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Grand Rapids Allergy


Let’s Head for Migraine Relief

Posted on July 17, 2017

The bright sunlight coursing through a cloudless sky. Your favorite band live in concert. Late night board game-playing sessions. Splitting a bottle of Cabernet with your best friend. Managing a team at work on a multi-facetted project.

These are moments in time which can exhilarate your mind, lift your mood, and collect another memory; moments such as these, however, can also induce or aggravate migraines.

Unlike a common headache, migraines bring intense, severe pain and are often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vision problems, and sensory sensitivity. Migraines occur when blood vessels in the brain or sinuses dilate. The result of this is a release of inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals are what trigger the pain nerves in your body.

I know what you’re asking: “Wait, is my body working against me? Why is my body inducing its own pain?”

The reason for the “self-inducing pain” is simple, really. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and you need to rest or go easy on that area so it can heal.

This information may be all well and good, but the big question is this: what can you do to prevent or alleviate your migraines?

Surprisingly, about 15% of sufferers can blame allergies for their migraines and other headaches. Up to 33% of people with allergic rhinitis (hay fever, to the layman) may suffer from chronic headaches. Other triggers include stress, medication, caffeine, alcohol, sleep deprivation, and food additives.

What can you do when a migraine rears its ugly head? Here are a few tips:

  • Find a dark, quiet environment in which you can lie down and sleep for a while. A non-aspirin sedative may help you sleep through the migraine.
  • Take a non-narcotic analgesic such as aspirin, ibprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
  • As counter-intuitive as it sounds, many migraine medications include caffeine, which can be a useful adjunct to migraine relief when taken in moderation.
  • Many allergy relief measures can relieve allergy-induced migraines. Nasal saline irrigation, nasal steroids, or short term use of decongestants have proven helpful for some patients. If the sufferer is a young child or has any heart conditions, please consult a physician before trying these methods.
  • Do your headaches always come in the spring or fall? Is it predominantly in the form of sinus pressure? It’s possible that seasonal allergies may be involved. Try closing your windows and turning on the air conditioning instead, and be sure to shower every evening and put on clean clothes afterwards.
  • If your migraines are reoccurring, talk to an allergy specialist about prophylaxis (preventative) measures or medications that may lessen your migraine frequency.

The doctors at Grand Rapids Allergy can provide you with a more thorough list of potential migraine-triggering foods and additives, and talk with you about the possibility of medication or other relief measures. Contact Grand Rapids Allergy to start towards a migraine-free life today!

Grand Rapids Allergy has served the west Michigan area for over 40 years. We’re working to treat allergies at the root level with personalized treatment plans based on your unique allergy profile.

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