Severe headaches and migraines affect about 17% of all Americans, with women having double the risk of headaches compared to men. However, many patients don’t realize that debilitating headaches are often associated with allergies. Dr. Evelyn Tolston at Allergy Asthma and Immunology on Madison has extensive experience helping men and women receive personalized treatment that brings headache relief. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Midtown East, New York City, or use the online booking feature.
Primary headaches are caused by a problem directly associated with your head and neck. These headaches arise from changes in chemical activity in your brain or issues affecting the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles.
A secondary headache is one that develops due to an underlying health problem, such as a concussion or allergies.
The three types of primary headaches most often experienced by patients include tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines.
Migraines are severe headaches that may start as a mild ache, but quickly progress to cause excruciating pain and a variety of symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light. Migraines can last from four hours to three days.
Sinus headaches and migraines are closely associated with allergies. Patients with allergies who also suffer from migraines are 33% more likely to have frequent and more severe headaches compared to those who don’t have allergies.
Sinus headaches develop when allergies cause mucous membranes lining your sinuses to become inflamed and swollen. As sinus membranes enlarge, they block the opening that allows mucus to drain out of the sinus. The buildup of mucus leads to an infection (sinusitis), which causes pain that may become a chronic and debilitating headache.
Allergic sinusitis typically causes a throbbing headache that occurs in your forehead or temples. You may also develop localized pain and tenderness over the affected sinuses, resulting in facial pain or pain felt at the top of your head.
Allergic sinusitis may also cause symptoms, such as postnasal drip, discolored nasal discharge, congestion, coughing, and fatigue.
Treatment for headaches and migraines includes:
When you have an allergy-related headache, Dr. Tolston performs allergy testing to identify your specific allergens. Then she works with you to develop a plan to limit exposure to your allergens.
Dr. Tolston may also recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots) to desensitize your immune system and reduce or eliminate your allergies. As your allergies are treated, your allergic headaches or allergic sinusitis are also diminished.
To get relief for chronic headaches, call Allergy Asthma and Immunology on Madison or book an appointment online.