Headaches and Allergies

by Stephanie on March 5, 2012 · 0 comments

in Life

My vision is a little funny.  I have one far-sighted eye and one near-sighted eye and a little case of astigmatism.  Despite that, glasses and contacts don’t seem to do much for me and I can see just fine without correction.  However, an eye doctor told me a long time ago that he would expect me to have frequent headaches.  He also said that eventually my eyesight will be a problem and if I start having headaches I should get my eyes checked again.

A few years ago I started having almost daily headaches and naturally, I assumed the problem was my eyes.  This was partially because of what that doctor said several years ago and partially because the headaches normally happened at work while I was staring at a computer screen.  A trip to the eye doctor was in order but because I had never been to one since moving, I went to see my regular doctor first.  I figured at the very least she could confirm that I should have my eyes checked and recommend a good eye doctor.

She did neither.

When I explained about my headaches and how I expected my eyes were the culprit, she did something I didn’t expect.  She looked up my nose.  The following conversation went something like this:

Dr: “Your sinuses are almost entirely blocked.”

Me: “I don’t feel stuffed up at all”

Dr: “Doesn’t matter.  You are.”

Me: “I don’t feel any sinus pressure.”

Dr: “Yes you do.  Your headaches.”

Me: “But they aren’t always in the front of my head or behind my eyes where I expect to feel sinus headaches.”

Dr: “That’s not always how it happens.”

Me: “Oh.”

Here’s where I should probably tell you that I’ve been fighting allergies since I was a kid.  I’m allergic to cats, dogs, and horses (all animals I had growing up), house dust, mold, and other seasonal triggers like ragweed.  Animals are the biggest problem though.  An allergist once told my mom when I was 10 years old that if she wanted me to be healthy she should get rid of all of our animals.  Cut to 3 hours later when my sisters and I are sobbing hysterically thinking my parents might actually listen to the nut job.

Anyone who grew up with animals the way I did know that they can become a part of your family.  My family and I knew that the benefits of animals outweighed their harm so I’ve taken allergy medicine fairly regularly my whole life.  I don’t think my life has been unhealthy because of this.

Seriously, how could I let mild allergies keep me away from this big pile of love??

A few months before I went to the doctor for my headaches I had stopped taking my allergy medicine daily.  I found that after a couple of years I was used to the dogs and they didn’t really bother me anymore.  Turns out they didn’t cause my normal allergic reactions but they were still causing my sinus problems that resulted in my headaches.  The doctor told me to take my allergy medicine even when I didn’t feel I needed it and my headaches went away.

I tell you this story because lately I’ve been having a lot of headaches.  I thought it was the stress and personal upheaval I’ve been experiencing and that may be part of it.  But I also noticed the other day that I haven’t been taking my allergy medicine regularly for a few months.

I think I might know how to remedy this one!

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