weather-related migraines are common- how can you cope?
Anyone suffering from a migraine attack begins to recognize the triggers over time. It might be a certain kind of food or lack of sleep or stress. Another big reason that not many individuals think about is weather. A change in weather and environmental issues can be responsible for 50 percent of migraine headaches.
Migraine sufferers are sensitive to any kind of environment change and are almost certain to get an attack when exposed to extreme weather conditions.
Some of the potential environment triggers are:
- High humidity
- Extremely dry conditions
- Bright lights and sun glare
- Stormy weather
- High winds
- Barometric pressure changes
Studies show that migraine attacks related to weather are more common in the summer than in the winter. Often individuals prone to such headaches go through the entire winter without experiencing a single migraine attack. But come summer and strong sunshine and many afflicted with regular migraines will start to feel the onset of more frequent, painful headaches. What follows are common symptoms like throbbing pain on one side of the head, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, eye and nerve strain.
Prevention is Better than Cure with Weather-Related MigrainesWeather-related triggers can worsen a headache brought on by another cause such as stress or a certain food. However, unlike other migraine triggers like food or lack of sleep that can be controlled, weather-related headaches are more difficult to avoid. What precautions can you take to prevent them? Here is some useful advice from the team at the New Jersey Headache Institute:
- Avoid going out on a humid, hot day: Stay away from bright, strong sunlight. If you must go, cover your head with a light-colored, cotton scarf or carry an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun.
- Keep a headache diary: If you suspect that the weather is a major trigger for your migraines, maintain a dairy. That is the best way to be sure. Make note of when the pain started, what kind of pain did you experience, how was the weather that day, any symptoms before the migraine started, etc. If a consistent pattern is identified where certain types of weather conditions trigger migraines, more precaution can be taken to prevent and combat the symptoms.
- Stay hydrated: Often humidity and heat combined with dehydration are a cause for migraine. Make sure to drink enough water every day, even in cooler weather when you may not feel as thirsty, or when you are in indoors and don’t sweat much.
- Keep your migraine medicine with you...always: Don't hesitate to take medication if you sense a migraine attack coming. Delaying it will worsen the pain and reduce the effectiveness of the medication when you finally do take it.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices: Eating healthy and on schedule, sleeping well and exercising regularly go a long way in keeping you fit and less vulnerable to migraines.
Treatment For Your Weather-Related Headaches Is Just a Phone Call Away
Call our specialist migraine management team today at 908.315.5707 or use our contact form to book a consultation. Your headache diary can help us to find the right migraine and headache treatment that best suits your individual needs.
Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the New Jersey Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas. Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi's medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.
Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.