Migraine: Does your face hurt?

Facial pain in migraine

A small study published in June suggested that almost 9% of migraineurs have facial pain during an attack.  Now this is of course another of those chicken-and-egg questions, because some of those patients likely have jaw issues that are triggering migraine attacks.  But others simply have migraine attacks that cause the facial pain.  Read about the study from Germany, Prevalence of facial pain in migraine: a population-based study.

In fact, in rare cases, there is something rare called isolated facial migraine, where the pain in the face is the main feature of the migraine.

Sometimes treatment for the jaw is needed, such as an NTI-tss device.  In other cases, when the pain is coming from the migraine attack, simply treating migraine as a whole will solve the facial pain issue as well.

What about you?  Do you have facial pain during an attack?  What’s it like?

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74 comments… add one
  • Tricia Fields Aug 28, 2009

    It’s interesting that you posted this today. My migraine pain has been, for the most part, under control for a while. But for the last 3 days my face has been tender to touch. I was wondering if it was sinus, but the pain goes beyond the sinus areas, plus, I’m not having any other symptoms of sinus trouble. I’ve had facial pain w/migraines before, but never without headache. Perhaps I’ll try treating it as a migraine and see it that provides relief. Either way, it’s better than the head-pounding, debilitating pain I generally associate with migraine.

    • jane Mar 8, 2012

      my doctor told me today that medicines dont work and that I should have sex before sleeping. If I do not have a partner there for sex I should use a hand or invest in toys. He stopped my medicines for migraines except for the prevention medication but on the instruction papers he stated I should continue taking the same prescriptions but I am out of the prescriptions. Has anyone else gotten this advice for face pain, muscle spasms or nerve jolts behind the eyes?? Curious?

  • Lisa Begin Sep 1, 2009

    Hi…just new here! i have had severe migraines for over 10 yrs now. Not fun… The last 2yrs they have become worse..the face pain, i have experienced alot of..during some of my migraines i loose all feeling in the left side of my face..then when all is done the pain starts.

  • Tricia Fields Sep 2, 2009

    Well, I took a Maxalt and the face pain went away. I’m shocked, but happy to be able to stand having anything touch my face again. Thanks for the tip, I’ll keep this in mind from now on, but at the same time, don’t want to jump right into taking medication anytime my face hurts. Always a balancing act…

  • Pam Sep 5, 2009

    I also experience face pain with migraines, mainly on the right side. Also twitches of eye lids, jaw pain and neck pain. I suffered with those symptoms for years as I had no idea they were related to migraines. Maxalt and Replax both relief those symptoms. I take Maxalt when I have time to lay down and nap. I take Relpax if I don’t have the opportunity to rest. Sometimes I only have face pain and twitching, but no accompanying “headache”. In those cases, I don’t take medication. Only if the pain is debilitating will I put strong meds in my body. The other symptoms are inconvenient, but not debilitating.

  • James Sep 21, 2009

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Yes, it’s very important to “connect-the-dots” and realize which symptoms are actually connected to migraine. I’m glad this one could be of help.

    Tricia – you pointed out something important. This is yet another reason migraine attacks can be mistaken for sinus headache. Important note!

  • Pam Johnson Sep 22, 2009

    For years I went to doctors complaining of sinus, jaw (tooth) and neck pain that would not arrest with over-the-counter pain relievers. The doctors thought I was nuts, as I didn’t have a sinus infection or bad teeth. I never imagined that those where migraine symptoms. I never experienced an aura, or upset stomache, or sensitivity to light or sound with my headaches. Finally my doctor put it all together and sent me to a neurologist when I complained of numbness in my cheeks, twitching eyes, and face pain. I hope you all are getting relief from your migraines.

  • Christine Sep 25, 2009

    My *eyes* hurt! I’ve been looking around the site and not seen this mentioned specifically — when I am getting a migraine, my eyes feel heavy like I want to cry. No pain initially, and no symptoms in my face or teeth (that comes later). But for years I thought I was depressed because I felt like I wanted to cry all the time. It wasn’t till I was diagnosed with migraine and noticed that the heaviness in my eyes was a precursor that went away when I took a Maxalt that I made the connection…

    • jane Mar 4, 2012

      My eyes hurt and sometimes water and that is a sign of having a migraine. just found that out too!

  • Lisa Begin Sep 28, 2009

    Hi i just recently had one of the worst migraine attacks in yrs! It lasted 8 days…hospitalized. I lost all function in my left side, was not able to speak without slurring or stuttering my words. Very scary!
    They have put me on a new drug called Ralivia (tramidol). It is a pain reliever you take daily. Along with my other medication…Topomax i take daily.
    Has anyone else experienced this loss of function before? Or has thier DR. mentioned this drug to you? I relize it is just release in Cananda and very new. thanks

    • Bonnie Nasiatka Sep 1, 2010

      I’ve had many such episodes. I get to the point where I can’t speak at all, and lose my memory during the time of the migraine, then I recover once the head ache goes away, usually after hospitalization and medication. Good luck to you.

  • Christine Sep 28, 2009

    Tramadol may be new in Canada but it’s been in the US for many years. (I googled and the way you spelled it only comes up as a “common misspelling of Tramadol”). It’s called Ultram here. It can cause dependence like Vicodin, so be careful. Here is some info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramadol

  • James Sep 30, 2009

    Yes, losing function as you mention Lisa is possible with migraine. However, as you probably know it’s important to rule out other possibilities (such as stroke) before giving a diagnosis of migraine (even if there is pre-exisisting migraine).

    It would be wise to get another opinion – both on the symptoms and the treatment. There are a variety of treatments available, and I think you would be wise to get a migraine specialist to hear about your medical history.

  • Lisa Begin Oct 2, 2009

    I have an apt. with a nuroligist ( i know spelled that wrong) In two mths…..the doctor i seen in the hospital tried telling me i was too wrong to develope symptoms of a stroke, that brought an argument on….As a nurse i see stroke patients alot and age is not a factor.I have suffered from migraines since i was a child and seen many doctors….now my daughter is having them…do not want to see her go through what i am. Thank you Christine for the info….

  • erica Oct 4, 2009

    Its good to realise I am not on my own. My migraines are definitely food related but not always sure which food – sometimes I can tolerate something and another time I can’t. I wonder if anyone has the same progression as me. If I eat something that will trigger an attack it takes about 8-12 hours before I start to feel the symptoms; first upset tummy and neck ache; then the headache starts and by 24 hours later using sick. Feel totally wiped out for the next 24 hours then start to come round. Does anyone else suffer for so long?

  • James Oct 5, 2009

    Yes, people do sometimes have a “delayed reaction” when it comes to food triggers. And yes, erica, the length of your symptoms is not at all unusual – I wish I could say it was! Sometimes things last even longer.

    And yes, sometimes the same thing can trigger or not trigger an attack. This is likely because of the “full bathtub” – it’s not one thing triggering the attack, but a number of things. One the “bathtub is full”, it just takes one more thing for it to overflow….

  • Pam Oct 5, 2009

    It is hard to understand triggers. Some are very consistent at triggering a migraine, and some aren’t. I journaled pretty extensively for a year, and I’m still not sure what all my triggers are. James, that is a very good explanation about the bathtub being full. It makes perfect sense to me. I am a long time runner. That explains why running will sometimes trigger a migraine, and sometimes not. This site is very helpful to me – thanks everyone!

  • erica Oct 6, 2009

    Thanks James for commenting on my posting. Bathtub effect sounds sensible. In this way of thinking I also think that eating too much can trigger a migraine. As if you can only tolerate one sort of food at a time and only a certain amount.

    Thanks everyone for your post and information. Migraine is horrible but at least I don’t feel like there is something to be too scared about, not something happening only to me.

  • Aurora Oct 7, 2009

    It hurts to see the right side of my face sagging; and sometimes it’s only my left foot that feels cold. The sagging started yesterday; I started taking Naproxen E- Mylan 500 (2x/day) on Friday and I don’t know if I am having some side effects; I have to have someone to read to the info inside the box–too small. I understand the spelling difficulties of Tricia because I am also haing them. My brain is telling me that I have typed that letter and find on the screen that I haven’t. I was a spelling champion at school and a fast typist, but now, sometimes I don’t care anymiore if my fingers aren’t punching the right keys.

  • Pam Johnson Oct 7, 2009

    Arora, you bring up a good issue – I have been experiencing noticeable memory loss the past 6 months or so. As a project manager, I work in a very fast paced environment. I’m in meetings all day and I have to remember a lot of details. I’m not sure if it’s side effects of medication (Maxalt and Relpax), or if the migraine pain distracts me, or if migraines cause memory loss. I have started to take notes extensively. Even looking back on the notes, I can’t recall hearing the information (who said it and in what context). I look back on emails that I sent and I honestly don’t remember sending them. I feel like I have Alzheimers. The memory loss is beyond what I consider normal and it worries me.

  • Katie Nov 2, 2009

    Hi all,

    This is all very interesting reading, i recently began feeling strange sensations on the left hand side of my face, my mouth felt like it was sagging a bit and i felt like i was slurring my speech and my left eye felt watery, i think i have got it down to happening when i have fizzy drinks.

    I spoke to my dad who is an optician and he suggested it could be migraine related, although i’ve never suffered from what i think of as a migraine – headaches, trouble with looking at bright light etc, from reading all of this it seems very likely now. Does anyone else get it but not get other effects like a headache? I’ve also had a few issues with my memory recently but dont know if this is down to just being busy at work, i’m not taking any meds that i could put it down to, but can this be an affect of a migraine that affects the face too?

  • Lisa Begin Nov 6, 2009

    Hi Everyone! I have just recently returned from the migraine pain clinic in Calgary alberta. Had med changes, I have been taken off the tramadol which i am very happy about…..had very bad side affects with these….d/c the t4’s, :0) and lowered my dose of topomax i am now on amitryplyne nightly BIG improvement on my daily migraines! and only for pain i am on an anti inflamitory called naproxen….helps alot…….no rebound headaches from this at all!!
    i do want to thank Christine for your info I took that with me and discussed it with my specialist and she agreed with my concerns! so a big thanks to you!! Lisa

  • Michelle Nov 21, 2009

    interesting reads forsure. I sit here for the last 2 days my right side is tingling and numb. Half right down the middle of my lips, nose etc. No headache. I get migrains that last anywhere up to 8 days. Just feel all doped up just to get through my headache which dibilitates me. I can get it on half of my face, starting the back of my neck then up and around. then i have a 24 hr reprive then bang on the other side. VERY frustrating. Have been suffering for 28yrs to my recollection.

  • erica Nov 22, 2009

    My migraines are definitely related to food intolerances. Have just come across a brilliant book by Dr. Lamar Gibbons called Self Help Way to treat Colitis and other IBS. I know we don’t necesarily have IBS but the food intolerances are the same and I haven’t had a migraine for over a week!!!!! Certainly worth a look especially if food triggers your migraines.

    • Misty Apr 1, 2012

      Hello everyone. I have just been reading what everyone has been going through and I feel so relieved because I thought something was truly wroung with me. For the past year straight I havt gone a good day without a migraine but it makes my nose hurt. I thought I had sinus pain so I was living off sudafed and nothing was working. I was allways in the er because the pain was so bad I couldn’t live with myself. Nothing would work. Finally they did a ct and said its not sinus and sent me to the neuro and then I was just talking with patients in the hospital I worked in then I thought I had ms. Thurns out I just get my migrains in my face. But I would have such bad anxiety thinking something was wrong with me day and night I couldn’t stop crying. Living off vicodine. Now I’m on topomax. Its only been 3 days so I’m hoping it starts to work soon so I can live a normal life again.

  • Sandra W. Nov 22, 2009

    This is so ironic. I live in rural central IL. I am about 3hrs from the
    Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. I have had migraines for about 20 years, finally ending up on disability. I talk about my headaches by year, because they change. The only consistency is that about March/April, usually around the time change, I get a migraine that lasts for about 2 months. This year, however, they never stopped. I have facial pain, but I have it all the time, especially in my forhead area. I finally made an appointment and had the awesome expreience of not only seeing a Dr. at the Diamond clinic, but he immediately put me in the hospital in Chicago. They have a 37 bed unit at a nearby hospital. I was there for 5 days. My Dr. changed all my medications. I have only been home for a couple weeks, but already my facial pain is gone.
    He told me that some of the meds would take a few weeks to completly reach their level in my body. I have high hopes (and total faith in my Dr.) that I will finally find som relief. I would like to say that personally, I feel that when a person has suffered from severe migraines for a long period of time, there is something that changes in our brains. I don’t believe that I will ever be headache free, but I now have hope that I am being taken seriously and have a chance of a more normal life.

    Sandra W.

  • Leesa Nov 25, 2009

    I am so thankful I have found this forum. To be able to read everyone’s comments is so helpful. I have been having trouble for years (typically in the fall) that tends to be different but the same if you know what I mean. I had shingles in my right ear which spread down my face in 1978, which started a landslide of lifelong events. I had an allergic reaction to compozine and suffered lock jaw for 6 hours the next year. I now have constant ringing in my ears! I was institutionalized for depression several times over the next 10 years usually in the fall of the year. Not to list all the following years events, but in 2006 I had an heart ablation and was put on heart medications for an irregular heart beat. Last fall I had Bell’s Palsey on the right side of my face. The droopy face, slurred speech, slobbering, my eye would not close, was absolutely horrible. This fall it has been the migraine symptoms with dizziness that has lasted for over a month now. I can’t look up, I can’t look down! I went to the school nurse and she put me on an antibiotic for an inner ear infection and sinus infection. I wasn’t getting better so I finally I went to see my ENT and he said I didn’t have an infection, that it sounded like migraines to him. The light went on!!! I started putting the puzzle together. First, it is genetic! My mother and sisters have had them all their lives. The time of the year also seems to be a factor. This year I have been trying to work but I can’t concentrate. I just feel crappy! I just want to sleep! My face tingling is really beginning to bother me! In my 55 years, I have been diagnosed with a number of things but I think they all boil down to this: Migraines! The comment I read about foods rang true because the first symptom I had was I noticed my gut was bloated. I became constipated and things have gone down hill since. The more I research this, the more I realize I need to clean my system out. I read somewhere that when your stomach gets out of balance it can cause your brain to get squirrely too! Go figure!!!
    I really appreciate all the helpful comments from fellow sufferers. I hope I can help some one however, I don’t really know much at this point.

    • Val Mar 17, 2012

      Compazine itself has has the specific side effect of arm, leg, and/or facial reaction as described in its side effects, “twisting or twitching movements; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, twitching of the face or tongue; loss of balance; uncontrolled movements of arms or legs; trouble speaking,” and the uncontrolled muscle movement can become permanent. I know this because I failed to read the side effects listed on the print out when it was given to me for nausea related to a severe kidney infection. I had been in so much pain and feeling so sick I just took what was prescribed. I had taken it for several days before the reaction started and it started with my lips curling back to my teeth and tightening. Then it progressed to my jaw moving right or left without me doing it. I tried to rest so I could be free of this symptom, but it was over father’s day and I decided I needed to leave the party and go home. I drove until I was crying so hard with both thumbs in my mouth to keep it from clinching one direction then the other cutting my cheeks and making them bleed. I was lucky my boyfriend at the time was in the car and he took over and drove me straight to the hospital. I waited there for a short time as the nurse was sympathetic to my crying. It took two shots in my butt, one was benadryl, and I was soon fine. I was also told to stop taking the compazine immediately and tell every doctor I have that I have a dystonic reaction to the drug.

      I have been in so many car accidents that I don’t know when or why exactly they started, but I do know that one evening I attended an event where fire spinning was being preformed in a two story open space. After that night I woke with a headache and a severe pain with the movement of my eyes, either open or closed. I have had this reaction again after the event several times. I don’t feel like I need to cry, but the pain is so great I want to. I am in a constant state of headache it changes in severity, but I have learned to live with them without medication. I haven’t found a medication to help with the eye pain, nor have I seen a doctor who has heard of this reaction with migraines. Would love to hear if anyone else has had this reaction and what their doctor does to help.

  • Cheryl May 6, 2010

    In the last 3 weeks the right side of my face has started to annoy me. It doesn’t hurt unless I made a facial expression or touch it. It starts under my cheek bone and up to my hairline and its on the side of my face. It does not go into my nose or eye. It is sensitive to the touch and really starting to annoy me. It is a very slight pain but still annoying especially when touched.
    I do suffer from migranes and have since an accident over 40 hears ago. My migranes have tapered off the older I get. I have about 2 a year now.. Sometimes bad (thick tounge, slurred speech, distorted vision, severe headache, numbness to left side of face and mouth, numbness of left hand ect) and sometimes not bad at all but we all know the difference between a headache and a migrane no matter how severe it is. My migranes have all the symptoms of a stroke. Except I can smile and I can lift my arms.
    My question is: Do you think my facial tenderness is caused from a migrane? I have had it for about 3 weeks now. I did have a sinus cold about a month ago and I did have a large tooth on that side fixed and it was giving me fits. I have had that tooth xrayed twice and it has since not been bothering me and xrays show nothing is wrong with it.
    I’m just wondering if I should see a dr. (dont want to, just went before this all started) or any advice?
    I have never heard of migranes lasting so long and I dont take any meds for this at all.

  • Lisa Begin May 13, 2010

    Hi there……I found this herbal migraine pill and thought hey why not?? What can it hurt? RIGHT???
    Well it has testimonials from many others with migraines…..it states…works within 20min or your money back…hmmm.
    So i thought i would give it a try…on the instruction for those who are severe to take 2 daily so that is what i have been doing.
    Has been 2 wks now….and i normally am one of those people who wake with headache or migraine symptoms in the morning hrs and it takes atleast 3 to 4 hrs to disapate ….it has been 6 days FREE of symptoms in the morning!! <:0)
    And even having the beginning of a minor migraine the other evening i took my evening pill it leveled off enough that a exedrin helped.
    These herbals are called…."" BELL Master Herbaslist MIGRAID Headache Relief"" I found them at our Local NUTTERS heath food store.
    Maybe they can help some of you too!

  • JOANNE May 15, 2010

    thought my face pain was fibromialgia or congestion – doubted migraine diagnosis – i thought migraine was a headache with sensitivity to light (which i don’t have) – until i found this site. new migraine sufferer – diagnosed yesterday, this is not good.

    so, i’m a breast cancer survivor and i had a scare – i’m glad it’s migraine and not a brain tumor, which got ruled out on wednesday

    so… i’m goig to continue checking in – need all the info / experience/ expertise from all here, to deal with this.

    thanks to all – i know i sound crappy, feeling crappy, but THIS TOO SHALL PASS !

  • brian potts Jun 3, 2010

    I was recently diagnosed with cluster headaches about 3 months ago.I have tried many different medications and found one that worked.The headaches are much better,but my teeth on that side of my face hurts and i cant figure out why this pain is coming from my teeth when the headaches are better.Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • jane Mar 4, 2012

      My teeth hurt on the right side of my face and my dentist says I need a root canal!! Makes sense since the tooth is not as white as the others!! However, my Neurologist says it is all part of my migraine and not to have the root canal. My medication does stop my tooth from hurting but my meds also make me depressed and mad. I am requesting to change my meds. I am also going ahead with the root canal. Maybe you should see your dentist. It could be your teeth this time!!

  • Tiff Jun 4, 2010

    At first my teeth start hurting, then it travels up both sides of my jaw, and when it does my hearing is effected. It seems as if my hearing is muffled. About 5 to 10min later I have a migraine, I can feel the temporal part of my head throbbing and once I get over the migraine, my jaws are tired (kind of like if you have been chewing a peice of gum for a long time).

    • Val Mar 17, 2012

      I have the jaw pain all the time like I have been chewing gum for hours too. I also have constant headaches. My pain doctor say the jaw pain is due to muscles in the neck overcompensating due to damage from car accidents..

  • Linda Jun 13, 2010

    I have been a migraine sufferer for over 30 years. I take Topamax 100mg to help control them, i have been on it for about 6 years. Without it my migraines last months at a time. I still get them occasionally from food triggers. I find red dye #40, dark chocolate, MSG. to be the worse. The FDA still does not feel red dye #40 is a problem.
    I have problems with remembering words when trying to talk to people and have trouble reading books, the letters jump around, has anyone else had that?

    • Joyce Louis Jun 20, 2011

      Regarding the letters jumping when you read: There are some people with this problem who get relief by using colored filters over the page they are reading. A friend of mine did research on this and had assembled a collection of tinted plastic cover sheets. Different people are helped by different colore filters. There is a word for this condition, but I cannot recall it.
      If this is your problem, the fix is immediate and cheap, and has no side effects!!!

    • jane Mar 4, 2012

      My doc just put me on Topamax last week and that is the worst stuff I have ever taken!! I just left a voice mail to get off the stuff!! I have had migraines for 2 years, wound inflicted but Topamax has made me so depressed also I cannot remember a thing and I feel soo hot and agitated. I would almost say angry! My head is full of pressure…research this medication on several sites!!! I did, its for a lot of severe personality disorders and migraines is one of them but not one of the major ones. Its hard to get on it, I have to take half a dose a day per week so I assume its going to be sickening to get off it. I feel for you!!

  • marie Jun 16, 2010

    I just started using organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother
    i bought it at a health food store. 1 tablespoon in a glass of water 3 times a day (can sweeten if needed) I have suffered migraines all my life.
    they are GONE…GONE…..GONE.
    the trace minerals ..probably magnesium did the trick…..and as an added benefit my arthritis pain disappeared in 2 days.

    • Ken Lee Jul 8, 2010

      I recently started getting facial migranes when eating at Macdonalds. Found out it was the mustard!! Wonder if it is GMO foods. GMO the great experiment!!

  • Kathi Milburn Nov 27, 2010

    Hi, I just stumbled onto this site and found it interesting what each person had to say about their migranes experiences. I’m not sure at this time if thats what I’m having. I’ve been to the er twice with severe head pain. I have had meds given to me just to numb the pain but not total relief. I’m waiting for a ct scan to rule out other conditions. My only concern is that everything I’ve read about migranes they usually only last up to 72hours. I’ve had a headache for well over a month. My symtoms are very migrane related but length is longer. Just wondering if theres anyone out there that can give me some answers.

  • Sarah Jan 9, 2011

    New to forum. Have suffered from migraine attacks since 1999, I’m thirty now, they started when I was nineteen. The first one that I experienced, I was driving my car home after a day at work, where I had to leave because the pain in my head was so intense. Anyway, I blacked out and ended up coming to in the oncoming lane of traffic, over 50 miles away from home. Scared me to death, needless to say. Now, I have other symptoms other than just extreme pain in my head. My face hurts, ALL THE TIME, to the touch. I also have a very peculiar, constant pain in my neck and upper shoulder area, my neck crunches when I move it just slightly, and the real kicker….I can be just sitting, doing nothing, and my neck will have a “rubber band” sensation-like that of a rubber band popping inside it, and then from the area in which that occurred, a burning that spreads up to the top of my scalp, paralyzing the side of my body on which it happened….my head feels too heavy for my shoulders. Puking happens during some of the episodes, a feeling of being shut off from reality, and the auras and hallucinations are there with just about every attack..I even get the blurry vision.
    I have been to my GP and they did xrays, over three years ago, said that my spine in the cervical area of my back had “lost its curve.” No advice to follow up with any other physician, except chiropractic….which I did recently, because the pain is so much that I cannot function anymore. Been to urgent care twice in the last three months because I wished truly that I was dead, couldn’t get out of bed because I was in so much pain…last time, the urgent care physician suggested a neurologist to find out what’s going on. So I have set up an appt. I have taken Midrin, Flexeril, Butylbital, and nothing seems to help. This last time, they gave me Maxalt, and so far I have had to take one dose, it has helped a bit.
    I am a pre-k teacher and have the two most beautiful, wonderful children in the world of my own, and I just want my life back. If anyone out there has gone through this, please let me hear from you!

    • Paige Feb 23, 2012

      it’s weird to read what you wrote and just be in total awe that I know exactly what your talking about well almost. My first migraine I was in school copying to paper what was written on the white dry-erase board with red ink, to my white and blue striped notebook paper with black ink, there was a bit of a glare on the board but didn’t get bothered by it I don’t think, all of a sudden I look back up and everything is black.. totally black. I am wide awake and freaking out because I have suddenly gone blind. I ask to see my mom who works in the library at my old high school a girl has to lead me by hand inside the school as soon as we made it inside my sight returned and people probably thought I was a huge liar. Anyway the doctor said it was a migraine no prescriptions 20/20 vision, sent me on my way. Well, that was when I was around 15, now I have these weird things which I guess would be a muscle spasm in my neck that also when it pops goes up my neck to the back portion of my head and burns and tingles for a while, i usually rub it until it goes away, but it really sucks when you are driving down the highway and this happens. I haven’t had hallucinations or ever blacked out/ passed out. I do have pain on the left side of my cheek but contrary to what everyone else has been saying, when I touch my cheek or put pressure on it the pain dissipates only when I release the pressure do I feel it. I also get the floaters, then the floaters work their way into shapes that can sometimes completely obstruct my vision, it’s like someone pointed a giant flash light in my eyes for an hour or so.. usually if I go to sleep they will be gone by the time I wake up, sometimes they will still be there. Sometimes I feel like I might have a stroke if I don’t get up and do something, maybe not a stroke, but a seizure, never been prone to them but I just feel like I have to move all of a sudden or something bad might happen.. but usually is accompanied by a slight discomfort or pain in my head, usually the left occipital (back left) of my head. I don’t know some of these symptoms may not be related to migraines at all.. hoping they are.

  • Sarah Jan 9, 2011

    Just an afterthought…there’s a song from Pink Floyd that mentions “the swollen head blues”……this is a feeling I can relate to.

    • marie Sep 25, 2011

      hi sarah i have jut read your forum, sounds very similar to mine. To cut a very long story short i was diagnosed with occipital neuralgia in january this year, neck always crunches, burning feeling ect. I have a steriod injection in both sides of the occipital nerve and has proved to be really good. I hope this is some sort of help or that you have found someting to help you by now.

  • Sherry Mar 13, 2011

    I have had a migraine for the better part of 2 weeks now, whith a few hours of relief here and there. It’s a low grade headache, not if full bloom, but the left side of my face hurts really bad. All the teeth on the left side hurt like cold air on an exposed nerve. As soon as I get my next check, I am going to see if I can get a dentist to pull all my teeth. I can’t take the pain anymore.

    • loraine May 12, 2011

      Hello Sherry
      I have been suffering with a migraine since March but didn’t know it, Like you it started off with my teeth hurting,then my head and neck,pain was so bad that i went to the dentist thinking it was my teeth, i had an xray and it turns out my teeth are fine.
      Went to the hospital as i could not take the pain anymore as it has been painful for me everyday and starting to get me down. I was told by my consultant that i am suffering from facial migraines i thought he was going mad as i had never heard of facial migraines before.
      I am hopeful now and keeping my fingers crossed that it will finally get sorted out.

      • Christine Jordan Jun 16, 2011

        I too have this problem, if you have tried an otc sinus med with no relief then see your general practitioner and get an antibiotic as it is probably a sinus infection

  • Christine Mar 16, 2011

    Have you tried taking a decongestant like Sudafed? When my teeth ache, if I take a Sudafed I can often stave off a migraine (I know this because I have waited too long at times an then only Maxalt will help). The person who mentioned muffled hearing — if your ears are congested, it can go to your sinuses and either can trigger a migraine.

  • Amy Jun 13, 2011

    Hi. I am new to this cite. I just discovered it today. I am sitting at my desk with ringing in my ears, jaw/teeth pain, and difficulty concentrating. Even while typing this, I have to correct every other word. I am 44 years old and have been diagnosed with Basilar Type Migraines. I have doubted if that was a correct diagnosis. However, this cite has helped me alot. My symptoms are those above then it progressively worsens until I cannot even speak. I just sit and stare. I can hear people talking to me, but I cannot physically respond. These episodes last anywhere from 3o mins. to 2 hours. Sometimes I just “run slow” which means I have to concentrate very hard to understand someone’s words and have to take my time to respond. I even say words that make no sense. Does anyone else have these problems associated with their migraines. I do not get a headache very often afterwards, but the pressure in my head is very noticeable.

  • ladyemzz Aug 21, 2011

    hi im new here
    ive suffered with migraine’s since i was in my teens….my mum is a chronic sufferer too. I used to get a bright light followed by blurred vision then feelin sick. Now i seem to be getting them in my face, along my cheek bones from my temple on both sides of my face, ive had my sinuses checked last week as ive also had nose problems and it isnt that, I have found this web site very usefull. I was just wondering if eye strain can be a cause of any of these symptoms??

  • Leisa Sep 14, 2011

    Got my first migraine when I was 10. Was 9 o’clock at night, I was sleeping, when I woke to severe pain on my right hand side of my head and vomiting.

    30 years on, I still suffer terribly from this affliction. I had several migraine episodes where the right hand side of my face went numb … scary thing is … when I went to lie down, I went blind in my right eye for 6 minutes.

    I was referred to a neurologist but I have never gone. To afraid to find out if it’s something more then just a migraine. Yes they have gotten extremely bad, and I can be bed ridden for months.

    I know wear sun glasses inside and out as my eyes as so sensitive to light. Maximelt doesn’t work, nothing does. To tired now. Just tired of this constant pain.

  • wanda Sep 18, 2011

    I have suffered with migraines for 32 years! I am only now, beginning to understand them. Thanks to a fabulous neurologist! I have tried almost every prescription,OTC, and herbal medicine known to man! I recently had botox injections and they seem to be helping, far from a cure. My migraines occur nearly daily and have worsened in symptoms and severity. I have the facial pain, ear, tooth, neck pain, vomitting,sweating,dizziness,vertigo, nausea, etc! I was told I had atypical trigeminal neuralgia,and begged for root canals, sinus surgey, anything! I was desperate enough to break down and go o Topamax, which I despised! I felt brain dead! I am following an antimigraine diet,that is crazy strict, but at this point I would try ANY THING! I am happy to find this forum, and wish the best and pain free days for all of you!

  • Antoine Sep 19, 2011

    Hello there,
    I know the thread is a bit old, but I was wondering if someone could help me.
    I’m relatively young, about to turn 26, but for a couple of years now, I’ve had this symptom when I touch the outside of my left nostril, I get a burst of pain on the left side of my brain.
    It feels like a migraine, a strong headache, but stops when I remove my finger.

    Is it this face migraine you guys are all talking about here?
    Is there a nerve running close to the nose which could trigger this pain? Please advise, I really don’t know what I got, and haven’t met anyone who had the same symptoms.
    Thank you very much!

  • Susan Oct 16, 2011


    I realize I’m coming in very late in this thread, but just found your article after a quick search. I have suffered with migraines since childhood and experience intense accompanying facial pain. It’s always on the right side, goes from the neck area along the jaw, eye socket, temple and up to the top of the head. It’s excrutiating at times. I’ve only taken Imitrex for my migraines and that gets rid of the migraine within an hour. Since losing my health insurance, I’ve been taking the generic version…not fun. The side effects are pretty awful (body/flu-like aches, weird panicky feeling), but it does get rid of the migraine after about an hour or so.
    Thanks so much for the article! I

  • linda Dec 30, 2011

    I have had migraines for yrs. But lately my face hurts sooo bad! I can’t remember my face being this bad. All behind me eyes,down the sides of my nose and the top of my head feels like it will blow off. Sometimes this with my eye and nose hurting so bad is just on one side. I press on them so Hard it is a wonder I have not done damage. The last one I had hurt so bad my blood pressure went up and stayed up. I also had a nosebleed on the side that was hurting so bad. This has never happened. It really scared me. Any comments or help. Noone really understands unless they have had migranes. They can just take one aspirin and get over theirs. Someone who has had some of these symptoms please comment and HELP! Oi

    • Susan Jan 6, 2012

      Hi Linda,

      I get facial pain with my migraines (my jaw hurts, feels almost like an ear ache or toothache), but what you’re describing could be a sinus infection or maybe even TMJ. You might want to see a doctor to have it confirmed. I often get a rapid heart rate with my migraines (I have high blood pressure and take a beta blocker). Nosebleeds can be an indication of a sinus infection, but they can also indicate blood pressure problems. Both of these issues need to be looked into by a physician. Most medical experts suggest that, even if you’ve experienced regular and even chronic heachaches, if you are experiencing new or different types of headaches it’s important to be seen by a doctor asap. Best of luck to you!

  • Maame Jan 15, 2012


    I’ve lost function in the left side of my face. I went to see the doctor and he confirmed it was migraine. For those who have experienced it, will my face come back to normal? Thank you.

  • Brett Jan 15, 2012

    I have been experiencing severe headaches on the right side of my face since I turned 30. I am now 34.

    Mine seem to be triggered by changes in atmospheric pressure. I had my first one after a flight from the northeastern US back home to Louisiana. I didn’t have another one for a while, but now I have one every time a cool front comes through. Like I said, they are only on the right side of my face. It’s a throbbing, pounding pain that seems to be centered just above my right eye in the middle of my right eyebrow. My whole face swells up and droops and my vision is affected. I also experience nausea and vomiting and light sensitivity as well. It hurts to open my eyes and to blink. It feels like the whole right side of my mouth on the top and bottom are full of cavities and it hurts to chew. You could literally draw a line down the center of my face as to where the pain is. It involves the entire right side of my face. The last time I had one, I couldn’t get out of bed no matter what medicine I took. I lost an entire day due to the headache. I don’t see auras and don’t hallucinate, although I know that not everyone who has migraines experiences those symptoms either. They also seem to be triggered my hormones and seem to occur more around my periods. I went to the dentist and my teeth were fine. I really am not sure if it’s sinus polyps or facial migraines.

    I have been alternating Allegra D and Zyrtec D, which I have to get from behind the pharmacy counter. I take one for a month and then switch to the other when one stops working. I take one every day with breakfast and my headaches are much more manageable. I only have one on occasion as opposed to almost daily and they are nowhere near as severe. I am able to function normally while taking these meds. In Louisiana, the weather is always changing and little fronts, whether warm or cool, always seem to be passing through.

    I have been reading these blogs and I find them helpful. I just went out and bought a whole bunch of produce to give the diet change a try. I don’t eat a lot of meat anyway, so cutting that out isn’t that big of a deal. It’s cutting out the sugar and milk that will be more of an issue. I’m becoming a lacto ovo vegan (I think that’s what they call it)–not eating eggs, wheat, msg, wine, milk, soy protein, sugar, or meat of any kind. If a food lists sugar, wheat, or soy in the first 3 ingredients, I won’t eat it. It’s gonna be tough though, especially during my period when I crave chocolate like crazy. I know I should give up coffee, but I’ve had it every morning for the past 30 years and that’ll be extremely tough. For now, instead of using a dairy creamer or milk and sugar, I’m gonna try goat milk and truvia. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to stick to, I would like to stop taking the Allegra D and Zyrtec D altogether. I feel foggy-headed all the time and am not sure if it’s from the meds or the migraines or both. I find it hard to concentrate. I have always loved to read and now find that I have to re-read the same things over and over to comprehend it. My mind seems to wander a lot.

    Hopefully the change in diet will help. Thanks to everyone for your comments.

  • Rose Feb 10, 2012

    I believe I have been experiencing facial migraines all these years, instead of chalking it up to seasonal allergies. The pain is so bad during the very early morning hours while I sleep that it wakes me up. I do sneeze, only because the swelling of my adenoids make it hard for me to breathe thru my nose and nasal sprays impenetrable when they are so swollen. I just checked the allergy reports after a severe sinus attack this morning, and the pollen count is extremely low! The sinus attacks have no rhyme or reason, it just happens on and off throughout the year. It feels like fire ants are having a field day in my sinus cavity for those hours. Fexofenadine (Allegra) taken on the spot doesn’t seem to help because the pain is acute for about 2 hours from onset. My sinuses feel very bruised today. I am going to take migraine medicine the next time it happens and I’ve scheduled a physical with my GP to get her take on it

    • Rose Feb 27, 2012

      My GP prescribed generic FIORICET tablet for onset of pain. So far, I’ve only had one bout of facial migraine and I took half a tablet. It worked, I could feel there was some kind of sensation that was combatting the inflammation that was coming on. I was able to sleep thru the night. As I suffer at the very most 3 facial migraines a month, the dr recommended I not take it too frequently as one of the ingredients, BUTALBITAL, is a barbiturate.

  • Pet Feb 17, 2012


    I’ve also suffered for years with facial migraines, Sumatriptan is now my life saver! Knocks a 3 day migraine on its head in minutes. I also take Propranolol daily to “relax” my veins (it is a high blood pressure medication – not that I have high blood pressure), this helps to cut out niggly headaches that end up being a migraine.

    I have tried to find “triggers” and after many many trials have found sweeteners to be top of my list. I have now cut them out completely (involves a lot of label reading) and only when taken by mistake do I get a migraine. I tend to get the “munchies” before a migraine and it took a long time to realise this – I used to think that because I had just eaten a lot of rubbish I had eaten something that had triggered a migraine – but now I realise that the munchies and yawning is the first sign of a migraine coming on for me.

    I also have hormonal migraines, beginning and end of my monthly period – not a lot I can do about these – I just take Sumatriptan when one starts.

    Self help – going swimming (if you can stand the noise to begin with), or wetting hair completely (Showering) can give me a bit of relief. Also, a cold wet flannel across the bridge of your nose and under your eyes, or just lain over your whole face! My old professor once told me to drink a caffienated drink to dilate your veins and put a wet flannel across your forehead to bring your temperature down – it doesn’t always work but can bring a bit of relief.

    Hope this info helps.

    • jane Mar 4, 2012

      so is getting hot a part of migraines or a part of the medication?

  • louisa Feb 24, 2012

    only at night the bottom left inside lip left in side check and left top side of my head hurts so bad only at night the doctor gave me pain pills nerve pills still dont make it stop what is this plz help me

  • jane Mar 4, 2012

    OK, u all seem to be the pro’s!! I am new at this!! 2 years ago, I was attacked and beaten badly and stabbed in my face. I was within inches of my life. Somehow, I woke up and ran away and someone called for help 4 houses down. I was in a coma. Now I suffer from migraines. I lost my health insurance due to lack of work at the time so I was seeing a socialized doctor. Now I’ve got my insurance back and seeing a Neurologist, I feel worse and am so confused! My teeth were damaged and he says its the migraines and not to have a root canal. My neck was damaged and he says to stop going to the chiropractor. My meds make me depressed and I am trying to get my Masters Degree and raise two teens and get married..do not have time for depression!! Someone, please give some good advice!

    • Christine Mar 5, 2012

      Jane — so sorry you have had to go through this! What meds are you taking for the migraines? The depression could be from the meds, or it could be because someone attacked you and left you in pain! The antidepressants they give to prevent migraines are low-dose, so if you also need an antidepressant, you might actually need *more* meds not less! If it is another type of drug, you may be getting the depression from the drug. Or not. You might want to talk to a psychiatrist to make sure that you are taking meds that will help your migraines and not cause side effects AND make sure that you are well enough to do all you need to do! And as far as the teeth go — if the dentist’s explanation makes sense, do it – – if the bad tooth is nowhere near where your injury was, then maybe get a second opinion?? Good luck!

  • Cheyenne Mar 4, 2012

    I have the worse migraine i have ever experinced right now and my jaw is absoulutey killing me the only thing that helps is holding water in my mouth. What if if taken care of the migraine but the facial pain doesnt go away yet?

  • Nicky Mar 29, 2012

    Hi all, I’ve read every comment and realise that we”re not alone and if there are so many sufferers why don’t they invest more money into this terrible disease. I’ve had migraines for 15 years and I’m 43. Mine are hormonal and also food triggered. I’ve tried everything but the last time I visited the GP she said that I’d just have to wait till my menopause and there’s really nothing else to try. I get the usual body ache like you”re fighting infection and face and specifically nose pain and neck and head paid. I also sneeze a lot, and sometimes I can’t form my words clearly which is a bit of bummer when you”re an actress and teacher. I’m now just taking cocodamol (can’t spell it)…sometimes it works a bit depending on which type of migraine it is. Ate a red pepper two days ago and had migraine within the hour so won’t be doing that again. However, ate a yellow pepper and was fine. I’m allergic to Aspartame and MSG as I get panic attacks. The worst thing about migraines is the fact that you feel utterly wiped out and not at all pretty. The last time I took sumatriptan my face swelled up like a huge potato and my eyes looked liked currants..my daughter was really worried. I think I might have had an allergic reaction. I’m sick of filling in flippin diaries for migraine research and all those so-called preventative medicines that you take 3 days before an attack. I would take them but I don’t know when an attack is going to take place. Once I went a whole month without a migraine and for the life of me I don’t know what I did differently. Any one else feeling really lost and confused?

  • Christy Apr 9, 2012

    Ok. I think it might be time to see a doctor for me. I have never been a headache sufferer but for the past 5 days my life has completely changed. #1 is the pain behind my left eye, next comes the pain of my gums/ teeth on my left side, left side of my face (including nose) is last. It is becoming unbearable and exceed run isn’t helping. In a weird way it sometimes feels like brain freeze x1000000000. I just need it to go away. SOMEONE PLEEEASEE HELP. Btw I’m a 25 year old woman.

    • jane Apr 10, 2012

      Christy, that sounds like a bad molar. I had one recently, if you go to a neurologist ask them for a “migraine blast.” This is steriods they give you and in 3 days it cleared up my infection and let me target the pain which was coming from my molar. It was an old root canal gone bad. Had it pulled the week after and no more migraines for me!! Soooo happy to be done with those. The longer you leave the tooth, the worse it gets and it gets ugly. Get your teeth checked!

      • Pam Apr 11, 2012

        I had those same symptoms but didn’t have a bad molar, or sinus problems. It was migraines. GOod luck.

      • Rose Apr 16, 2012

        Jane, now that you mention bad molar…. at one time I went to a maxillofacial dentist who xray-ed my mouth and it turned out one of my upper molars were digging right into my sinus cavity. I’d been suffering from sinus pain for years and years. They were surprised I dealt with it as long as I did. I don’t know if Christy’s problems are of a dental nature, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a maxillofacial dentist take an xray and look at it. That relieved my chronic symptoms but I still suffered from what were facial migraines on and off for no reason other than possible barometric changes in weather (not having to do with allergies). I was prescribed a barbiturate and acetaminophen combo when I have these attacks. I rarely get them, but when I do, I take a pill at the onset.

  • Rose Apr 16, 2012

    (cont’d) definitely go see your regular doctor to rule out any thing that could be more serious. I always fear nasal cancer as I have two relatives go through it.

  • Debby Jun 22, 2013

    I get terrible pain in my face and jaw during migraines. When I get botox treatments, I get injections in those sites. It seems to help the pain. I’ve had migraines since five yrs old. I’m 57. I’ve had chronic daily migraines for seven yrs.

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