How Sinus and Allergy Symptoms Can Trigger Headaches

A whopping 70 to 80 percent of North American adults experience headaches, with 50 percent getting headaches at least once a month and 5 percent struggling with daily headaches. While most headaches do not indicate a serious or life-threatening illness, allergies and sinus problems can trigger debilitating headaches and affect your quality of life. Learn how to treat and prevent these headaches and when to visit a specialist.

Can Allergies Cause Headaches?

Allergy and sinus headaches can occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to allergens, including pollen, dust, and pet dander. Allergic reactions cause nasal inflammation and congestion, leading to sinus pressure and, ultimately, headaches.

What Does an Allergy or Sinus Headache Feel Like?

Headaches triggered by allergies and sinus problems are often mistaken for migraines because many symptoms overlap. Watch for a dull, persistent pain around the forehead, eyes, and temples. The pain may also be accompanied by pressure, a feeling of fullness in the head, and achiness in the upper teeth. Sinus headaches can also cause other symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.

How to Treat Allergy Headaches

Several over-the-counter treatments are available for allergies and allergy headaches:

Antihistamines block the effects of histamines, which cause allergy symptoms, including headaches.

Decongestants reduce swelling and open up the nasal passages, relieving sinus pressure and the resulting headaches.

Intranasal corticosteroids are a type of nasal spray that reduces congestion and inflammation associated with allergic rhinitis.

How to Prevent Allergy Headaches

Preventing allergy headaches starts with identifying your triggers. Keep a diary of your symptoms and possible causes, such as spending time outside when pollen counts are high or visiting a friend who has cats.

Once you’ve identified your triggers, take steps to avoid them. If you can’t avoid them outright, take precautions, such as wearing a mask or running an air purifier. If dust is a trigger, you may need to alter how you clean your house. Additionally, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly can help reduce the frequency and severity of allergy headaches.

Should I Visit an Allergy Specialist?

If you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments and lifestyle changes and still experience allergy and sinus headaches, it may be time to visit an allergy specialist. This professional can perform allergy tests to identify specific triggers and recommend targeted treatments, such as allergy shots or sinus surgery, to reduce or eliminate your headaches and other symptoms.

Seek Treatment for Sinus and Allergy Headaches in Scottsdale

Allergy and sinus headaches can be difficult to self-diagnose. You may simply think you have a headache, not realizing your symptoms are tied to your sinuses. So if you suffer from unexplained headaches, seek treatment at Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center in Scottsdale, AZ. Dr. Franklyn Gergits and the rest of the skilled medical team will help you determine the cause of your symptoms and achieve long-lasting relief. Call us at 602-492-2312 or contact us online to schedule an appointment and start feeling better today.