaches can be disabling, and be very difficult to diagnose at times. Different nerves and causes can result in the same type of symptoms making it very confusing. Sometimes, the only way to diagnose the cause of the headache is to do injections to target certain nerves/muscles and see if it takes away the pain.
Supraorbital neuralgia is easily mistaken for frontal sinusitis. It can be caused by trauma to the face such as a ball or a punch or a vehicle windshield. There might be a long delay for years even, as the scarring that was caused by the trauma finally tightens enough around the supraorbital nerve and causes entrapment.
Do you have a headache that is worse right before your menses every month? Is your headache worse with intake of foods with MSG (monosodium glutamate), cheeses and wines? The fluid retention increases the tightening around the nerve, precipitating an attack of pain in and around the eye.
The pain may be throbbing and to make matters even more confusing, it may appear like a migraine with sensitivity to bright lights and sounds. It may also resemble typical cluster headaches with the suddenness in onset, nasal congestion, eye swelling and redness.
Thankfully, the treatment can be very effective. After a small amount of anaesthetic is injected around the nerve, the pain can totally disappear. The duration of the pain relief can be increased by using Botox, freezing the nerve in what is known as “cryoablation”, and using radiofrequency technology to “reset” the nerve to reduce the nerve sensitivity.
There’s more than meets the eye… you may have a supraorbital neuralgia, and it can be treated.