Air Quality – asthma, allergy, migraines and the kitchen sink

A Kitchen sink in this post?

Air quality has been really bad over the past few days, not so bad in South Wales as the rest of the country, but enough to give my lungs a clogging up, eyes a-stream and the wheezy sneezies. Pretty unpleasant when my lung capacity has taken a dive for the worst.

At first I didn’t realise just what was happening, tuesday morning started off pretty much as usual, a long wake up period for my body after a night in bed, but as the morning progressed I felt substantially worse, eyes began to water, sensation of rhinitis, then dizziness, headache with scotoma and other weirdy wonders of migraine, ie left sided weakness, ataxia, face disolving and rotting hallucinations (won’t go further into this, cause it’s too much to dwell on). Nausea, eurgh, realized too late, but hit the cinnarizine hard. What a wonderful drug, there are few I can honestly say that about but for me it pressses so many buttons.

Only later did I hear on the News that pollution levels had soared due to south-easterlies from the continent coupled with saharan dust in the upper atmosphere. All the warnings were out for those with lung conditions to stay indoors or at least to avoid exercise outside. My kitchen faces south-east, as everyone knows it’s the place to party, well I like to spend most of my time in them with talky radio or selected music… I digressfully ramble…

Not much about HNPP in this post, so I won’t spoil it. Oh allright then, perhaps I will. It’s my baseline, it’s part of how I’m ‘moulded’ or how I’m cast, I can’t escape it, it’s as much part of me as my greying black hair, brown eyes etc. So inevitably what happens to me often has a knock on effect on how HNPP affects me.

What has really intrigued me about the last few days is the relationship between, migraine, allergy, and even the symptoms of  Meniere’s (or should that be MAV or AIED or something else which affects the inner ear). As I’ve said many times before, I have atypical meniere’s disease, the wrong type of hearing loss, starting at a very young age. (AIED – AutoImmune Ear Disease  – perhaps, those allergies again??)

A few years ago I saw a post on the asthma UK forum from a medical researcher from Russia, who had been studying the relationship between asthma, migraine and the trigeminal nerve. This intrigued me but the researcher was reluctant to expand on his findings. Because of the events of the last few days, I’ve had a little persusal of several MD forums and finally this morning did a gooogle search for ‘Allergy migraine’, the first result being this following article from Medscape.

Are Allergies Connected to Migraines?

Here are a few selected quotes,

Evidence indicates that the trigeminal nerve that carries pain impulses from the periphery to the central nervous system may involve more than just the dura mater of the brain, and could encompass mast cells that play a key role in allergies, researchers speculate.


“The nose and sinuses could play a much bigger role in triggering migraine than previously recognized, as trigeminal afferents richly innervate the nose and paranasal sinuses,” said Dr. Martin. “We hypothesize that a hypersensitized trigeminal system in the nose as seen in migraine patients may be activated and sensitized by allergic and nonallergic rhinitis triggers.”


There’s plenty more in the article, but I don’t want to incur the wrath of the bods over at Medscape…

With the previous information about possible hearing loss in MAV (migraine associated vertigo) due to ischaemia of the inner ear during migraine, a pattern seems to be emerging, a pattern that seems to match so closely  my expereince of migraine, sinus-rhinitis, hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus, over the past 43 years and more. But of course this could all be just coincidental and still be separate conditions just happening to all come together.

I haven’t even mentioned HNPP, which may well have no causal association with any of this, but it is there, and as the expert neurologist once said, ‘well all your peripheral nerves are affected by HMSN, but we rarely see it affecting proximal peripheral nerves’ (paraphrased), which doesn’t mean that it can’t just that they don’t see it often. He was primarily talking about CMT1a, which as we know is mostly a length dependent neuropathy, unlike HNPP which is multi-focal and dependent on minor nerve trauma. So as far as I’m concerned the question  about cranial nerve involvement and HNPP  is still open.

(NB The cranial nerves have a proximal peripheral portion, ie part of the PNS, those parts that innervate the muscles and senses, including special senses, of the head, face and throat. Once they pass through the Brain stem they are then considered Central nervous system tracts. There are 2 omissions from this, the optic nerve and olfactory nerves are thought to be purely CNS)


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