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How Can an ENT Doctor Treat Headaches?

a smiling ear nose throat specialist

Most of us will experience minor headaches at some point or another in our life. Generally, they will pass of their own accord and you won’t have another for a while without need for medical intervention. However, if you are experiencing regular headaches or prolonged headaches, it’s a good idea to reach out to your doctor for help. While we’re all well aware that a general practitioner will be able to provide information on headaches and recommend treatment, you may not be aware that this is an area where an ear, nose and throat specialist – or an ENT – can help you too! Here are just a few different ways that an ENT can help you with your headache!

Diagnosis and different treatments

If you have a headache, something is causing it. Often, this something can be an issue with your ears, nose or throat. Some of the following ear, nose and throat problems can be common causes of headaches and something that your ENT will be able to help you resolve.

Blocked sinuses

Sometimes, your sinuses will be the cause of your headache. Your sinuses are simply the air-filled cavities around your forehead, cheekbones and the bridge of your nose. When your sinuses become inflamed, you may experience swelling, which triggers increased mucus production and results in your sinuses becoming blocked. This increases pressure within your sinuses and results in pain that feels very similar to a headache. This condition is called sinusitis. Your ENT will be able to diagnose the cause of your sinusitis, which will then help them to treat the cause, eliminate sinusitis and therefore eliminate your headache. Common causes of sinusitis include:

  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Irritants
  • Structural problems

Ear infections

It’s also possible that your headache is being caused by an ear infection. If your headache feels like it is centered on one side of your head, it’s likely that an ear infection is to blame. Other symptoms include swelling, drainage from your ear, a fever, ear pain and even issues such as a stiff neck. Ear infections are most caused by fluid becoming trapped in the middle ear following a virus or bacterial infection. Your ENT may prescribe ear drops, pain relief or even antibiotics to help clear up the infection. In cases of chronic or repeated ear infections, they may recommend surgical solutions, such as fitting ear tubes to increase airflow in and out of the ear. These can all help to resolve infections and put an end to your headaches.


While we most commonly associate tonsillitis with symptoms such as swollen tonsils, sore throat, difficulty swallowing and bad breath, it can also cause headaches in some people experiencing it. An ENT specialist will be able to diagnose tonsillitis, prescribe treatment and clear up the condition. This should also put an end to your tonsillitis-related headaches.

While you might not automatically think an ENT is the professional to reach out to when you’re experiencing a headache, they could really help. Hopefully, the above information has highlighted just a few of the different ways they can resolve your headaches!