Can allergies cause headaches? Yes, allergies can cause headaches. Allergies can cause several symptoms and headaches are one of them. Although not all allergens cause headaches, a few of them can give you a headache.
If you are having a headache and you are not sure if it is caused by an allergy then you should keep reading.
What do allergy headaches feel like
An allergy headache is somewhat different from a normal headache. It can even lead to migraines. It affects your sinuses by obstructing their openings and making them swollen.
Sinuses are hollow spaces found within the bones between your eyes. These spaces are found in your forehead, cheekbones, behind your nose and eyes.
An allergy can affect these spaces, making them dry thereby preventing them from producing mucus which helps to keep the inside of your nose moist. This then leads to a headache.
The headache triggered by an allergy can make you very uncomfortable and sick. This is because it feels like your whole face and not just your headaches.
However, these sinuses which help to filter air will not be able to do so because an allergen may have caused them to stop their function.
An allergic headache is rare but severe if it occurs. It causes blockage, swollen sinuses, pain and can prevent airflow. You feel pain in your head, face and this pain can even extend to your teeth and jaw.
If your headache feels like this then it may as a result of an allergen. You should see an allergy doctor (allergist) to know the cause of your allergy and to reduce pain.
What allergies can cause headaches
Now that you have known your headache is a result of an allergy you may be wondering what kind of allergy may have triggered a headache.
Some allergies can cause headaches. You have to know what you are allergic to determine if your headache is a result of an allergy.
Allergens that include headaches as a symptom includes;
● Food allergies
Food allergy occurs when your immune system releases an antibody for food that may not be harmful to every other person.
Being allergic to certain foods can sometimes trigger a headache. However, it may not be occasionally.
The food you are allergic to can give you a headache today and none the next day. Also, not everyone that is allergic to food experiences headaches as a symptom. Although they may react.
Examples of Food that may cause you a headache includes; cheese, dairy, cow milk, corn, cane sugar, yeast, eggs, chocolate. Artificial sweeteners, food coloring, preservatives, and other additives contained in food can as well trigger a headache. The best way to prevent a food allergy is to stay away from these foods.
● Allergy Rhinitis
Also known as hay fever, allergy rhinitis is an allergic response that can cause a headache. It is very common. It is the inflammation of your nasal cavity and sinuses.
This inflammation can be as a result of an allergy and could trigger a headache.
If you have hay fever as a result of an allergy then it can cause you a headache.
Other causes of headaches that are as a result of an allergy include;
● Release of histamine
When you are allergic to dust, pollen, food, insect stings, and other allergens, your body releases a neurotransmitter called histamine in response to these allergens.
The release of this hormone can cause you a headache when it decreases your blood pressure.
How do you treat an allergy headache?
Treating a headache caused by an allergy is the only way to get rid of this headache. You can take some over-the-counter allergy medication to help reduce the headache.
This medication should be taken every day for as long as you are feeling headaches or you are close to the cause of the allergy. This is to get rid of all symptoms.
This allergy medication includes
Antihistamine is a medicine that helps relieve symptoms of allergies like watery eyes, itchy eyes, and nose as well as headache. They do this by preventing the effect of histamine. Examples of these drugs are; diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Cetirizine(Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and many others.
These drugs can help relieve a runny nose and nasal congestion which can cause headaches. You can use it in treating nasal congestion as they help reduce pressure and stuffiness in your sinuses. It can either be oral or nasal. Examples include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), oxymetazoline(Afrin and Zicam).
● Nasal corticosteroids
These corticosteroids are effective in reducing allergic symptoms such as swelling, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and even facial pain as a result of an allergy headache. They include; Fluticasone (Flonase), mometasone (Nasonex), budesonide (Rhinocort), and others.
● Allergy shots
Allergy shots are injections that can be taken to reduce allergic symptoms. It lessens your chances of having an allergy headache and also reduces other symptoms. You need to take these shots over a period of years to entirely stop all allergic symptoms. Allergy shots should be administered by an allergist.
More so, you must consult an allergy doctor before taking any of these medications.
How do you prevent allergy headaches?
The best way to keep yourself free from allergic headaches is to prevent allergens that can cause headaches. You have to visit an allergist to be sure of what must have triggered an allergic headache.
If you have an allergy and you want to prevent having an allergic headache. Then you have to;