SPRING GIVES ME A HEADACHE

Headaches

Do you notice a spike in your headaches during seasonal changes? Well, you’re not alone. Around two thirds of migraine headache sufferers have reported seasonal variation with the migraine attacks.

Migraines are not just intense headaches, but rather classified as a neurological disorder that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Migraine headaches present as pulsating headaches with other associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound and sometimes visual phenomena known as auras. The basis of migraine headaches is changes in brain activity as well as dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the brain.

There are a range of triggers for migraines, which vary between individuals. One intriguing aspect to migraines is their connection to seasonal changes. While the mechanisms behind this association are not fully understood, research shows that shifts in weather, temperature, humidity and other environmental factors can act as triggers for migraine attacks. Here are a few ways in which seasonal changes may contribute to migraine onset:

 

  1. Weather fluctuations: Rapid changes in weather, such as sudden drops in temperature or shifts between sunny to stormy conditions, have been linked to migraine attacks. It is believed that these changes may affect blood vessels, trigger inflammatory responses or change serotonin levels – all factors known to play a role in migraine development.
  2. Barometric pressure: A decrease in barometric pressure, often preceding a storm, may trigger attacks in some individuals. Researchers believe that these pressure changes may influence vasodilation of blood vessels, potentially triggering migraines.
  3. Temperature and humidity: Extreme hot and cold temperatures, as well as shifts in humidity levels, may also alter the blood flow through vessels and cause increased sensitivity to those prone to migraines.
  4. Light sensitivity: Seasonal changes can also affect light exposure which is a common migraine trigger. This is often seen in summer from the glare.

 

There are several ways of managing migraine attacks. First start with consulting your healthcare professional for a full headache assessment. There are many types of headaches, so it is important to identify which type you are suffering with as this will guide the treatment options available, including medications and physical therapy, which can be tailored to your needs. Tracking your potential triggers by keeping a migraine diary is also valuable. You can include diet, medications and weather changes. This can help identify patterns and make informed adjustments to your lifestyle. Once you know triggers, the best thing is to avoid them as far as possible. For example, if you find light to be a particular trigger, consider wearing sunglasses, hats or using an umbrella to shield you from the sun.

By assessing your seasonal headaches and adopting strategies to manage them, you can work towards reducing the impact of these attacks and improve your overall quality of life.

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