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What are Allergy Headaches? How to Fight Them Off

Although headaches aren’t a common symptom of an allergy attack, studies have shown that there is a link between allergies and headaches. An allergy attack can trigger any of the three types of headaches which include sinus headaches, migraines and cluster headaches. While it is possible for an allergic reaction to trigger a headache, not all allergies do. Getting proper treatment for the headache would depend on proper diagnosis of the condition and what triggers it. This is why it is important for a person who suspects that his or her allergies are causing the headaches to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and to receive proper treatment for the condition.

What are the Allergies that Cause Headaches?

Allergies don’t actually cause the headaches, but they have been known to trigger an episode. When a person experiences an allergy attack, the body produces chemicals such as histamine and prostaglandins that are known triggers of migraines. The nasal congestion that comes with an allergy attack can also trigger sinus headaches when left untreated. Those who are already suffering from cluster headaches would be surprised to find that a food allergy they have may trigger an episode. To be on the safe side, it’s important to know which allergens are typically associated with headaches and to avoid them.

  • Airborne allergens. Severe reactions to airborne allergens can result in headaches. There are many sources of airborne allergens around us. Animal hairs and the microscopic insects that come with them often cause an allergy attack. Some people’s allergies to pet hair are so severe that just being in the same room where a pet has been can trigger an attack. Dust that has settled at home is harmless until a person comes directly into contact with it or if the dust has been disturbed while cleaning. The outdoors also poses a problem to people suffering from allergies. Plant pollen and outdoor mold fungi can have the same effect on people with allergies.
  • Food allergens. Certain foods can trigger migraines whether we are allergic to them or not. This is why many people make a mistake of thinking that they are allergic to a certain food because of the headaches they get. If a person is allergic to certain foods that are not known migraine triggers, it is possible that the body’s reaction to the allergen can cause allergy headaches. The best way to find out for sure is to consult a doctor and have them run tests to determine if our headaches are indeed caused by the allergic reaction.

Treating Allergies and Headaches

The first step in treating allergy headaches is to determine what you are allergic to and how it affects your body. This is done by performing skin and blood work tests that would determine what food or airborne allergens your body reacts to. The next step would be to determine whether these allergies actually cause the headaches. If we remove the cause of the allergies and the headaches lessen or disappear, but come back again once we reintroduce the allergens to your body, then this would be a positive indicator that your allergies and headaches are indeed connected. Once we’ve determined the cause, you can prevent or lessen the occurrence of headaches by avoiding food that cause our allergies or by making sure you are not exposed to airborne allergens. Having an air conditioning unit with air filters at home can trap airborne allergens and keep them from being blown back to the air in the room. If you want pets, make sure you choose animals that don’t cause allergies or cats and dogs that are hairless or are considered “hypoallergenic” to avoid triggering allergies and headaches.

People tend to do a lot of self-diagnosis as far as headaches are concerned, but if allergies are suspected to be the root cause of a headache, then it’s better to know about the right steps to take. If you experience headache symptoms following an allergy attack, consult your doctor for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment.