Allergy Migraines and Hay Fever

allergy migraines

More sunshine and better weather surely has to be a mood-booster right? Maybe. Maybe less so if you suffer from allergy migraines.

Allergies and migraines both trigger inflammation and affect the immune system, and both activate the parasympathetic nervous system, so it’s hardly surprising that they can be linked. If you have an allergy, you’re more likely to experience migraines, and for those migraines to be more frequent and severe than those experienced by people without allergies. That’s not to say that all head pain when you have an allergy is migraine though.

Sinus-related headaches are common with people with allergies too, but these tend to feel like a pressure or a dull ache between or behind the eyes, rather than an intense stabbing or throbbing pain on one side of your head as migraine is – and that pain being one which comes with other symptoms such as nausea and light and sound sensitivity. Knowing the difference so you know whether you have a sinus-related headache or an allergy migraine will matter because what you use to treat a normal headache won’t usually work so well on a migraine.  

Food allergies can bring on allergy migraines, but the more common culprit of allergy migraines is a pollen allergy – or hay fever to give it it’s common name.

There’s no cure for hay fever, just as there’s no cure for migraine, but there are some things you can do to help reduce its impact (and in doing so hopefully reduce the frequency and intensity of your migraine attacks).

First a couple of more obvious ones – avoid areas which are going to be high in pollen like fields or woodland, and take your hay fever medication. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and take note of days when the pollen count is particularly high – it may be an idea to stay inside on these days. 

Limiting contact with the allergen, in this case pollen, continues at home. It’s a good idea to keep home and car windows and doors shut during hay fever season, and to install a pollen filter in your car’s AC system if it doesn’t already have one. When you get home after having been outside, shower and wash your hair and change your clothes so that you remove any pollen which may still be clinging to you.  

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