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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Sniffing causes severe pain in back of head

01/03/2006

Question:

I`ve had a cold for 2 weeks, including sinus problems. I may have a sinus infection. Starting today, a sudden sniff causes a severe pain across the lower back of my head that abates in 10-15 seconds. What on earth could cause that? I`ve never felt anything like it.

Answer:

This is an unusual symptom.  I would suggest that if it persists, you should consult a physician.  Most often, pain in this location is related to muscle tension and neck problems.  If you've had cold symptoms for two weeks, it probably is now more than just a cold.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati