This Fall, you may have noticed changes in migraine frequency or severity, prompting you to ask: can seasonal changes cause migraine headaches?
It turns out, weather-related triggers can wreak havoc on your head. There are quite a few reasons people who suffer migraines are more sensitive than other people to seasonal changes.
Today, we’ll take a look at the conditions that tend to trigger migraines and what you can do to prepare for weather changes and seasonal transitions.
If you’re looking for a neurologist in Atlanta, Georgia, who can guide you through the Fall season, give us a call today!
First, let’s examine what a migraine is and how it differs from other headaches.
What Is A Migraine?
Many people are all too familiar with the traits and characteristics of the dreaded migraine. This painful neurological condition often involves multiple symptoms.
If you’re unsure what type of headache you’re experiencing, a neurologist in Atlanta Georgia, can help you with diagnosis and treatment.
A migraine comes with one or more of the following:
• Sensitivity to light
• Sensitivity to sound
• Throbbing pain – usually on one side of the head: left side, right side, front, back, or temples
Other things to note about migraines:
• They often run in families
• They can begin in childhood or adulthood
• Symptoms may start 1-2 days before the headache
• Early-stage symptoms include: depression, irritability, neck stiffness, cravings
• People describe migraine pain as pounding, throbbing, debilitating
Within the migraine category, there are several unique types. Seasonal changes might trigger any of these migraine headaches.
Migraine With Aura: Also known as the classic migraine, this type occurs in around 25% of individuals with migraines. A migraine with aura includes at least three of the following: visual problems, sensory problems, speech or language problems, eye problems, brainstem problems.
Chronic Migraine: Individuals who suffer chronic migraines experience severe tension or migraine headaches more than 15 days a month for three or more months.
Acute Migraine: If someone has headaches up to 14 days a month, their migraine is acute.
Optical Migraine: Sometimes referred to as an ocular migraine, this headache is relatively rare and only affects one eye. Symptoms may include temporary loss of vision, blind spots, and flashes of light. Optical migraines are not necessarily painful.
Vestibular Migraine: Also know as migraine-associated vertigo. Around 40% of people who have migraines experience vestibular symptoms. These migraines cause dizziness, affect balance, or both.
Seasonal Changes And Migraines
What is it about seasons or weather changes that might prompt a migraine? Headache sufferers tend to be more sensitive to several factors.
Seasonal migraine triggers can include:
• Extreme hot or cold
• Barometric pressure change
• Dry air
• Bright sunlight
• Sun glare
• High wind
• Stormy weather
• Dehydration caused by perspiration
• Longer/shorter days and changing sleep patterns
Why do these seasonal changes cause migraines? There are several possibilities. Weather changes may cause chemical imbalances in some people. For example, an imbalance in serotonin can prompt a migraine.
Other people are more sensitive to changes in temperature, light, high wind, or barometric pressure. While all the reasons seasonal changes cause migraines are unknown, there are steps you can take to mitigate migraines and steer clear of their painful symptoms.
An expert neurologist in Atlanta Georgia can help you navigate the changing seasons. A personalized plan allows you to live with confidence and make sense of confusing seasonal triggers.
Relief For Seasonal Migraines
You can’t stop the changing of the seasons, but you can take action!
Managing your migraines during triggering seasons is possible. Here are a few preventative measures that can help:
• Reduce the frequency and severity of migraines by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Take extra care during seasonal changes to exercise, drink plenty of water, commit to sufficient sleep, and manage stress through meditation or breathing exercises.
• Many migraine sufferers have kept diaries for food triggers. Doing the same for seasonal triggers is an excellent idea. Keep track of exactly when your migraines occur as well as severity. Note the unique weather conditions of that day. Doing so can help you identify specific triggers to avoid.
• Once you identify potential triggers, avoid them as much as possible. If cold and high wind gives you a migraine, try to stay inside and away from these conditions if you can.
• Maintain a consistent schedule. A brain that struggles with migraines is most happy with a set schedule.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are Fall migraine triggers?
Common Fall triggers are falling temperatures, barometric pressure changes, shorter days affecting your sleep schedule, and decreased humidity.
What are Winter migraine triggers?
Winter migraine triggers might include cold, dry air that causes dehydration, barometric pressure changes, and increased heating in your home.
What are Spring migraine triggers?
In Spring, allergic inflammation and changes in barometric pressure can prompt migraines.
What are Summer migraine triggers?
Triggers in Summer can include perspiration that leads to dehydration, longer days changing sleep patterns, and extreme heat.
If you’re searching for a neurologist in Atlanta, Georgia, give us a call today!
We’re ready to assist with top-tier care. We build a comprehensive treatment plan to address your unique issues with seasonal migraines. Our cutting edge technology and commitment to excellent support enable us to provide world-class diagnosis, management, and treatment.
At Georgia Neurosciences in Atlanta, our doors and hearts are open – let us know how we can best serve you!