Sunday, February 18, 2024

Can Headaches Be Caused By Allergies

Take Your Allergy Medication In The Evening

Can allergies cause migraines?

Antihistamines are a common and effective way to manage seasonal allergies, and modern allergy medicines are less likely to cause drowsiness than older antihistamines. However, some people may still feel tired after taking an allergy pill, especially if they havent taken one in a while.

To help reduce drowsiness and feel more alert during the day, take your daily antihistamine in the evening rather than first thing in the morning.

Consistency is also key to reducing the drowsiness caused by antihistaminesthe longer you take a daily allergy medication, the more easily your body will be able to tolerate those side effects.

Not all antihistamines are intended for daily use, so talk with your doctor before starting or changing any allergy medications to make sure its a good fit for you.

Can Allergies Increase Migraine Frequency

Studies show that allergies can increase the frequency of migraine. One study¹ showed that migraine frequency in patients with allergic rhinitis was four times higher than in the control group. While people with AR are more likely to experience sinus headaches, high nitric oxide levels are produced in AR and have a vasodilator effect, which contributes to migraine.

Other studies showed that if you have hay fever and asthma, your attacks are likely to be 14 to 28% more frequent², and you are also 2.1 times more likely to develop chronic migraine. You’re also more likely to have migraine in the first place if you have allergic rhinitis and more likely to have asthma if you have migraine.

This all indicates that there is likely a fairly strong connection, through inflammation, between allergies and migraine.

What Does Dr Weil Recommend For Allergy Headaches

Among conventional treatments for allergies, Dr. Weil prefers the non-prescription drug cromolyn sodium . If that doesnt help, he says you may have to try a steroid nasal spray such as Vancensae, preferably for a limited time. He also suggests trying nasal douching with a warm saline solution to rinse pollen grains off nasal tissues and soothe irritated mucus membranes.

The best natural treatment for hay fever that Dr. Weil has found is freeze-dried stinging nettle leaf. Take one to two capsules, every two to four hours as needed to control symptoms. This herbal remedy works quickly and has no side effects.

To prevent pollen allergies he recommends quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Take 400 mg twice a day between meals, starting at least 6 weeks before the expected start of pollen season.

He also recommends butterbur , which has been used for centuries as an herbal treatment for headaches, back pain, asthma, and painful urinary spasms. Recent research suggests that it may be an effective treatment for hay fever and a means of preventing some migraines. Dr. Weil recommends choosing only butterbur products free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids , compounds that are toxic to the liver. The adult dosage ranges from 50-100 mg twice daily with meals.

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Prevention Of Allergy Headaches

The over-the-counter nasal spray cromolyn sodium may prevent nasal allergy symptoms if you take it before youre exposed to pollen or other substances that trigger them. For best results, start using it two to four weeks before the start of allergy season. Otherwise, take steps to reduce your exposure to pollen and other allergens. Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are high and get HEPA filters for rooms that you spend most time in.

Allergy shots regularly scheduled injections of small amounts of allergens may be recommended to help prevent reactions. The goal is to desensitize you so that you no longer react to the irritant. Although this treatment is said to work in about two-thirds of cases, the shots can require years of treatment to become effective. They also may elicit reactions such as hives, rash, and sometimes anaphylactic shock.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Allergies can cause many symptoms including: 1. Sneezing 2. Runny Nose ...

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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Treating Allergies Could Help With Migraine

There are certainly scenarios where treating allergies may help headaches, says Strauss. But what we want to avoid is spending years cycling through tons of allergy medicines if someone is having severe headaches. There are other medications wed want to try, she says.

If you have migraine attacks that seem to really be triggered by certain changes in the environment for example, higher pollen or if there is really a lot of nasal congestion or runny nose, then I think it may be worth exploring the role of allergies, says Hamilton.

Strauss suggests keeping a yearly calendar year to see if there are certain months or seasons when migraine attacks become a problem.

This can tip you off if its related to something in the environment, and you could talk with your doctor. It may help to take preventive migraine medications or allergy medicine during those months, she says.

Reduce Exposure To Allergens

If you find that your headaches and coughs are heightened during the allergy seasons, consider finding ways to reduce your exposure to allergens. This may mean staying indoors more often when the pollen count is high, or simply reducing your contact with pets if dander is a trigger for you.

Making lifestyle changes like wearing a mask when mowing your lawn or using an air purifier to filter out dust particles in your home can also be a way to help reduce your exposure to allergens.

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Allergies And Dizziness: The Cause And The Treatment

Allergy-induced dizziness can be caused by allergens, or both is viaMénières Disease · Benzodiazepines · Why Am I Dizzy? 10 Causes · Eustachian Tube Dysfunction* They can, Can allergies cause you to feel dizzy , the chemical released by the immune system in an attempt to wash out allergens like pollen and animal dander.However, The symptoms of an allergy headache include throbbing and pain around the sinus area, From congestion to itchy skin, if you are already experiencing dizziness, pet dander, If youre allergic to certain airborne substances, itchy eyes, yes, when caused by allergic rhinitis, which can also lead to the dilation of blood vessels in the brain, nausea, mold and the droppings of dust mites, including dust

Are There Ways To Reduce Your Allergy Exposure

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Here are several ways to minimize your exposure to seasonal allergies:

  • Pay attention to daily pollen and mold spore levels, so you can avoid outdoor activities as much as possible when counts are high. To check out the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunologys allergen tracker, .
  • Begin taking medications before the start of the allergy seasonwhen pollen, grass, ragweed, or mold counts soar.
  • Shut the windows and doors in your home, office, and car to seal out pollen.
  • Wear a hat when outdoors or wash your hair before bed to keep pollen off your pillow and away from your face.
  • Change your clothes after spending time outdoors to minimize your exposure to pollen. Studies show that half of the pollen that accumulates on clothing remains even if you try to shake or brush it off before you go indoors.
  • Avoid mowing the grass or raking moldy leaves if those are your triggers, or wear a mask when doing so.

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Home Care & Natural Remedies

If youve been unable to avoid allergic headache triggers, there are accessible remedies out there to treat those symptoms.How do you get rid of an allergy headache? To get rid of an allergy headache, try over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays. These remedies work to relieve sinus congestion and pressure.Lots of water, steam baths, and warm washcloths applied to areas where youre feeling the most pressure can also help relieve your symptoms if youre seeking more natural remedies.

Should I See A Specialist For Headaches Caused By Allergies

If over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes do not fix your allergy headaches, this can lead to additional problems associated with nasal allergies, such as chronic sinus infections. When allergies cause congestion over a significant period of time, this can eventually cause sinus blockages, which can lead to a sinus infection.

If your allergy headaches and other allergy symptoms persist, it is important to see an allergy or sinus specialist. This specialist can perform an allergy skin test to evaluate your allergies, and even conduct a sinus CAT scan to evaluate your sinuses. An allergist can also recommend stronger, prescription treatments that may be more effective than over-the-counter medications for relieving your symptoms.

If you are struggling to stay on top of your headaches and other allergy symptoms, the experts at Aspire Allergy & Sinus are ready to help. Contact us to make your first appointment and start feeling better faster!

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Even If You Have Allergies Frequent Headaches May Indicate Migraine

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.

Can Allergies Cause Headaches

How to Prevent Migraines

Headaches can ruin your day. More than likely youve experienced a headache at least once in your lifetime. Headaches are one of the most common causes of pain, affecting up to 75% of adults worldwide. They may occur in any part of the head and range from mild to severe in pain. While allergies themselves dont cause headaches, some of the symptoms associated with allergies can trigger headaches. Lets take a look at how the conditions can be related.

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Allergy Headache: How Allergies Can Cause Headaches

More than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies, with many people experiencing seasonal or perennial allergies.

When exposed to a particular allergen , people with allergies can experience symptoms that range from mildly irritating to debilitating.

Allergy symptoms overlap with many other medical conditions, including upper respiratory infections such as the common cold and sinusitis, so it can be hard to know exactly which symptoms correspond to which conditions.

How Can You Treat Allergy Symptoms

If you are among the 20 percent of Americans who suffer from symptoms of allergic rhinitis, you know how inconvenient and even debilitating an allergy attack can be.

As a result, pharmaceutical companies have increasingly focused their research and development efforts on developing new medications that can be used to treat allergy symptoms.

Many allergy medications were previously available by prescription only, but today, there are many over-the-counter medication options as well.

There are three main classes of drugs that are used to treat symptoms of allergies, including allergy headaches: antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids.

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When To Visit A Doctor

You should visit a doctor if you have any severe allergic reactions or want to get tested to confirm an allergy.

If you get a lot of allergy headaches or headaches after consuming certain foods, then you should talk to your doctor about the possibility that your headaches are, in fact, migraines.

If you have multiple food allergies, you may want to get a referral to a nutritionist to help you work around them, especially if it is a tricky allergy such as gluten. While you should not assume a migraine reaction to a food is actually an allergy, there is growing evidence that this might be the case. Unfortunately, such reactions can happen as many as 120 hours after consuming the food, making them hard to track.

Keeping a food diary helps.

How Do You Get Rid Of An Allergy Headache

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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.

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How Do Allergies Cause Migraines

So how, exactly, can these allergies cause migraines? There are several mechanisms that we suspect explain why people with these allergies may also get migraines:

  • Inflammation. This results in the activation of cells close to the brain’s outer layer and trigeminal nerve, causing pain.

  • Nasal congestion, which irritates the trigeminal nerve in the nose. Taking decongestants to treat this symptom of allergic rhinitis can thus reduce the risk of migraine.

  • Sleep disturbances. Having allergy symptoms makes it harder to sleep, aggravating migraine symptoms.

  • Parasympathetic nerve activation. Allergy and asthma flare-ups cause dysregulation of the body’s digestion response, resulting in dehydration, hunger, and fatigue, which can all cause migraines in some people.

Which Allergies Cause Headaches

Here are some of the common allergies that can lead to headaches:

  • Allergic rhinitis . If you have a headache along with seasonal and indoor nasal allergies, its more likely due to a migraine headache rather than allergies. But pain related to hay fever or other allergic reactions may cause headaches due to sinus disease. A true sinus headache is actually quite rare.
  • Food allergies. There can be a relationship between food and headaches. For example, foods like aged cheese, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate can trigger a migraine in some people. Experts believe its the chemical properties of certain foods that trigger the pain, as opposed to a true food allergy.
  • Histamine. The body produces histamines in response to an allergic reaction. Among other things, histamines decrease blood pressure . This can result in headache.

Treat an allergy headache the same way that youd deal with any other headache. If allergies are the source of the headache, there are ways to address the root cause.

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What Is The Link Between Migraine And Allergies

According to the American Migraine Foundation, one study found that migraine occurred in 34% of people who have allergies, compared to 4% of people who do not have allergies. Asthma is also more common in people who get migraine compared to people who do not.

Additional research showed that migraine occurred 14% to 28% more frequently in those with migraine and allergies than in those with migraine alone. Allergies and asthma also cause people with episodic migraine to be more than twice as likely to develop chronic migraine . Another study showed that there is an increased risk of migraine in children with asthma.

Talk To Your Allergist Right Away If You Are Suffering From Body Aches And / Or Cfs

6 Ways to Minimize Allergy

You do not have to live with chronic pain and you do not have to live with fatigue. At Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Medical Group we have helped many patients with allergies, joint pain, and much more. We highly suggest you call us right away at 805-658-9500 for an appointment. We can do through testing to get the most accurate diagnosis which will lead us to the right treatment plan.

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How Do Allergies Cause A Cough

Like headaches, coughs can also be triggered by allergy symptoms. For example, postnasal drip is a common symptom of hay fever but can simultaneously trigger coughs. That occurs when allergens irritate the lining of your nose and cause mucus to drip.6 When this happens, the excess mucus tickles the back of your throat, causing a cough.

Since coughs can be symptoms of specific allergies such as hay fever, it can help you narrow down from an array of allergy conditions. 6 If hay fever is causing your cough, your allergy symptoms will usually worsen during spring, summer, or fall, where seasonal triggers such as tree pollen, ragweed pollen, and grass pollen are at its peak.6 Learn more about hay fever symptoms here!

However, your cough can last for much longer if you have year-round allergies. Lingering allergens such as dust mites, dander, and spores from indoor fungi and molds can trigger symptoms that lead to a chronic, cough.7

How To Avoid Contact With Allergens

In order to improve your allergic rhinitis symptoms, it is regularly suggested that one should avoid their trigger. However, this is a challenging task so to help you out, here are a few tips on how to avoid allergens.

Animal dander when you have pets keep pet-free areas within your home.

Dust mites these gather in bedding, rugs and carpets so wash these areas regularly.

Mould spores prevent a build-up of mould by using extractor fans, cleaning regularly and opening windows.

Pollen avoid going out when pollen counts are high and to be sure of when this is, look at a local pollen count.

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