Allergy & Asthma Center, P.C., is an allergy practice based in Eugene, Corvallis, and Roseburg, Oregon.
Our practice includes allergists:
Appointments are available in the following locations in Oregon:
An allergist is a physician trained to diagnose, treat, and manage asthma and allergies, whether they are related to or caused by foods, environmental factors (such as pollen), drugs, or topical substances. Conditions that an allergist commonly treats include the following:
For your information, each month we feature a topic of interest to our readers. Please read our current Topic of the Month below. To read previous articles that we have featured, please visit our Topic of the Month page.
January 2015 Topic of the Month
About 70-80% of the North American population has headaches, with 50% experiencing at least one headache per month, 15% experiencing at least one weekly, and 5% daily. The occurrence of headaches rises sharply during the second decade of life. Then it levels off until the age of 40-50 years, after which it decreases.
While the majority of headaches are not a sign of a serious or life-threatening illness, they often affect quality of life. There are occasions where allergies or sinus problems can lead to a person having headaches.
Headaches with rhinitis (hay fever) are common and may be due to sinus disease in and around the nasal passages. A sinus headache is hard to identify since headache specialists consider true sinus headache to be fairly rare. Recent studies suggest that patients who appear to have sinus headaches frequently have migraines.
People who have headaches that seem like they’re originating in the sinus should be carefully evaluated by a physician. Making the right diagnosis is important because primary headache disorders like migraines need a very different treatment compared with rhinosinusitis.
Acute sinusitis occurs when there is a bacterial infection in one or more of the sinuses in your head. Sinusitis is often over diagnosed as a cause of headaches because of the belief that pain over the sinuses must be related to the sinuses. In reality, pain in the front of the head is more often caused by migraines. Migraines are confused with true sinus headaches because of their similar locations. Headaches attributed to acute bacterial rhinosinusitis are a specific, rare diagnosis. Antibiotics are often used for treatment. Other options include steam, corticosteroids, and decongestants. If sinusitis does not respond to medical treatment, surgery may need to be considered.
Chronic rhinosinusitis is one of the most common problems experienced with allergic rhinitis and can occasionally lead to headaches. Patients may also describe experiencing “sinus headaches.” However, it is controversial whether constant blockage of the nasal passages caused by allergic inflammation can lead to chronic headaches. Patients who experience blocked nasal passages should visit an allergist for testing. An allergist can find out what you are allergic to and help you manage your symptoms. Treatment strategies could include steps to avoid specific allergens, medications, or allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots).
The criteria below are used by physicians to diagnose rhinosinusitis headaches:
The majority of people with self-diagnosed sinus headaches are really suffering from migraines, which is why it is important to see a doctor to get a correct diagnosis. Research also supports a link between migraine and allergy, so your physician will consider both migraine headache and sinus headache if you are experiencing headaches and allergic rhinitis.Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology