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Ask Daniel Sheibley, MD Your Own Question

Daniel Sheibley, MD
Daniel Sheibley, MD, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1834
Experience:  MD Grad Jefferson Medical College 2009. Internal Med intern 2010 & Radiology residency 2011. Husband & father of two.
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For the last 2 weeks Ive been feeling increased pressure in

Customer Question

For the last 2 weeks I've been feeling increased pressure in my head and headaches and facial pressure over the bridge of my nose, my upper set of my teeth and around my eyes. My face is not tender and I've not got a runny nose? I've been on antibiotics but it's not clearing up? I'm starting to get really worried that this is something more serious like a brain tumour? Headaches are so unusual for me, it's so difficult to get an appointment with my GP, please help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Daniel Sheibley, MD replied 2 years ago.
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Hello

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If you don't have a runny nose it still can be a sinus infection. This is exactly what it sounds like. The holes that drain your sinuses can become closed off enough that no secretions/mucus can drain out which is why you may not have a runny nose.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Antibiotics alone are not enough for some sinus problems. You are going to need to have a CT of the sinuses (not a ct of the brain) - a CT of the sinuses doesn't not require as much radiation and is optimized to evaluate the bony anatomy of your sinuses to see if there is any reason that things do not drain properly.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Facial pressure is a hallmark of sinusitis and sinus blockage.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Sinusitis is not always infectious, which is why antibiotics didn't help you.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If there is a structural difference in your sinuses which keeps them from draining properly (this can happen because of retained mucus plugging things up or bony narrowing over time) then the sinus ct would allow an ear nose and throat doctor to plan sinus surgery (not as scary as it sounds) because all they do is go in through the passageways and open up the ones that need widening a little bit.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

This is far far more likely that than a tumor as you were worried about.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

far more likely.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Hello

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

.

Customer: I'm 32 and this is my first sinus problem, if it were a structural problem
Customer: wouldnt I have had a sinus problem
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

No they can develop

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Not from birth

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

little polyps can grow over the openings

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

people go decades before having a problem

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

and your sinuses aren't even formed when you are born.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

They expand as your skull grows

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

so even in your teens they aren't in their final configuration

Customer: Are primary brain tumours rare? I'm so worried! Wouldn't my face be tender if it was sinus?
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Yes they are very rare in your age group. Sinus disease would be a few hundred times more likely

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

The skin would not be tender. It can hurt when you tap on your face, but not necessarily. The frontal pressure is the symptom that suggests this the most.

Customer: What can I do? If it was a tumor would I be having other symptoms? I had my bloods taken the other day and they were all normal
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

You can go see your primary care doctor and ask about getting a CT of the sinuses

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Blood work doesn't rule out sinus disease or brain tumors

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

A brain tumor can be without symptoms for a very long time and also depending on location they can produce symptoms very early on. Again, could it be a brain tumor in a fraction of a percent yes, but the overwhelmingly likely cause is sinusitis, which may be due to a problem with your sinuses that needs to be evaluated with a CT scan.

Customer: Ok I see I'm unable to get an appointment till next week with my GP. What can I do in the mean time?
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Using a humidifier, saline nasal spray, antiinflammatory medication (over the counter like ibuprofen, paracetamol)

Customer: My ears keep popping lots too, is that related?
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Warm showers - staying in there for a while so it humidifies the air is the same as using a humidifier

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If your backup in your sinuses is due to swelling of the mucosal surfaces yes.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

The tubes that drain your ears into the back of your throat can become closed off if you have swelling.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Taking an allergy medication over the counter type can help with those symptoms as well to minimize the swelling and allow things to open up and drain

Customer: Like proton?
Customer: *piriton
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

yes

Customer: Ok I'll try that in the mean time. Are most malignant brain tumours secondary?
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Yes

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

as in metastatic? yes

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

primary are more rare

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

most common would be breast and lung cancer to metastasize to the brain

Customer: Yes that's what I mean
Customer: As far a I know I'm otherwise healthy, just wondering
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Yeah you have not to worry about brain tumors

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

it will be a sinus infection, non infectious plugging of the sinuses or a structural problem that would be fixed by minor surgery

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Did I provide good service?

Customer: Ok thank you, ***** ***** and calm down. I've been so panicked about brain tumours that I've not been sleeping and having panic attacks
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Glad to have helped calm you down a little - try to feel better and this well end up being fine.

Customer: Thanks you
Daniel Sheibley, MD, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1834
Experience: MD Grad Jefferson Medical College 2009. Internal Med intern 2010 & Radiology residency 2011. Husband & father of two.
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