Allergy Headaches: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. The symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy throat. While some people experience only these symptoms, others suffer from more symptoms, including headaches.

Allergies cause two forms of headaches: sinus headaches and migraine headaches.

Generally speaking, it’s crucial to see a doctor if your headaches are chronic, getting worse, or if they come along with other symptoms like sensitivity to light or noise. You should also contact a Arizona allergy expert if you think your headache is related to your allergies. 

If you want to learn more about headaches caused by migraines, keep reading the information below. 

Woman having allergic headaches

What Is Allergy Headaches?

Some people use the term “allergy headache,” but there is no clear, commonly accepted meaning.

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, can induce a headache, probably due to swelling in the sinus passages. But headaches are not a common symptom of hay fever.

What Is The Connection Between Headaches & Allergies?

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages frequently caused by an allergy to anything in the environment. The condition is known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever.

Hay fever can induce many symptoms, although headache is unusual, according to experts from a 2016 study.

When allergic rhinitis progresses to rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages) it can occasionally cause headaches.

However, headaches often associated with sinusitis may be the result of migraine.

Both conditions can result in a runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. Additionally, both could get worse with exposure to allergens and weather changes. These similarities may confuse you at first since you won’t be able to differentiate a simple allergy from sinusitis. Contacting a Queen Creek allergy expert becomes crucial in this case. 

When the sinuses swell, they block the nasal passages, causing pressure to build up and resulting in sinus headaches. Pain behind the cheeks or at the top of the head may develop. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Allergy Headaches?

It might be challenging to differentiate between a headache caused by a migraine and one brought on by sinus pressure and inflammation.

A sinus headache can cause pain at the top of the head or behind the cheeks.

The following symptoms could potentially occur if hay fever is the cause of the headache:

  • Itching in the nose, eyes, the roof of the mouth, and throat
  • Runny nose
  • Watery Eyes
  • Sneezing 

Rhinosinusitis symptoms include:

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling in the area surrounding the eyes, cheeks, and forehead
  • A congested nose
  • A diminished ability to smell
  • Headache from sinuses
  • Toothache
  • Bad Breath
  • Nasal mucous

A migraine sufferer may have a pounding headache, usually on one side, as well as nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, or both. That’s completely different from headaches caused by allergies.

It’s not that easy to differentiate migraine from allergy headaches. Most of the time, you need a doctor to see what’s the cause of your discomfort. 

Your Mesa allergy expert may use the following criteria to identify rhinosinusitis-induced headaches:

  • The headache is at the front of the head
  • The person may also have pain in other regions, such as the face, ears, or teeth
  • The headache appears alongside other rhinosinusitis symptoms
  • Within 7 days of treatment, the facial discomfort and headache disappear.

What Are The Migraine Triggers?

We call triggers anything that could cause a migraine, and they vary from person to person. 

Hay fever may be the cause of a headache caused by an allergy. Pollen is a common trigger, along with others like:

  • Mold spores
  • Pet hair or dander
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches 

Migraine triggers are usually different from allergy headaches. Some of the most common migraine triggers include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Some medications
  • Some liquids and foods like caffeine, wine, cheese, chocolate, etc.
  • Environmental factors
  • Smoke
  • Dehydration
  • Jet lag
  • A lack of sleep

These are only some of the common migraine triggers, but there may be more. As we said before, these triggers can vary from person to person. 

Should I Contact a Doctor When Having Headaches?

You should not ignore any adverse reaction that interferes with everyday activities or significantly lowers your life quality. You should discuss these symptoms with a Chandler allergy expert.

As you can see, allergies are not a frequent cause of headaches. However, you should still see a doctor if:

  • There are frequent headaches
  • The use of painkillers is unsuccessful
  • Headaches are getting worse
  • You usually feel nauseous, have weakness in the arms or legs, and sensitivity to light or noise

Contacting A Top-Rated Allergy Expert

Do not let your allergies ruin your life. At San Tan Allergy & Asthma you can find the best attention and treatment from one of our experts to enjoy your daily life without suffering! Contact us now to learn more.

San Tan Allergy & Asthma
4915 E Baseline Rd #112
Gilbert, AZ 85234

Phone: 480-626-6600