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Can Allergies Give You A Headache

How Long Do Sinus Headaches Last

Can allergies cause migraines?

Viruses cause most sinus infections. A viral sinus infection typically resolves on its own. Similar to how the common cold clears up by itself, your sinus headache should feel better within about a week. If it doesnt go away, see your healthcare provider. You may have a bacterial or fungal sinus infection that requires medication.

Which Allergies May Cause Headaches

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is; a common causes of allergy headaches. One likely reason is that often leads to nasal or sinus congestion. The blockage that it causes may then impede the proper draining of the sinus secretions.;

Researches are questioning if some types of food, like aged cheese and wine, may also be behind allergy headaches and migraines. Experts say that this may have to do with the chemicals they release. These substances may dilate or constrict the blood vessels.

Is It A Sinus Headache

Allergies can trigger a migraine, and that is often confused with a sinus headache. Allergies can also trigger a regular headache. So, how do you know which one you have? Let’s look at the differences.;

A sinus headache is caused by sinusitis, an infection or virus in your sinuses, usually caused by you guessed it seasonal allergies. It can also be caused by a cold. Symptoms of a sinus infection are postnasal drip, fever, fatigue, bad breath, coughing, congestion, pressure in the eyes, teeth pain, ear pain, pressure and pain in the nose, eyes, and forehead, and a sinus headache.;

The sinus headache will cause pain behind your eyes, nose, cheekbones, and forehead. You might feel it in your ears and teeth as well, and the pain will often worsen when you bend forward or lie down.

Sinusitis is treated with decongestants, antihistamine, and a saline solution for nasal irrigation. You’ll need to see your healthcare professional, who will determine if you need antibiotics or not. A sinus infection can go away on its own after about a week but may need antibiotics, especially if it’s a bacterial infection .;

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Allergens That Can Cause Migraines

Allergy sufferers have lots to deal with already. Rashes, nausea and breathing trouble are just some of the unpleasant side effects of allergies. Now, it seems;you can add causing migraines to the list of possible side effects. A study conducted in 2013 found that allergy sufferers were 33% more likely to suffer from frequent migraines.

If youre one of the unfortunate group that suffers from both allergies and migraines, here’s why this is believed to happen, and what you can do for some relief.

What Does An Allergy Headache Feel Like

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When you experience a headache caused by allergies, you may feel them in any of these spaces within your sinuses. It may even feel like your face, rather than your head, is what really hurts. You may have pain in the cheeks that radiates to your jaw and teeth. You may feel pain on the top of your head.

Allergies may also trigger a migraine headache. This type of headache may include throbbing, and is usually felt on one side of the head. You may find that the pain gets worse in sunlight or that you also feel nauseated.

The skull has a series of connected, hollow spaces known as sinuses, which are lined with soft tissue and a layer of mucus. These sinuses help humidify and filter the air you breathe, and help drain the nose. Allergy symptoms often appear in the sinuses, like when your nose is running or stuffed up.

Some of the spaces that make up the sinuses are found in the:

  • Cheekbones
  • Between or behind the eyes
  • Behind the nose

You may experience headaches and pain if your sinuses are swollen or their openings are obstructed. This often happens with allergies. Swelling and blockage in the sinuses can prevent normal drainage and airflow, causing a buildup of pressure. Other allergy triggers, such as smoke or certain foods, can lead to headaches.

The degree of pain from an allergy headache can vary widely, from dull to almost debilitating. The level of pain may also change with your position, such as whether you are standing or lying down.

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How Are Sinus Headaches Diagnosed

Most of the time when people diagnose themselves with a sinus headache, its really a migraine. So, its important to see your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or ongoing, you may also need imaging tests. A magnetic resonance imaging test can rule out serious brain conditions. Multiple imaging tests can reveal sinus blockages and include:

  • X-rays.
  • Computed tomography scan.
  • Nasal endoscopy .

How Do You Treat Allergy Headaches

If your allergy headache is caused by a food allergy, you should avoid the food that you are allergic to and see a doctor, as food allergies can sometimes be fatal. On the other hand, there are foods that you can eat that are said to help relieve your allergies. Omega-3s are great for allergies because they help to fight inflammation. When pollen is high, horseradish, chili peppers or hot mustard help keep your airways clear. All of these may act as natural, temporary decongestants.

If your allergy headaches are caused by seasonal allergies, there are several over the counter allergy medications, like antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids, that you can take to help relieve them. Your doctor may also give you allergy shots for your allergies.Furthermore, there are several natural ways that you can relieve allergies, and thus relieve your allergy headache.

Some examples include using a neti pot, using nasal saline spray, using a humidifier, and inhaling steam. If you have a sinus headache, the best way to get rid of it is to treat the inflammation. If you have a bacterial infection in your sinuses that is causing the headache, your doctor can prescribe you some antibiotics.

If you suffer from frequent allergy headaches, it may be beneficial to visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Contact Silverstein Institute today to schedule an appointment.

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Diagnostic Criteria Of Diseases Associated With Sinus Headache: Neurology And Otolaryngology Guidelines

There are two main systems of classification and diagnostic criteria for sinus headache. The vast majority of sinus headache patients fulfill the International Headache Society diagnostic criteria for migraine , some of them for chronic migraine, the most common form of chronic daily headache. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, third edition , published by the IHS in 2013, defines chronic migraine as headache on 15 or more days per month for more than 3;months. On at least 8;days during the month, the headaches should have migraine features with or without aura and/or should respond to migraine drug treatment; in addition, a secondary cause of chronic headache must have been ruled out . Migraine may be diagnosed after the fifth attack of headache lasting 4 to 72;h if the headaches have at least two of the following characteristicsa unilateral location, a pulsating quality, moderate or severe pain intensity, and aggravated by or causing avoidance of routine physical activityplus at least one of the following: nausea and/or vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia, not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

What Causes Sinus Headaches

How To Relieve A Sinus Headache

Sinus infections cause sinus headaches. Anything that makes mucus buildup in the sinuses can lead to a sinus infection, such as:

  • The common cold is most often to blame.
  • Seasonal allergies trigger mucus production.
  • Nasal polyps, abnormal growths in the nose or sinuses. Nasal polyps can block mucus from draining.
  • Deviated septum, which is when the line of cartilage and bone down the center of the nose isnt straight. A deviated septum can prevent mucus from properly draining.

Too much mucus gives germs an opportunity to grow. As germs build up, they irritate the sinuses. In response, sinus tissue swells, blocking the passage of mucus. Swollen, irritated sinuses filled with liquid make your face feel tender and achy.

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Migraine Hay Fever Asthma And Allergies

Spring is a welcomed change in seasons, especially for people who endure frigid winters and copious snowfall. But for the percentage of people living with migraine who also experience allergies, asthma or hay fever, its a time of year when headaches tend to increase and are accompanied by the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Heres what we know about the connection between migraine, hay fever, asthma, allergies, and the treatment options currently being used to manage them.

What is hay fever and how is it diagnosed?

The medical term for hay fever is allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis occurs when a patient develops symptoms of runny nose, post nasal drip and nasal congestion upon exposure to an allergen. ;An allergen is something in the environment to which you are allergic such as tree pollen, mold, cat hair, dog hair or dust. To firmly establish the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis, one must have the above mentioned symptoms upon exposure to the allergen and also have a positive allergy test to that allergen. Allergy testing can take one of two forms: skin prick testing and blood tests. ;With skin prick testing, an allergist puts minute quantities of allergen on the tip of a needle and then he/she pricks your skin with the needle. A positive response requires that a certain degree of redness and swelling of the skin occurs in the region of the skin prick. ;In addition, blood tests can be performed to identify an allergen. ;

What is asthma and how is it diagnosed?


Diagnosing And Treating Food Associated Headaches

Diagnosing a food allergy headache is extremely difficult. While there is testing for food allergies, they are not very accurate giving a false positive result about 40 to 60 percent of the time.;;

Other ways to diagnose food allergy headaches include an elimination diet or food challenge. An elimination diet involves removing all possible food triggers from the diet and adding them back into the diet one at a time and recording the result. When a trigger is found, it is removed, and the elimination diet continued to determine other triggers.

A food;challenge;entails giving the person increasing amounts of a food that is thought to be a trigger until a reaction occurs. This type of test is considered the most accurate way to check for a food allergy.;;

A food diary is another way to check for food-related triggers and is a common practice in any;migraine clinic. When you get a headache, you write down what you ate prior to the headache along with any symptoms or;auras;you had before the migraine or headache. This makes it easy to track foods and food combinations that may be triggers. A food diary can be an excellent ally for tension headache treatment as well as chronic headache;treatment.;;

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How Can Allergies Cause Headaches

Sinus headaches and migraines are the types of headaches often linked to allergies. A sinus headache may occur due to inflamed and obstructed sinuses. In many other cases, allergies may trigger migraines that cause throbbing in the head.

Sinus Headaches

The sinuses are hollow air spaces found in the skull and the bones surrounding the nose. They have openings on the nose that allow for the drainage of sinus secretions and air. These pockets of air come in four pairs: one pair on each side of the nose, and another pair above each of the eyes.

However, respiratory allergies, like pollen allergies, may cause the sinuses to swell. When this happens, the openings in the sinus cavities can get obstructed. As such, the sinus secretions cant drain the normal way, so they begin to build-up.

This build-up of fluids can then put pressure on the sinus cavities and nasal passages. This may then lead to sinus headaches.


According to researchers, 90% of sinus headaches turn out to be migraines. The thing is, health experts have yet to find out the main causes of migraines. What they do know is that the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems all play a role in its occurrence.

Even If You Have Allergies Frequent Headaches May Indicate Migraine

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Hamilton suggests talking with your primary care doctor if youre having frequent headaches with allergy symptoms. That might mean that your allergies are actually triggering migraines or contributing, she says.

In that situation it might be useful to try migraine medications both as-needed, or abortive, medications and potentially preventive medications, she adds.

If it is a migraine, treating the attack with typically wont be as effective as a targeted migraine treatment, says Strauss.

A good rule of thumb is that if youre not getting complete relief of your headaches from over-the-counter medications, or if the headaches are becoming more frequent or frequent enough that you’re having to take an over-the-counter medication several times a week, you should definitely seek a doctors care, says Hamilton.

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Headache Triggers For People With Allergies

Allergy doesnt always look like allergy and allergy symptoms can manifest in many different ways. Some experience itchy throat and runny nose. Others know their allergies are peaking when they experience headaches or migraines, and some find that headaches are their only allergy symptom.

Though a definitive cause of migraines isnt totally clear, clinical evidence and research has shown a connection between migraines, headaches, and allergies. Foods, environmental factors and irritants can all be headache triggers.

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Allergy Headache Symptoms And Location

As mentioned, an allergy-induced headache might cause pain on the top of your head and on your face.

And because it’s allergy-related, you might also have some pollen allergy symptoms at the same time, such as a runny nose or stuffy nose and itchy or watery eyes.

Since allergy-induced headaches are primarily associated with migraines and sinuses, you’re probably going to have symptoms related to those, too.

Let’s break down the symptoms of migraines and sinusitis to help you determine which one may be related to an allergy headache.

What Is A Migraine

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If youre suffering from a migraine attack, youll have a throbbing pain on one or both sides of your head. The pain will range from moderate to severe. The feeling might increase when you try to perform physical activity or are exposed to light and sound. Some migraines can also induce nausea or vomiting as well as sinus pain.

Certain symptoms may tip you off that a migraine is on the way. Those symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Mood changes
  • Yawning more often than usual

In addition, symptoms such as vision problems, speech problems, confusion, numbness and tingling of your face or hands can occur just before and during a migraine. These symptoms are called migraine aura.

Migraines seem to be related to levels of chemicals in the brain. Genetic and environmental factors may be behind the condition as people who suffer from migraines have family members who also have them.

If the pain youre experiencing is a migraine, an overly sensitive nervous system is likely the root cause. This means your body reacts too strongly to stimuli, so therefore you might struggle with seasonal allergies too. Allergies lead to inflammation, and inflammation can trigger migraines or make them worse.

For treating a migraine, your doctor might suggest a combination of pain relief and preventative meds, including anti-seizure drugs and antidepressants. Relaxation techniques, staying hydrated, a consistent sleep schedule and working out might help reduce them as well.

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Try These Home Remedies For Allergy Headaches

Headache is one of the most common ailments and most of us have dealt with a headache at some point. Some headaches are caused by allergies and it becomes difficult to identify the cause of the allergy. Although headaches are not life threatening, it can be annoying and you will not be able to enjoy your day and do you work. Allergy headache can be categorized in to migraines and sinus headache. Sinus headache is associated with pain around the sinus regions causing pain on your face. Migraine is associated with throbbing, one-sided pain and it is sometimes accompanied by nausea. Migraine headache may aggravate in the sunlight. These types of headaches are usually triggered by stress, some food items, sinus or nasal congestion or smoke. Here are some home remedies to treat allergy headache..Also Read Thyroid Disease: Symptoms, Diet, Exercises And More Explained By Nutritionist Manisha Chopra

What Are Common Allergy Headache Symptoms

An allergy headache can cause localized pain in the areas where the sinus cavities are. You may feel pain around the nose, in the cheeks, or above the eyes. Sometimes, the pain may spread to your jaw and make you feel like you have a toothache.

In the case of an allergy associated with migraine, the pain may feel like a throbbing sensation on the head. In many cases, the pain is only on one side of the head or in the bottom of the eyes. Some people do feel pain on both sides, though.

A migraine also often comes with nausea and may also worsen when exposed to sunlight or bright lights.

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