Texas Allergy Experts

allergy and migraines

How Could Allergies and Migraines be Related? Allergic rhinitis may often lead to a “sinus headache”. An allergic reaction leads to the release of histamine, which can also lead to the dilation of blood vessels in the brain, and therefore cause or worsen a migraine headache. Do People with Allergies Suffer More Migraines? In at least one study, this appears to be the case. People with allergic rhinitis were determined to meet criteria for migraine headaches far more likely than people without allergic rhinitis. In fact, those with allergies were approximately 14 times more likely to report migraine headaches compared to those without allergies. Other studies show an association between migraine headaches and allergic asthma, and that the occurrence of migraines in children with atopic diseases is increased. Furthermore, approximately 40% of children with migraineheadaches show the presence of allergies through allergy testing. Do Food Allergies Cause or Worsen Migraine Headaches?There is much controversy in the area of food allergies related to migraines. While some experts believe that foods can worsen migraines through an allergic process, others believe the trigger is a result of food intolerance. It is possible that migraines are triggered by both allergic and non-allergic reactions to foods. Does Treatment of Allergies Help Migraine Headaches? Most studies using anti-histamines for the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches do not show that these medications are helpful. However, it has been suggested that the aggressive treatment of allergic rhinitis, which may include nasal sprays and allergy shots, may help treat and prevent headaches in those people who appear to have allergic triggers to their migraines. WHY DO ALLERGY MEDICINES WORK?  “If Allegra D or Sudafed works , that must mean allergy is involved – right?  These are not pure medicines – they are a combination of antihistamines and decongestantsIt may be the decongestant ( the “D”)  in allergy medicines - not the antihistamines that work.   If you respond to Sudafed or caffeine – that’s the decongestant.   That does not mean you are responding to allergy treatment, since those medications compress blood vessels – and have little if any effect on the antibodies associated with allergy.  You have to be careful with caffeine and Sudafed – they cause rebound and may play with your blood pressure.