Individuals who suffer from allergic rhinitis, along with migraines, will likely experience more-severe headaches than those without the nasal inflammation, according to researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC), Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, and Vedanta Research.

In analyzing data from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study, researchers discovered that rhinitis occurred in two out of three people with migraine. They noted that the odds of experiencing more frequent headaches for individuals with rhinitis and migraine was 33% greater than those battling migraines without rhinitis.

The study also categorized participants with rhinitis in subsets—allergic, mixed and non-allergic rhinitis. Investigators found that those with mixed rhinitis, individuals experiencing both allergic and non-allergic triggers, were 45% more likely to experience more frequent headaches and 60% more likely to endure headaches more disabling than the other groups.

“We are not sure whether the rhinitis causes the increased frequency of headaches or whether the migraine attacks themselves produce symptoms of rhinitis in these patients,” said lead author Vincent Martin, MD, professor of medicine in UC’s division of general internal medicine, co-director of the Headache and Facial Pain Program at UC.

“What we can say is if you have these symptoms, you are more likely to have more frequent and disabling headaches.”