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Can Weather Changes Cause Migraines

So How Does The Weather Affect My Migraines

Can the weather change cause headaches?

In general, any sudden change can trigger a headache. If the temperature were to suddenly increase or decrease, that may put you at risk for a headache. If the humidity were to suddenly become very high or very low, a headache becomes more likely. A passing storm or wind system might also trigger a migraine. Going to Denver for a trip, and having a sudden change in altitude might also do it. You may also have headaches while flying, especially during the descent. This headache may also be related to a mismatch between the pressure around you and the pressure in your sinuses.

How Changes In Weather Affect Allergy Symptoms

How Changes in Weather Affect Allergy Symptoms, Headaches, and Pain

Most people think they are having an allergic reaction when they experience allergy-like symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and in some cases, headaches. However, sometimes those symptoms are not an allergic reaction to something, but a sensitivity reaction to the weather. Thats right, changes in the weather, such as barometric pressure fluctuations, temperature changes, and even the change of seasons, can produce allergy-like symptoms including headaches, migraines, and body pain. Find out how in this article.

Am I Allergic to The Weather?

You might have noticed that when the weather suddenly changes, going from a sunny to a rainy or snowy day, you get congested or perhaps develop a headache or migraine or other body pain. If you have seasonal allergies you already know that each season brings specific allergens that can trigger symptoms, like sneezing, runny noses, and wheezing. Certain allergens thrive in certain weather conditions. For example, mold grows in the winter, hay fever is common in the summer, and pollen fills the spring and fall air.

Learn more about seasonal allergies here A Quick Guide to Summer Allergy Symptoms

Understanding How Weather Can Affect Our Body

Treatment for Weather Related Inflammation, Pain and Congestion

Managing Migraines In General

Whatever your specific triggers, the following steps will help you manage your migraines.

Practice good sleep hygiene. Make sure you get enough sleep and try to fall asleep around the same time each night. Interruptions in your sleep schedulesuch as getting too much or too little sleepcan trigger migraines in some people.

Drink plenty of water. Eating regular meals and drinking enough water can help prevent migraines caused by a drop in blood sugar or dehydration. A common recommendation is to drink six or eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. However, some adults may need more, depending on how much they exercise, for example.

Be careful with coffee. Although caffeine can provide migraine relief , too much can cause migraines. Caffeine can be found in chocolate and cocoa beverages such as coffee, tea and colas and certain medications.

Limit alcohol. Blood flow to your brain increases when you drink alcohol. Red wine in particular triggers migraines in many people.

Watch what you eat. Many foods can trigger migraines. A few of the more common ones include peanuts, peanut butter, other nuts and seeds, chocolate, and foods containing tyramine, such as aged cheeses and cured meats.

Exercise regularly. Research has shown that regular, moderate aerobic exercise may reduce the severity, duration, and number of migraines in many people. Regular exercise also helps control stress, another migraine trigger.

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What Can You Do To Prevent And Treat Weather

Although some migraine attack triggers, like red wine, can be avoidedthere is no avoiding the weather! Although moving to another area with perhaps more stable weather can be considered, there are no guarantees that this will work as people all over the world seem to feel that some of their attacks are triggered by certain weather patterns.

What people with migraine and weather sensitivity can do is avoid or manage other triggers within their control when a weather system that they are sensitive to comes along. For example, keep a regular sleep pattern with adequate sleep, dont skip meals, maintain good hydration, and avoid any food triggers that you can. Importantly, manage your schedule during times when the weather may be a problem for you so that you dont get too fatigued or too stressed.

The medications used to treat weather-related migraines are the same as those used to treat other migraine headaches, with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the triptans being the most important medications. If frequent migraine attacks, weather-related or otherwise, are a problem for you, then see your doctor and ask if one of the daily preventive medications might be helpful for you.

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Ways To Ward Off Headaches

Can Monsoons Cause Migraines?

Weather is certainly not the only reason we get headaches. Stress, specific over-the-counter medicines like analgesics or pain killers, hormonal triggers and certain disorders related to sleep for example may also be causes, Dr. Kriegler says.

And while you cant control the weather, you can take steps to minimize the your risk, severity and treatment of a headache or migraine attack by following some best practices.

  • Avoid other triggers when the weather is bad Stay away from foods that cause migraines, like those that contain caffeine, monosodium glutamate and nitrates and youll remove one other trigger factor from the mix.
  • Keep rescue medications handy Discuss these medications with your doctor. If you havent tried rescue medications before, ask your doctor what is available. If you know certain drugs work for you, make sure your prescriptions are up to date to have them at the ready.
  • Ask about preventive options If you go through an especially bad period of migraines, your doctor may want to try medications or other treatments designed to keep migraines at bay before they happen. Sleep deprivation or other sleep issues for example can contribute to a higher frequency of headaches, so its important for you to increase the amount you get each night.
  • Wear sunglasses Besides storms, Dr. Kriegler says bright light and glare from a sunny day or light flickering through trees while someone is driving can also trigger a migraine headache.
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    Which Weather Changes Trigger Migraine Headaches

    The specific weather patterns or changes in weather that might trigger your migraine attacks depends on you. Every person with migraine likely has a unique set of triggers which may include stress, certain foods, alcohol, and other factors. In the same way, some people with migraine are likely sensitive to one weather factor, and others are sensitive to other factors.

    An American study found that some people with migraine appear to be sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Another American study found that higher temperatures increased the number of patients with migraine who went to the emergency department with headache.

    Barometric pressure may be another factor. One study looked at whether falling barometric pressure seemed to trigger headaches during a time when a typhoon hit Japan. It found that 75% of people with migraine had migraine attacks associated with the drop in barometric pressure, while only 20% of people with tension-type headache experienced an attack.

    The amount of sunshine may also be a factor. In a study from Austria, sunshine on more than three hours a day increased the possibility of a migraine, and a Norwegian study found that migraines were more likely during the long summer days in the Arctic.

    In conclusion, many different weather patterns have been found in different research studies to increase the chances of having a migraine attack in some people, but not in others. Just how these weather patterns cause this is not known.

    Barometric Pressure Migraines And Headaches

    Air pressure is closely related to the weather. Barometric changes are a key trigger for many migraine sufferers. For some people, its a sudden drop in pressure and for others, its a rise in pressure. Barometric pressure refers to the pressure in the air or the amount of force that is being applied to your body from the air. For example, when the outside air pressure drops, it creates a pressure difference between the air in our sinuses and outside and can cause head pain. This is similar to what some people experience when flying on an airplane.

    Barometric pressure does not have to change drastically to cause a migraine or headache. If you suffer barometric pressure migraines, consider buying a barometer to help you prepare for and predict the barometric pressure changes that affect you the most. A good barometer is the Ambient Weather WX-228TBH or B10225C.

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    Behind The Forecast: Can The Weather Trigger Migraines

    Listen to Science Behind the Forecast with Meteorologist Tawana Andrew every Friday on 89.3 WFPL at 7:45 a.m.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Weather can affect your health in many ways, including triggering a migraine.

    A migraine is a type of headache that causes severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head, according to the Mayo Clinic. Along with the head pain, someone may suffer from nausea, vomiting, and extreme light and sound sensitivity when dealing with a migraine.

    A migraine trigger is a factor that temporarily increases the chances that a person with migraine will experience a migraine attack, according to the American Migraine Foundation. An individual can have a wide range of triggers. The weather may not trigger a migraine on its own, but coupled with other issues, it can help kick-start the pain, experts say.

    Experts in neurology estimate that changes in the weather are a trigger for more than a third of people who deal with migraines.

    • Dry air
    • Sunlight

    A Japanese study found that 75% of people with migraines had theirs triggered by drops in barometric pressure caused by typhoons only 20% of people with tension-like headaches had an attack in that scenario.

    Researchers say atmospheric pressure changes can cause a pressure difference between the outside of your body and your sinus cavities, as well as the chambers within your inner ear. This difference can cause persistent pain that comes with migraines.

    Weather As A Headache Trigger

    Can weather cause migraines? Health and the Weather

    It’s fairly common for a person with headaches or migraines to subjectively report weather as a trigger for their attacks. While some people cite simply a “change in weather” as their trigger, and others can pin down more specific weather changes like high or low temperatures, humidity, sunlight, wind speed, and dew point.

    For example, one study in Cephalalgia examined over 1200 participants with migraines. Weather was identified as the fourth most frequent migraine trigger, occurring in approximately 50 percent of the participants.

    In another study, in The Journal of Headache and Pain, of 120 people with either migraines or tension-type headaches, the weather was described as the most common trigger.

    Despite these subjective reports, however, studies on the effects of weather on headaches and migraines reveal inconsistent results. This means that in some studies, certain weather changes were linked with whether a migraine or a headache occurred and/or persisted, and in other studies, there was no significant link found.

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    Weather And Altitude Changes

    A person may experience a headache, or a worsened headache, due to:

    • sudden changes in temperature or humidity
    • high or low levels of temperature or humidity
    • a storm, which changes the barometric pressure
    • changes in altitude, such as during plane travel

    Depending on the type and exact cause of a headache, a person may benefit from taking:

    • over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
    • acetaminophen
    • medications called triptans, which treat migraine and cluster headaches

    A doctor may prescribe other or additional treatments, depending on a persons specific symptoms.

    A Temperature Hike Can Trigger Migraines

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      The Weather Channel’s Aches and Pains Index map claims to depict areas of higher or lower levels of weather-related pain. Courtesy of The Weather Channel/weather.comhide caption

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      The Weather Channel’s Aches and Pains Index map claims to depict areas of higher or lower levels of weather-related pain.

      If you suffer migraines when the weather changes, the temperature outside could be to blame. In a new study of thousands of people who showed up in a Boston emergency room with severe headaches, a spike in heat was found to be a strong migraine trigger.

      “This adds weight and evidence to the idea that environmental triggers are important not just clinical folklore,” says Dr. Kenneth Mukamal, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Mukamal says he and his team designed their study, published in the current issue of the journal Neurology, to put that folklore to the test and also “to determine whether air pollutants trigger headaches, much as they have been found to trigger stroke.”

      It’s The Heat Increase That Matters

      It’s not that the hotter it was, the more likely patients were to have a headache, Mukamal stresses. Rather, it is the temperature increase that matters. The risk was greater on days that were “warmer” relative to similar days during the month.

      Know What Triggers Your Migraine

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      Weather Changes And Migraines

      About 53% of people with migraines identified weather changes as the top trigger of their migraine episodes. If you suffer from migraines, you know that when the hot and humid weather starts, a migraine episode will most likely follow.

      According to the International Headache Society, there are several triggers for weather-related migraines:

      • Changes in temperature
      • Bright lights and glare from the sun
      • Increased humidity

      The shift in weather may lead to imbalances in brain chemicals. This includes serotonin, known to influence migraines. But why do weather changes lead to migraines?

      To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and migraines download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

      Migraines And Weather Changes: Are They Really Connected

      Understanding Migraines Caused by Weather

      When migraines hit, they are nothing to mess around with. The pain can be so severe that you are forced to lie down in a cool, dark room until the pain subsides. If you suffer from migraines, you may feel as if you cannot plan anything because you never know when the next headache will hit. This can cause you to have a decrease in your life quality and feel as if you are not living life to the fullest.

      Some people can tell if the weather is about to change because they claim they get a migraine just before or at the same time. However, is this true? If you notice this taking place, you may find the following information very interesting. After taking a closer look at how weather affects migraines, we will discuss what can be done about them to alleviate the pain.

      The truth is, barometric pressure may be to blame. Barometric pressure is the amount of force being applied to your body due to the air around you. Our sinuses are filled with air. This makes them sensitive to any change in air pressure and can bring on headaches or migraines.

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      How Upper Cervical Chiropractors Can Resolve Migraines

      While taking note of and avoiding your triggers can save you from a migraine attack, applying a method to address the root cause of your migraine can give you a lasting solution.

      A study observed 101 migraine patients. All of the patients had a misalignment in the bones of their upper cervical spine, particularly in the C1 or C2 vertebra. Out of the 101, 87 patients recounted having trauma to their neck or head before the onset of their migraines. They all received adjustments from an upper cervical chiropractor. About 97 of them saw improvement in their migraine symptoms, while 85 said their migraines disappeared completely.

      Here at Tranquility Spinal Care in Wapakoneta, Ohio, we employ a gentle technique to encourage misaligned bones to return into place naturally, rather than using force. This stops any undue pressure given to the brainstem because of the misalignment, allowing blood flow to reach the brain properly. Many times, this simple adjustment is just what is needed to put an end to migraines, regardless of any weather conditions.

      To schedule a consultation, call our Wapakoneta office at . You can also click the button below.

      If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

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      When bad weather is impending, vigorous chewing can help the pressure equalise in your sinuses through your mouth, nose, and Eustachian tube and may ward off a pressure headache. And choosing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol may also have the added benefit of stopping nasty respiratory bugs from sticking to your mucus membranes by changing their cell wall structure, according to one study.

      Boosting our natural painkillers, such as serotonin and dopamine, is important too. These neurochemicals block the pain signal on its way to our brain and so can lessen how much pain we feel. They are also intimately involved in our mood, so its no wonder that low serotonin concentrations are triggers for migraine, and we often experience this as a low mood. Its why in the days preceding a migraine episode people often crave chocolate and intimacy, which boosts serotonin, dopamine and the bonding hormone, oxytoxin which is also a powerful painkiller.

      Keeping these neurotransmitters topped up by doing things we like be it chatting with friends or listening to music will ensure good hormonal hygiene, and reduce the impact headaches, even barometric ones, have on our daily lives. So when the weather outside is bad, settling down to watch a movie with a loved one and some chocolate to eat may be as good a remedy as any.

      This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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        How To Prevent Migraines Caused By The Weather

        While you cant control the weather, you can control other potential triggers, says Dr. Crystal. For some people with migraine, it takes a perfect stormpun intendedto trigger an attack. So, she says, if you know your particular weather trigger, make sure to optimize other conditions. For example, if youre worried about a brewing storm, make sure to avoid your known food triggers, get plenty of rest, and practice stress reduction. And of course, make sure to have your medications on hand.

        Moreover, tracking weather can be helpful. I recommend using the WeatherX app, says Dr. Crystal. Once you establish a relationship between weather and your migraines, she says, you can potentially pre-treat with an anti-inflammatory medication.

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