Can Allergies Cause Headaches?
Headaches are normal, and can happen to anyone with or without allergies. Research estimates 70 to 80% of us experience headaches, and about 50% at least once a month...and allergies can be the source of those headaches.
Which allergies cause headaches?
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)
A headache along with seasonal indoor allergies is more likely due to a migraine headache rather than allergies. However, pain that is experienced along with hay fever or other allergic reactions may cause headaches due to sinus disease.
There can be a link between food and headaches, as there are some instances that foods like aged cheese, and chocolate trigger pain for some people. However, experts believe that it’s the chemical properties of certain foods that trigger pain, as opposed to a true food allergy.
How do allergies cause migraine headache?
So far, doctors believe that the nervous system, endocrine (hormonal) system, and the immune system all play a role in this. If you experience migraines, you might have a sensitive nervous system and your body tends to react quickly or overreact to changes in the environment that it perceives as threats.
Allergens also trigger the immune system to release certain chemicals. They can fuel inflammation throughout the body, all of which can set you up for a migraine. People with allergies are more prone to getting migraine headaches, and the symptoms may be more severe during allergy season. There are also non allergic triggers such as perfume, gasoline smell, smoke, and weather.
If allergies trigger your migraine, you might experience pain in your sinuses behind your cheekbones and forehead, facial pain, a throbbing or stabbing headache that is often one-sided, and nausea. Symptoms may also get worse when exposed to bright light.
One effective way to treat and even prevent headaches is to keep your allergies under control. Doctors may have you try antihistamines to control histamine production and lessen allergy symptoms. However, it would not ease a migraine headache if one starts. Decongestants may help open stuffy nose and ease sinus pressure.
Treat an allergy headache the same way as you would deal with any other headache. If allergies are the source of the headache, there are ways to address the root cause. Avoid your triggers, drink plenty of fluids, and keep your surroundings clean are the major steps to take.
If your allergies get to a point where they’re interfering with your daily routine, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get proper diagnosis or possibly, a referral to an allergist.