Migraine Or The Highway: Treating Allergy Migraine
If you think you have allergy migraine, its important to speak with a doctor.
Youll need to describe your symptoms in detail to avoid a misdiagnosis of sinus headaches. Really pay attention to how your pain feels and where it sits. This will help the doc diagnose your condition more accurately.
Since many people with allergy migraine also show symptoms of rhinitis, treatment may include nasal steroids and oral or nasal antihistamines. The doc may also prescribe allergy shots.
To help you manage the pain of migraine symptoms, they may also suggest over-the-counter meds or prescription drugs, including:
- pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen
- antiemetics like domperidone
Fever And Headache Pain
Other illnesses and inflammation can also trigger a fever. You might have a fever if your body temperature is higher than 98.6°F . A fever can lead to changes in your body that may lead to a headache.
You May Need Specialists To Treat Your Migraine And Allergies
Its important to be aware that migraine and allergies are commonly present in the same person and both issues need to be addressed, says Hamilton.
It might take potentially seeing different doctors both an allergist and a neurologist and trying different medications for both conditions. In some cases, you may not get complete relief until you address both issues, she says.
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Why Allergies Trigger Migraines
When you have allergies, your body releases inflammatory molecules called histamines, which circulate in your blood, setting off symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes. These molecules come from cells responsible for controlling the immune response, called mast cells. Mast cells are found throughout the bodyand they also line the surface of the brain, explains Wade Cooper, doctor of osteopathic medicine and director of the Headache and Neuropathic Pain Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When they become active, they release inflammatory signals, such as histamines and CGRP that are known to activate migraine.
Whos at risk? If you have environmental or food allergies, odds are greater that youll have these types of migraines compared with people who dont, Dr. Cooper says.
Something In The Air Allergy Headaches And The Environment
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 39 million Americans suffer from migraines and headaches. Thats just reported cases, so its likely much higher! Some of those migraines and headaches are allergy headaches. But its important to know that not all people who suffer from environmental allergies also suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. If you do have headaches, and allergies, allergies are more likely to trigger a headache.
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Get Help With Your Allergy Headaches
Combining an antihistamine with an analgesic will offer fast relief for your allergy attacks and headaches. Over-the-counter antihistamines include Benadryl, Zyrtec and Claritin commonly available analgesics include Advil and Aleve. NSAIDS such as Advil and Aleve are the most effective in stopping allergy headache pain, but if you cannot take those, Tylenol may be your best option. Its important to remember that any antihistamine, especially Benadryl can cause drowsiness and you should avoid driving or any other dangerous activity after taking it. But those are just short-term solutions for a longer-term issue.
If you suffer from severe allergy headaches and want lasting treatment for them, we can help. Live the pain-free life you deserve! Contact us today for a consultation via telemedicine or in-person.
What About Conventional Medicines
It can often be difficult to find an effective treatment for headaches, as it is an individual condition, and often what works for one person will not work for another.
Doctors or pharmacists may suggest painkillers to ease your headache, and while this may help in the short-term, it is not really tackling the root of the problem. Anti-histamines may also be effective, although can be associated with side-effects such as drowsiness, and can often only be taken on a short-term basis.
If your headache persists, or you are concerned about your condition, it is worth speaking to your doctor.
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Allergies Could Trigger Migraine Attack In A Few Different Ways
It makes sense that allergies could trigger an attack in people who are predisposed to migraine, says Hamilton. If you’re having a lot of allergic symptoms, and you’re having a lot of inflammation in the body, that could make you more prone to migraine attacks in general, she says.
Some experts believe that the histamine release that happens during allergic reactions can potentially also play a role in migraine, she says. There are potential mechanisms that could explain an increased propensity for migraine when you’re having seasonal allergies, says Hamilton.
Histamine is a chemical found in some cells that can be released when a person is allergic to something, and it causes many of the symptoms of allergies. Histamine release may be involved in triggering a headache, specifically migraine, according an article published in March 2019 in The Journal of Headache and Pain.
Allergies may indirectly contribute to migraine by disrupting sleep, says Strauss. If youre very uncomfortable from all this congestion and postnasal drip, that could even be a trigger for headache, she says.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have any of the following symptoms, call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room right away. These can be signs of a more serious health condition:
- An excruciating headache
- Nausea and vomiting occurring with your headache
- Loss of consciousness or vision
If you are experiencing headaches frequently or have one that won’t resolve, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
If you have questions or concerns about medications you are using to treat headaches, discuss them during your appointment. Your healthcare provider can offer additional information and instructions on how to treat your headaches safely.
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Outdoor Allergies Vs Indoor Allergies
Its important to learn if you have outdoor allergies or indoor allergies. If you have outdoor allergies, your symptoms will happen at the same time each year. Outdoor allergens include grass pollen, tree pollen, weed pollen and fungus spores. If you have indoor allergies, your symptoms may exist year-round or occasionally. Indoor allergens include dust mites, mold and pet dander. If you have both outdoor and indoor allergies, youll deal with symptoms throughout the year. They may get worse during certain months.
Seeing an allergist is the best way to determine what youre allergic to. They will review your medical history. They will also check your symptoms and conduct an allergy test. Quick and accurate skin testing is the most common type of allergy testing. Your allergist may also run blood testing if necessary. Once your allergist identifies your triggers, they can help you develop a treatment plan.
What Is Causing Your Allergy Headache
There are a number of common factors that can trigger your allergy headache or migraine. It could take you some time before you find out exactly what is affecting you. Some of the most common causes include
- Hay fever and other seasonal allergies like pollen. Ragweed is one of the most common seasonal allergens, but any kind of pollen can cause them.
- Pet dander is a common household allergen. Pet dander is more likely to cause respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath, but it can cause headaches too.
- Mold and mildew are everywhere! If you have mold in your home and allergic reactions to it, you may need to invest in professional mold remediation for the good of your health.
- Dust mite droppings are impossible to eliminate, no matter how much you clean. They are a common trigger of allergic asthma but can also trigger headache. A good mattress cover and pillow covers can help reduce exposure to dust mites if they are a trigger for you.
To diagnose your allergic reactions, we do a careful history and physical exam. We do tests to figure out what you are allergic to, how severe that allergic reaction is and whether or not it causes a headache. We will also evaluate you for other triggers and causes of headaches, including cluster headaches and SUNCT that can cause similar symptoms to allergy headaches.
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How Do You Get Rid Of An Allergy Headache
Treating allergy headaches often requires a multi-pronged approach:
- Reduce your allergy symptoms and sinus congestion with an antihistamine, decongestant, or intranasal corticosteroid.
- Take acetaminophen , migraine medicine, or other pain relievers to minimize or eliminate your headache.
- Try at-home treatments like using a neti pot, drinking plenty of fluids, and applying a warm wet washcloth to your face.
Persistent Headache More Typical Of Migraine Than Allergies
Trying to determine what is headache due to migraine versus what is a headache due to allergies is a common issue, says Hamilton. We know that a lot of people can have a misdiagnosis of sinus headaches or headaches from allergies, when in fact their headaches are from migraine.
Hamilton points to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found that 88 percent of people with a history of sinus headaches actually had a migraine-type headache. A large percentage of people were misdiagnosed, she says.
The fact is, headache is not a very common symptom, in and of itself, of seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis. Its much more common to have symptoms such as nasal congestion, like a stuffy nose or runny nose, and eye watering, says Hamilton.
If you do have a headache that persists, it might not be just allergies, she says. That might be an indication that there’s also migraine going on. Typically, headache can be due a sinus infection or viral or bacterial infection, but it’s rare to have a significant headache from just allergy symptoms, says Hamilton.
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Migraine And Sinus Headache Have Overlapping Symptoms
Part of the reason for confusion is because oftentimes, migraine-related headaches mimic what people typically think of as sinus headaches, she explains. You can have pain over the sinuses and over the face with both types of headache. With migraine, there can also be symptoms that are similar to allergy symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose and eye tearing, and that overlap can be why patients are misdiagnosed, says Hamilton.
However, there are some key symptoms of migraine that you wont find in other types of headaches, which can include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
Some people with migraine have a visual aura that includes bright spots, lights, or colors prior to the onset of an attack, which wouldnt happen in a tension-type or sinus headache.
Youre Sensitive To Light And Sound
Allergies are linked to both migraines and sinus headaches, according to the ACAAI, but there are certain symptoms that can help identify a migraine. A regular sinus headache should never be severe, cause you to feel nauseated, or make you sensitive to light or sound, Dr. Cooper says. These are classic symptoms unique to migraines, not sinus headaches.
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Preventing Food Related Headaches
Preventing food allergy headaches can be as simple as avoiding specific trigger foods once you figure out what your triggers are. But some triggers are difficult to avoid because they are found in most processed foods, this can also make those triggers difficult to find.
If youre having difficulty finding your trigger foods, it may be time to talk to a headache specialist at a headache treatment clinic to learn more about how to prevent headaches caused from allergies. Contact the National Headache Institute for more information on our cutting-edge treatments including stem cell treatment. Call today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.
What Are The Most Effective Treatments For Migraines
When treating migraines, the goal will be to stop symptoms and prevent future occurrences. There are two types of approaches that can be used to treat migraines: pain-relieving medications and preventative medications. If you are using medications that relieve migraine pain when it is already there, it is best to do so at the first sign of a migraine. If your migraine is too severe to be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, or you are intolerant to those options, we recommend visiting your doctor for a customized treatment plan.
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What Is A Sinus Headache
If youre suffering from a sinus headache, youll experience a feeling of pain and pressure around your cheekbones, eyes, forehead and the bridge of your nose. You might find that the discomfort increases when you lie down.
Other sinus headache symptoms include:
- Facial swelling
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Soreness near your upper teeth
Sinus headaches are caused by sinusitis, or inflamed sinuses. The swelling might arise as the result of an infection. A blockage in your nasal cavity can also cause swelling. If you have allergies, you might also experience sinus congestion along with your headache.
When treating a sinus headache, your doctor may offer antibiotics to treat an infection thats causing a sinus headache. Antihistamines, pain relievers and decongestants might also help further reduce symptoms. A humidifier and saltwater nasal spray can be useful too.
If None Of These Remedies Seem To Work For You Then You Might Want To Invest In Some Over
Your allergies aren’t anything to panic about, but any sort of bodily pain that gets in the way of you living your life is definitely something to address. Speaking to your doctor will help you get a better idea of how to approach the situation, and what it is, exactly, that you’re dealing with. Besides, you want to miss as little warm weather as possible, so there’s no point sitting on this.
Headaches can be miserable, but if you try to plan ahead and stay one step ahead of the sinus and congestion game, your nasal passages and your body will totally thank you for it.
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An Introduction To Headache And Hayfever
Suffering from a headache can be a miserable experience, making it difficult for you to think or concentrate. Once the cause of a headache has been found, it is often much easier to treat.
Many people do not realise that hayfever can cause headaches. These hayfever, headaches tend to be the result of sinus pain and inflammation. It can feel as if there is intense pressure inside the head or behind the eyes.
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.
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Botox Injections For Migraines
If you have a history of suffering from migraines and would like to look into preventative measures, you might consider Botox ® injections. This might not be the first treatment you think of when you think about migraine treatment, but it can be quite effective. Novopelle Med Spa is happy to offer Botox for patients who are in good health.
Botox is an effective way to treat migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals and neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from the brain. Botox is able to stop the chemicals before they reach the nerve endings around the head and neck. Botox can be injected in seven specific muscle areas around the head and neck to prevent migraines before they start. Popular places to receive Botox for migraine treatment are the forehead, bridge of the nose, temples, neck, back of the head, and above the shoulder blades in the upper back.
A new study published in the American Journal of Managed Care has shown that long-term treatment with onabotulinumtoxin A, the active ingredient in Botox, yields a response rate of 65% after three courses of treatments in patients with chronic migraines. The results of Botox generally last between three and four months, but some patients are able to see the benefits for six months or longer. The effects of Botox wear off as the neurotoxin wears off, which allows the nerves to regain their ability to send signals to the muscles that allow them to begin working.
If Your Headache Feels Connected To Your Allergies The Aaaai Reports It’s Most Likely A Sinus Headache
These headaches are often triggered by nasal or sinus congestion , and the pain is usually centralized in the middle of your face, behind the eyes and nose.
Sinus headaches, specifically, happen when your sinuses become swollen, thus causing a build-up of pressure and icky congestion, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Usually, these headaches become less painful when you move from lying down to sitting or standing up, which might explain things if you tend to wake up with an awful, splitting headache in the morning during allergy season, but seem to feel better as the day goes on.
If you don’t feel better as the day progresses , don’t panic. Just because an allergy-related headache isn’t going away, that doesn’t mean you’re totally doomed, or that it’s a sign of something bigger.
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