How To Cope With Seasonal Migraine Episodes
When seasons change, it’s not only the weather and surroundings that change. A person’s mood also gets affected by it. Seasonal changes bring joy to some, but for some, it is spending time with the unwelcome guest – seasonal migraines. As the flower blossoms, the sun starts shining, spring turns into winter, and vice versa.
The individual starts experiencing severe headaches, often accompanied by nausea and irritation. This condition can last for hours or even days. If you or someone you know experiences this, this article explains seasonal migraines, why weather shifts trigger them, and effective coping strategies to weather the storm.
What Are Migraines and Why Weather Changes Trigger Migraines?
Migraines are headache episodes usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and cognitive impairment. They are severe and pulsating to the extent that the person often wants to be left alone and sit in a quiet, dark space to find relief. Alongside the pain, migraines even bring on sensitivity to light and sound, and the individual struggling with it just wants to lie down or sit quietly.
There is no specific reason why a person has migraines. However, environment and individual mental health play a role in it, and the condition is common among adults between 25-55 years.
This is why seasonal change is considered a common trigger for migraine headaches. As the weather changes, our body tries to adapt to these changes and becomes sensitive to environmental shifts. Some individuals endure it, while for others, the sudden barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity alterations disrupt their internal equilibrium and trigger headaches and discomfort.
Seasonal Migraine Triggers
Migraines can be triggered due to several reasons. However, the most common and notorious triggers that bring up the migraine are –
- High humidity levels
- Rapid fluctuations in temperature
- Pollen and allergies
- Change in atmospheric pressure
- Stress during freezing and hot weather.
These triggers cause an imbalance in brain chemicals and can prompt a migraine attack. Therefore, one should always keep the triggers in mind so that proactive measures can be taken to deal with the impact of migraine.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Seasonal Migraines
In most cases, the treatment for seasonal migraine is the same as for chronic migraine. However, the key to preventing migraines is to avoid triggers. Those fighting seasonal migraines should seek professional medical advice to get a treatment plan. A doctor can examine the individual, confirm the diagnosis, and develop treatment strategies so that the individual can get some relief.
Never take any medication without a prescription because your triggers might differ from someone else. As each individual is unique, so is their body composition and things that affect them.
Tips to Manage Seasonal Migraines:
1. Monitor Weather Changes:
To cope with seasonal migraines, check the forecast and stay informed about upcoming weather shifts. Knowing when changes are likely will help you prepare and take preventive measures.
2. Stay Hydrated:
A hydrated body means a sound mind. When your body is properly hydrated, it can easily respond to weather fluctuations. Drink 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day.
3. Establish a Routine:
Maintain a regular sleep schedule and meal times. Consistency in your daily routine helps set your body’s internal clock. Always get a good sleep and avoid using electronic devices before going to bed.
4. Identify and Avoid Triggers:
Recognize and steer clear of known migraine triggers, including specific foods, beverages, or activities. Keeping a migraine journal can help you understand your triggers and steer clear of them.
5. Stress Management:
Engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. Managing stress is essential, as it is a common migraine trigger. If you are feeling stressed as the weather is about to change and you will suffer from migraines, try to focus on things that relax you. Try to move out and get involved in activities you enjoy.
6. Create a Calm Environment:
When a migraine strikes, seek a quiet, dimly lit space. Minimize sensory stimuli and use a cold compress on your forehead or the back of your neck. This can provide relief from pain and help soothe your head.
7. Consider Medication:
If you have some prescribed medication, use it if things don’t work. In addition, when suffering from headaches, limit screen time, especially staring at a computer or phone screen for extended periods, which can contribute to eye strain and potentially trigger migraines.
Can SAD Cause Migraine Headaches?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression associated with seasonal variations, can intensify migraine symptoms. Seeking professional support for SAD is crucial, as it can lead to improved management of both conditions.
Seasons will change, but it doesn’t mean you always fear having a migraine. By recognizing what sets off your headaches, getting the right diagnosis, and taking steps to prevent them, you can savor the beauty of each season without getting depressed. Your health and well-being should always be your top priority; hence, you must take all the precautions you can to avoid any situation that might lead to an unwelcoming condition.
Like in a movie, as the hero can overcome challenges, you can also find the right strategies to handle seasonal migraines effectively. Don’t let weather changes bring you down. Take proactive measures, keep yourself hydrated, sleep well, care for yourself, and seek help from a medical professional.
The triggers can differ for each season, so you must be mindful of them to reduce your symptoms. Living with migraines doesn’t mean you have to endure the pain silently. You can manage seasonal migraines by understanding your triggers and finding a treatment plan. While there’s no cure for migraines, various medications can assist in managing these debilitating seasonal episodes.