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How To Avoid Weather Related Migraines

How To Prevent Sinus Issues When Weather Changes

4 Tips to Prevent Weather-Related Migraines

For most people, a change in the weather isnât a big problem. It means changing their wardrobe and resetting their thermostat. However, for some unlucky individuals, a change in the weather can bring severe sinus problems and can even cause migraine headaches.Read on for tips on preventing weather-related sinus issues, as well as information on when the problem might require a visit to a specialist.

Why Is Weather A Migraine Trigger

Different factors cause different headaches, says Dr. Berk, adding that weather does have an impact.Most often its related to changes in weather patterns rather than just heat or cold, he says. For instance, the humidity and change in barometric pressure can be a common migraine trigger. The migraine brain is sensitive to all kinds of changesand the response to change often is a migraine exacerbation.”

Dr. Pace estimates that in over a third of people with migraines, weather pattern changes are a trigger. Research shows that a change in pressure systemsso when rainstorms come, or high humid states, as well as changes in temperaturecan increase the likelihood of headache. Though it is not completely understood why certain weather conditions can lead to headaches, she says that barometric pressure changes may cause over-excitement of areas of the brain that control pain. Atmospheric pressure changes may also change the pressure within the sinuses and inner ears which can also lead to the experience of pain.

People with migraines tend to be more sensitive to bright light, including sunlight, says Sara Crystal, MD, is a Neurologist who currently serves as medical director for Cove, a digital health program that allows patients to access expert care for their migraines. She also mentions that weather changes may affect serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn triggers attacks.

How To Manage Weather

June is Awareness Month, and many people with migraines say that weather changes trigger headachesespecially extreme heat.

“Migraine is a prime example of a neurologic condition with environmental triggers,” says Orrin Devinsky, M.D., a neurologist at New York University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “Foods are often considered the main trigger, but weather may be an underappreciated factor. For many people with migraine, recognizing their own triggerssuch as food or sleep deprivationcan be one of the most effective forms of prevention,” he says.

According to a recent survey by the National Foundation, specific weather triggers may include:

  • Temperature changes
  • Bright lights and sun glare
  • Barometric pressure changes

Some experts suggest that people with frequent headaches, including migraine, have a lower threshold for pain or are more sensitive to changes in the environment, including weather. On the other hand, several objective studies do not show a consistent association between weather changes and migraine. : 941-52)

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A Combination Of Factors

It’s important to note that while there seems to be a link between migraines, barometric pressure and sunlight, scientists still haven’t found an indisputable correlate when it comes to weather, Dr. Klenofsky says.

“If you ask patients, they can have just as many headaches on bad-weather days as they do good-weather days,” Dr. Klenofsky says. And this is reflected in the research: For example, studies find that people report migraines during both low- and high-barometric-pressure days , she says.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a real connection between migraine headaches and weather, Dr. Klenofsky adds. Rather, it may indicate that migraines can be multifactorial. In other words, a variety of weather variables and triggers can produce migraines, and these factors differ from one person to another.

“We, as a scientific community, have yet to identify a concrete mechanism of migraine,” Dr. Klenofsky says. “It may be that a lot of the brain and what it does continues to elude us, but it also very well may be that migraine can occur from a multitude of mechanisms.”


Still not sure about the source of your headaches? Work with your doctor to try to determine the root cause or causes.

Why Weather Only Affects Some People

Understanding Migraines Caused by Weather

Why does the weather only affect some people with chronic pain? One reason might be the level of pain you experience. This could happen at both ends of the spectrum. If your pain is fairly light, or very severe, small changes might not be noticeable. Still, the more logical reason for the difference may have to do with nerve endings.

When nerves are compressed, they become more sensitive. So, if a nerve ending is located in an area that changes with pressure, then you might notice the changes in weather more. On the other hand, someone with nerve endings in a more stable body part might not feel the changes as dramatically.

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Why Would The Weather Influence Migraine

  • Pollution surges are associated with increased visits to the ED for migraine. Smoke and air pollutants are inflammatory and stimulate receptors that may trigger migraines. Stay inside. Consider air purifiers.
  • Cold may trigger muscle tensions in the shoulders and neck. Do stretches, use a warming device.
  • Bright summer days and light on the snow can trigger visual auras. Wear super-star glasses and a hat.
  • Hot, humid air causes vasodilation and may be a trigger too. Stay cool.
  • Dry heat can lead to dehydration. Hydrate more than usual.
  • Regarding barometric pressure, there is no clear explanation yet on how it could influence migraine.

Yes, our bodies and brains are influenced by the weather in different ways.

Tips For People Who Get Chinook Headaches

A Calgary doctor and migraine expert says while some evidence suggests chinooks contribute to migraines, the best way to manage the painful headaches involves reducing other triggers.

“Most migraine attacks are triggered by more than one thing. Their triggers add up: whether it’s stress, an overbooked schedule, a chinook, a glass of wine,” Dr. Werner Becker told CBC News.

Becker, a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, said pain relievers like triptans should not be taken too often because they could increase the frequency of migraines.

He says avoiding meals is a bad idea. Instead, he recommends people try to stay hydrated, get lots of sleep and avoid or reduce caffeine intake.

Try not to overload your schedule, because too many commitments can increase stress, which can also be a trigger, he explained.

Daily preventative medications could help people who experience four migraines a month or less, Becker said.

But some Calgarians say it’s about trial and error to find what works best for them.

“Extra strength Advil works for me, as long as I catch it in time,” Heather Laird said. “Otherwise I just lay in a bedroom with the lights out.”

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Beware Of Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a significant role in terms of migraines. Many women tend to experience more migraine headaches during, or just before, their menstrual period. Women should be especially vigilant with their diet and exercise habits during this time. This will ease symptoms before they begin. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy may increase the frequency and severity of migraines. Some women may find relief by switching to another form of birth control, while others may find they have fewer migraines while taking birth control.

How To Survive Migraines Triggered By Weather Changes

Is there a maintenance medicine that can help prevent a weather-related headache?

Summer is here! Many people look forward to the hot weather, but not migraine sufferers. People living with migraines tend to dread summertime as the weather changes may trigger another distressing set of migraines.

Migraines are known to bring about severe, pounding or throbbing headaches. They may also involve nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to loud sound, bright light, and strong odors. One migraine trigger is weather changes, and well discuss more about it in this post, including how the nearest chiropractor for migraine relief in Wapakoneta, OH can help you.

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Exploring Options For Relief: Medications & Medical Interventions

There are many decongestant and antihistamine remedies available in todayâs pharmaceutical market. Some are effective, while others are less so. Whether or not medications will be effective depends on the type of problems being experienced, as well as their severity. Some of these issues are too severe and complex to be effectively treated with medications, and thatâs where medical interventions come into play.A balloon sinuplasty treatment can help chronic sufferers without the painful traditional surgical procedures of cutting through nasal bone and tissue. Balloon sinuplasty allows a specialist to clear out the sinuses with no incisions. This means patients feel less pain and heal more quickly than with other types of sinus treatments.Anyone seeking relief from severe sinus problems may benefit from a consultation with the friendly professionals at the American Sinus Institute, where we employ the minimally-invasive Honrubia Technique in our balloon sinuplasty procedures. Please contact us today for more information.

Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Developing healthy lifestyle habits can be helpful for mitigating barometric pressure headaches . For example, proper nutrition and regular exercise help build a strong immune system, which can stave off sickness when the weather shifts, Dr. Klenofsky says.

Similarly, keeping a consistent sleep schedule can reduce your migraine risk, as sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher incidence of headaches, per the Cleveland Clinic.


Trying relaxation techniques before bed and sleeping in a dark, cool and quiet room may also help you get some solid shut-eye.

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How Do I Avoid Weather

1. Track your attacks and the weather.

Not every sufferer is sensitive to every trigger, so the first step is to start keeping a headache diary to figure out which weather conditions are affecting you. In addition to all the usual info you need to jot down when youâre tracking migrainesâlike when the attack happened, your symptoms, and any treatments you usedâyou should also include some data about the weather, like the temperature and the barometric pressure. Your observations can also be useful â if today felt a lot hotter than yesterday, for example, that would be worth writing down.

Once youâve been keeping track of your attacks for a while, youâll be able to look back and see if there are any patterns.

2. Plan ahead to avoid migraine-triggering weather.

Once youâve figured out which types of weather are triggers for you, youâll be able to arrange your schedule to make attacks less likely, or at least be prepared if you get one. For example, if you know you tend to get a migraine the day after a thunderstorm, start canceling your plans as soon as you see lightning. For obligations that canât be rescheduled, make sure you have acute medication on hand and a plan to get home fast if needed.

3. Consider moving to a different area.

Keep An Eye On Weather Patterns

MigraineX® Developed to help prevent weather related ...

Make it a daily habit to check the forecast in your area. If you notice bad weather in the next few days, be prepared. For instance, the day before a storm you might not want to plan a lot of physical activity. Also, if your doctor agrees, it might be worth adjusting any medication you use for pain. This could take some experimenting again, with a doctors guidance.

Lets say you know a storm is coming. You might get the best results by taking more medication 24 to 48 hours before the change in weather. That way, your body is prepared before the barometric pressure begins to fall. This kind of preventative measure may take the edge off the pain before it gets much worse.

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Get Plenty Of Sunshine

The sun is just one of the best ways to naturally boost your serotonin levels which helps interrupt a trigeminal nerve reaction that leads to headaches. This way, you are doing something good for yourself while still getting some vitamin D along with it all!

And if going outside isnt an option, try and have enough light around in whatever room you spend the most time in during the day. It could even be a lamp on your desk or nightstand, so there is no lack of exposure when trying to get sunlight inside your body from wherever you might be sitting.

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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Can Bad Weather Really Cause Headaches

In this article, Professor Amanda Ellison explores the connection between headaches and the weather, and explains how to reduce the impact that headaches have on our daily lives.

We all know somebody who claims they can predict the weather with their body. Whether its your arthritic relative who knows rain is on the way when their knees ache or your lifelong pal who gets a headache when a storm is approaching. Having , I hear a lot from people I meet about headaches that are related to the weather. But as it turns out, there actually is a scientific basis for why some people are able to sense changes in the weather by the headaches they cause.

While its difficult to say how many people actually suffer from weather-related headache, research shows over 60% of people who suffer from migraines think theyre sensitive to the weather. In 2015, researchers who collected daily sales figures of a headache medication in Japan showed that sales peaked significantly when average barometric pressure decreased. This often happens before bad weather.

But why do these headaches happen? There are two mechanisms of action here.

Both of these will at the very least cause a generalised headache in those who are sensitive to pressure changes. But even small drops in pressure have been correlated with increases in migraine episodes in sufferers.

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About the author

Elizabeth Millard

Elizabeth Millard lives in Minnesota with her partner, Karla, and their menagerie of farm animals. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including SELF, Everyday Health, HealthCentral, Runnerâs World, Prevention, Livestrong, Medscape, and many others. You can find her on and .

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How The Weather Affects Your Migraines

If your migraines are impacted by weather conditions, youre not alone. Many MyMigraineTeam members find that barometric pressure changes changes in the air pressure in Earths atmosphere can trigger migraines. In fact, more than one-third of people with migraines notice a connection between weather changes and their headaches, according to a 2017 study of atmospheric pressure and headache pain.

Researchers are not sure why weather changes trigger migraine headaches. They believe that falling barometric pressure may cause an imbalance in brain fluids that can trigger a migraine attack in those who are sensitive. Weather changes can also worsen a headache caused by other migraine triggers.

  • Bright sunlight and sun glare.
  • Extreme heat or cold.
  • Stormy weather.
  • High winds.

Rainy, cloudy, overcast, snowy, cold, all trigger my migraines big time, said one MyMigraineTeam member. When I wake up with a migraine, I know some crazy pressure system is moving in, shared another. I can feel a storm coming before its even known by the weather person, said a third member.

What Is Barometric Pressure

Barometric pressure is the force exerted on our bodies by the atmosphere and the air around us. Our body adjusts the pressure in our ear and sinus cavities to try to match the pressure inside our heads to the pressure outside our bodies. A sudden change in barometric pressure would cause a mismatch. While we wait for our body to adjust, the barometric pressure is different from the pressure in our sinuses and inner ears. This mismatch in pressure can trigger our pain pathways. Blood vessels in our head can widen and substances that trigger pain sensations can be released. In fact, in people who have migraines, sudden changes in barometric pressure can trigger the same mechanisms involved in having a migraine.

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Reasons Why Weather Changes Trigger Migraines

High humidity and dry conditions

Summer makes dehydration much worse. The Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute explaines that when the body loses a lot of water and sodium due to sweating, migraines can ensue.

Sunlight and bright lights activate photosensitivity, the increased sensitivity to lights. This can lead to migraines. It is often experienced by those who suffer from migraines with an aura.

Barometric pressure

A study found that even a small decrease in barometric pressure can trigger a headache, the main symptom of migraines. Fluctuations in barometric pressure may affect the pressure in the brain or how the brain blocks pain signals.


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