A recent study seems to show a pretty solid link between migraine and allergies. We’re talking specifically about pollinosis, hay fever, nasal allergies, seasonal allergic rhinitis, those nasty sneezy things that hit a lot of people when the grass starts growing and the flowers start blooming.
The study simply took about 300 children and adults, and checked to see if they had hay fever and migraine. Of those with hay fever, 34% also had migraine. That’s an astonishing number, considering that only 4% of those without hay fever had migraine symptoms.
What does this mean? Researchers are wondering if histamine, a chemical released during allergic reactions, is actually triggering a migraine attack. Or it could be that there’s a deeper cause that is common to both migraine and nasal allergy symptoms.
What research like this can do right now is put us (and doctors) on the alert that one may come with the other. There’s no evidence that antihistamine medications (used for hay fever) relieve migraine. So it we may need to look elsewhere to treat some of those spring headaches we assumed were coming from the dust and pollen.
Remember, congestion is a symptom of migraine as well, so many people are probably tricked into thinking that they have nasal allergies when in fact it’s migraine. They take an antihistamine, and the symptoms go away – not because of the drugs, but because the migraine ran its course. They could have gotten faster, more effective relief with migraine medication.
Read more about the study in this news article from Reuters, Migraines common among nasal-allergy sufferers.