Can Asthma Trigger Chronic Migraines?
If you experience an asthma attack or a migraine, similar changes occur throughout your body. During an asthma attack, inflammation in the lining of the airways restricts airflow. Similar inflammation occurs during a migraine but affects the blood vessels in the head. These similarities could be a link between asthma and chronic migraines.
Studies suggest that people who have asthma and episodic migraines are twice as likely to develop chronic migraines compared to those who do not suffer from asthma. Additionally, the same studies found that severe asthma symptoms can increase the chance of chronic migraines. This link is believed to be allergy related. Approximately 85% of people with asthma also have allergies. When the body comes in contact with allergens, it releases histamines, prostaglandins, and tryptase—all specific antibodies—from mast cells. These mast cells sit close to certain nerves in the head that are responsible for causing headaches and migraines.
Also, a recent study shows that people with asthma may have hyperactive parasympathetic nervous systems—the system responsible for slowing heart rate and relaxing muscles. When this system overreacts, it may cause problems with asthma and trigger frequent migraine attacks.
However, there are other possibilities to consider when it comes to asthma and migraines. Some medical professionals believe that environmental and genetic factors are at play. For example, air pollution, smoke, perfumes, and other strong scents can trigger both asthma and migraines, without there being a direct link between the two health conditions.
If you suffer from asthma and migraines, it may be time to see your doctor. He or she can offer some treatment options that can help you find relief. For more information visit www.wasatchallergy.com