Which Came First - Allergies or Migraine?
Last updated: March 2022
If you have seasonal allergies as I do, you know spring into summer can be a hard transition if you have migraines.
Environmental allergies, colds, and sinus infections
I have lived with environmental allergies all of my life. When I was younger, I remember going to get allergy shots at least once a week to help address all the issues I was having when I’d go outside or go anywhere. I was miserable and my eyes became so swollen I would spend the whole day sitting on the couch with cold washcloths over my eyes so I wouldn’t itch them or scratch at them.
For me, drainage from colds and cases of flu as well as allergies always present a huge problem for me. It takes me forever to get rid of sinus infections. Most of my long-term issues that eventually turn into migraines arise from allergies, so I know that I need to start getting shots again, which is just more appointments. Clearly, I’m not thrilled about it.
The challenge of getting rid of stuffiness and pressure
Although I do have a deviated septum and my sinus cavities can get very inflamed due to other health conditions I struggle with, it’s extremely hard for me to be able to get the “stuffy” feeling out of my face. The pain often extends to the front of my temples and radiate down my face and into my throat. I usually get a very upset stomach when I take certain over the counter medications to help drain the mucus, so there are not a lot of options besides staying diligent on allergy medication, migraine medications, and decongestants.
Allergies and the migraine cycle
From here, the migraine cycle only continues to get worse. Now that we finally hit spring and the snow has finally melted here, I really have to be diligent and take my allergy meds and decongestants on a consistent schedule. If I don't, I know there's a very big chance that I develop a sinus infection pretty quickly and the shift in my migraine symptoms come on almost immediately.
I know many people get migraines from the use of decongestants, but it’s the only thing that I’m able to take that helps eliminate some of the pressure build-up in my face. Do you find yourself taking a few different forms of anti-histamines during migraine cycles or do you avoid them altogether due to side effects?
What have you found has helped alleviate your migraines during allergy season? Do you have any tricks or tips you have previously used? How do you prepare yourself for allergy season, knowing migraine can be a big factor in treating them?
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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