Millions of individuals experience migraine headaches that can be debilitating in some cases. Even though there are various factors that can trigger migraines, an individual is more likely to develop migraines if he/she suffers from certain allergies. Always bear in mind that migraines are not usually life-threatening but can temporarily debilitate the individual and affect the quality of life.
Close look on allergy migraine
An allergy migraine can range from mild to intense. In most cases, an allergy migraine can cause a throbbing headache on one side of the head. Other possible symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, nausea, visual disturbances such as seeing zigzag lines or spots, tunnel vision, chills, sweating, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, appetite loss and temporary blind spots. Sunlight or bright lights can worsen an allergy migraine. The symptoms usually develop several hours before a migraine attack and can persist long after the headache goes away.
What are the usual culprits?
Allergy migraines can be instigated by an allergic reaction to food. When it comes to food allergies, the immune system wrongly identifies food as a threat and generates substances that can trigger headache and congestion.
Migraines can also be triggered by seasonal allergies or hay fever. These seasonal allergies can cause swelling of the sinuses which triggers migraines. Take note that allergy migraines can also be instigated by common indoor allergens such as animal dander, mold, dust mite droppings, dried skin and cockroach droppings.
What to do
You can provide the individual with an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as soon as the symptoms of an allergy migraine manifest. The individual should stay in a quiet room with the lights off and rest. Apply a cool compress or washcloth on the head to reduce the symptoms. It is also recommended to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
For severe cases of migraines, the doctor might prescribe medications, an injection or nasal spray to relieve the symptoms. The individual should also keep a diary to note down foods eaten and potential allergens he/she was exposed to before the onset of a migraine. This will help the doctor determine the exact cause and allergy testing is also performed to determine the culprit.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor should be consulted if the migraine does not subside with home remedies or recurs frequently. If the following symptoms are present, it is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor:
- Stomach pain
- Extreme nausea
- Erratic heartbeat
A doctor should be consulted if the pain is severe or occurs abruptly along with speech issues, loss of balance or the headache worsens when lying down. Remember that these are indications of a serious condition such as stroke.
If allergies are suspected as potential triggers for a migraine attack, it is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment of the condition.