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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Ethmoid Sinus Pain

02/10/2010

Question:

I had endoscopic sinus surgery in 2003 to open my sinus passages due to chronic sinus infections. I also had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy due to chronic tonsil infections at the same time. I now have terrible pain that is concentrated in between the mid-eyebrow to bridge of nose area. If I touch this area with mild or moderate fingertip pressure, it hurts. I am constantly furrowing my brow due to headache pain in this area. It sounds weird, but I find myself gouging my thumbs into the hollows of my eye sockets (the inner, top corner) to relieve pain. When I do this, I feel something `popping` that feels like little polyps bursting. I have no nasal drip or mucus. What could this be? I am guessing the problem area seems to be the ethmoid sinuses.

Answer:

I would start with a sinus CT to rule out recurrent ethmoid disease. If this is negative, a facial neuralgia (or pain from the nerve to this region) may be the cause. This could be treated with prescription anti-inflammatories or local injections.

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Response by:

Lee   Zimmer, MD Lee Zimmer, MD
Assistant Professor or Otolaryngology, Director of Endoscopic Cranial Base Center
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati