Spring Cleaning May Trigger Chronic Migraines

June 7, 2013

Did you procrastinate your spring-cleaning until Memorial Day weekend, or even later?  Don’t worry. You aren’t alone.  For many chronic migraine and allergy sufferers, the thought of housecleaning sends shivers of dread through their body — no doubt triggering chronic migraines.  Stirring up all that dust, dander and dirt; unleashing noxious and toxic fumes from cleansers and aerosols is enough to trigger not only allergic rhinitis but also pain, nausea and other symptoms screaming out for an immediate migraine procedure to stop the agony. 

Allergic rhinitis occurs when people test positive for allergies and experience upper respiratory symptoms from irritants such as animal dander, dust mites and fumes from cleaning fluids. Individuals with chronic migraines are more likely to also be afflicted with allergies.  According to The American Headache Society, research indicates migraineurs are up to three times more apt to have allergic rhinitis.  Symptoms of rhinitis include sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose and post-nasal drip.  While allergy medication can manage these symptoms, there is no substantial research showing that migraines benefit from those treatments.  If you are trying to manage your chronic migraine condition without adding to the list of drugs you already need for your allergies, a migraine procedure may be your optimal treatment.

In the meantime, what can you do if you suffer with debilitating migraines triggered by household allergens but still want your home looking spic and span for summer?

  • Choose cleaning products without powerful bleach or perfume
  • Wear a protective mask over your nose and mouth
  • Vacuum at least once a week with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to control accumulation of dust
  • Minimize clutter where dust mites live
  • Eradicate mold growing in bathrooms
  • Launder bedding at least once a week in hot water
  • Use a damp rag to clear dust and dirt so it doesn’t get circulated into the air
  • Keep ‘Fido’ or ‘Fifi’ out of bedrooms or at least the beds
  • After you’ve dusted, vacuumed and shuffled everything around, get out!  Wait until the dust has settled before coming back into the home to enjoy the sparkle.

The American Headache Society explains how allergies might be triggering your chronic migraines.   Allergic inflammatory reactions cause certain chemicals like histamines, to be released, which may also trigger migraines.  Additionally, upper respiratory inflammation from nasal congestion may affect the nerves in the head that are involved with migraine pain.  Sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression that are associated with allergies are also common migraine triggers.  While it isn’t clear exactly how allergies and migraines are related, it is certainly evident that there is a connection.  A migraine procedure might be an excellent treatment solution for you if you suffer with allergies and chronic migraines. 


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