• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Does the Weather Affect Your Migraine?

A migraine is a condition which is characterised primarily with debilitating headaches often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and temple pain. This condition has multiple triggering factors and yes, change in weather is one of them.

Weather changes have unique effects and have been linked with migraines recently. There are studies which show that 42% of people list changes in weather as a trigger for migraine. Some researchers have said that as a triggering factor weather changes are only second to stress.

How Does Weather Trigger Migraines?

The triggers of migraine vary on a person to person basis. Every person reacts differently to migraine triggers. When it comes to weather as a trigger, the exact mechanism is not known. However, experts have come up with theories for some weather phenomena.

The following weather conditions have been known to trigger migraines:

Increase in Humidity

A rise in humidity levels can lead to dehydration which is a common trigger of migraine. Travelling to humid climates is a common trigger among patients.

Sun Glare and Sunlight

Direct sunlight can trigger a migraine because of a condition called photophobia. It is a condition in which a person is extremely sensitive to light.

Lightning

Weather Trigger Migraines - A lightning strike

Experts believe lightning can trigger migraines, Credits: Pexels


Experts believe that lightning has a specific effect on headaches which is not understood at the moment and requires more research. However, one theory suggests that it occurs because of sferics. Sferics are electromagnetic waves which are emitted by lightning.

There are some other weather phenomena which can trigger migraines but their mechanism of action is not known. They are:

  1. Changes in barometric pressure

  2. Rise and fall of temperature

  3. High-speed winds

  4. Storms

What Can be Done to Deal With Weather Triggered Migraines?

The following activities can be helpful in dealing with migraines:

Identifying Your Trigger

All weather phenomena do not act as triggers to every patient. Each patient has specific triggers. Action can only be taken once you identify the trigger. For example, you can counter humid weather by hydrating yourself more than usual.

Maintain a Detailed Migraine Record

A detailed record will help you in identifying your triggers and it will also help your healthcare provider to guide you towards better management for migraine.

Note the following details: 

  1. The time and date

  2. Location of the pain

  3. Weather changes of the day

  4. Accompanying symptoms

  5. Duration of the migraine

  6. Food intake

A diary for record keeping

Detailed records will help in disease management, Credits: Pxhere


Stay Inside:

Stay Inside to Avoid Harsh Weather

Staying inside will make you less prone to be affected by some specific types of weather changes such as storms and sunlight. Checking weather reports and planning your day accordingly could help you in significantly reducing the frequency of migraines.

Increase Your Water Intake

Increasing the amount of water will be helpful if your migraine trigger is humidity or heat-related. Drinking less water has been linked with migraines.

Be Prepared

Make a habit of checking the weather forecast. The meteorological departments which give weather predictions are often correct and can provide you with information that can help you prepare. Avoiding certain weather phenomena by being prepared will be beneficial.

Avoid Other Triggers

Controlling the weather is not in your hands but other triggers are. Some experts believe that weather triggers often act after combining with other triggers such as food-based triggers. Limiting other triggers will help in reducing the frequency and in some cases intensity of migraines.

Use Shades or Eye Protection Goggles

A man wearing shades

Shades protect you from light-based triggers, Credits: Pexels


Wearing shades will help in avoiding sunlight which is a prominent migraine trigger. Shades can also help with artificial beams of light which can also trigger photo phobia.

Takeaway

Migraine is a complicated condition which unfortunately does not have a cure. However, it can be managed effectively. Weather changes can trigger migraines and it is important to identify what kind of weather affects you.

Treatment is important for migraine. If you suspect that weather changes are triggering your migraines then inform your doctor about it. Use the above-mentioned tips to avoid weather triggers and manage the disease better.

#Migraine #Weatherchangesmigraine

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