An introduction to headache and hayfever
Suffering from a headache can be a miserable experience, making it difficult for you to think or concentrate. Once the cause of a headache has been found, it is often much easier to treat.
Many people do not realise that hayfever can cause headaches. These ‘hayfever, headaches’ tend to be the result of sinus pain and inflammation. It can feel as if there is intense pressure inside the head or behind the eyes.
What types of headaches are there?
There are many different types of headache, but the one most commonly associated with hayfever is a sinus headache.
There are four sinus cavities in the head. These are hollow air spaces connected to the nose by narrow passages which allow mucus and other fluids to drain away.
When the body reacts to pollen, the membranes of these cavities become inflamed, leading to an increase in the volume and viscosity (thickness) of the fluid produced. This mucus cannot drain away easily – resulting in an increase in pressure inside the sinus cavities.
This causes sinus headaches and other similar types of facial pain.
In addition to sinus headaches, it seems that hayfever can also give rise to migraines. The reason why this comes about is still being investigated, but it seems that histamines released during an attack of hayfever can also trigger migraine headaches.
Are there home remedies to help with my headache?
The remedies you try for your headache will largely be dependent on the type of headache you are experiencing. For example, a sinus headache may benefit from treatment with a decongestant, such as holding your head over a steaming pot of water, or breathing in peppermint oil.
Whatever type of headache you experience, it is also important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water or clear fluids. This also helps to thin the mucus building up in your sinuses, helping the substance drain away. Being hydrated also promotes good blood flow and circulation, minimising your risk of developing migraine headaches.
However, the most effective home remedies for hayfever headaches are likely to be those which involve reducing your exposure to pollen such as by avoiding areas of newly cut grass, or wearing glasses when outdoors.
Wash your hands before you touch your face to reduce the amount of pollen from your hands to your nose, mouth or eyes.
Are there herbs to help me?
The most effective herbs in the treatment of hayfever headaches are those which help tackle the root of the problem.
The well-known Swiss naturopath, Alfred Vogel devised a remedy for hayfever combining seven different tropical herbs. This formula can be found in Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets, a non-drowsy remedy which can be used to combat allergies to pollen as well as to animals and dust.
If you are suffering from a sinus headache and feel that a decongestant may ease your symptoms, then Sinuforce Nasal Spray may bring you the relief you are seeking. It relieves nasal congestion, reduces inflammation of mucous membranes and supports the body’s natural protective function.
What about conventional medicines?
It can often be difficult to find an effective treatment for headaches, as it is an individual condition, and often what works for one person will not work for another.
Doctors or pharmacists may suggest painkillers to ease your headache, and while this may help in the short-term, it is not really tackling the root of the problem. Anti-histamines may also be effective, although can be associated with side-effects such as drowsiness, and can often only be taken on a short-term basis.
If your headache persists, or you are concerned about your condition, it is worth speaking to your doctor.