One of the most common and difficult to avoid triggers for migraine patients is the weather. What types of weather conditions can trigger a migraine? Do researchers understand why this occurs? What can you do to avoid a migraine if the weather is your predominant trigger? We’re going to help you learn about weather-related migraines and provide hope that natural relief is possible.
What Weather Conditions Trigger Migraines?
There are seven primary weather triggers for migraines according to the International Headache Society. These are:
- Temperature Changes – Be on guard if your weather seems like it’s about to change seasons from one day to the next.
- High Humidity Levels – When humidity is going to hit 100% for a day or two, you may be in for a migraine.
- Stormy Weather – Researchers have found that migraines become more common when lightning strikes are occurring in the area.
- High Winds – Gusty winds can trigger a migraine.
- Barometric Pressure Changes – This is also related to storms as they are often the cause of a sudden barometer change, but even if the storm just misses your area, the barometer can still be affected.
- Extremely Dry Conditions -This may be related more to the fact that dehydration can trigger headaches.
- Sunny Days – If bright lights can trigger a migraine, sun glare certainly can.
Why Does the Weather Trigger Migraines?
While you now know which weather conditions can potentially trigger a migraine, you may be wondering why. Unfortunately, researchers don’t really understand this phenomenon either. They do have a few theories. For example:
- Dehydration can lead to headaches or even migraines, so the problem may be related to certain weather conditions leading to a dehydrated state.
- Photophobia – a painful form of light sensitivity – is a common issue for migraineurs.
- Regarding stormy weather, researchers postulate that it may be related to fungal sports released by lightning strikes, electromagnetic waves that affect brain function, or pressure changes in the brain that accompany pressure changes in the air.
So if your migraine journal tells you that the weather is a trigger for your migraines and researchers have numerous theories as to the underlying problem, is there anything you can do to control migraines that are related to the weather?
9 Tips for Controlling Weather-Related Migraines
Here are 9 ways that you may be able to avoid a migraine, even if the forecast is predicting your most common trigger.
- Drink more water – This is especially important if your migraines are related to dry weather and humidity levels. Dry weather can dry out your body. Humid weather can cause you to sweat out vital fluids. Increasing your water intake can fight dehydration and maybe even prevent a migraine.
- Don’t leave the house – Controlling the climate in your own home (humidity levels, pressure levels, and temperature) may help you avoid a migraine.
- Get new glasses – There are many options for coatings on glasses that can reduce glare, UV, and even the blue light produced by electronic screens. If bright lights are your trigger, don’t leave home without your sunglasses.
- Buy a barometer – If you can see the barometric levels changing, you may be able to use stress-reducing exercises and other methods for eliminating external circumstances that can lead to migraines.
- Don’t rely on the forecast – Don’t cancel your plans for next weekend because there is a 70% chance of rain. By Friday they may reduce that to 30% or even take rain out of the forecast altogether. You may just have to learn to be flexible with your plans. Understanding friends and family members will be okay with last minute changes to the itinerary.
- Watch non-weather triggers – Weather triggers are the toughest to control. Others are a lot easier. So be sure to give yourself the best shot at avoiding a migraine by knowing your other triggers and staying away from them.
- Move – This is one of the most drastic options. But if storms are your trigger, you could try going somewhere drier. If dry weather is your problem, you could move somewhere with a lot of rain and some humidity.
- Upper cervical chiropractic – A misalignment in the top two bones of the neck can lead to migraines. It doesn’t matter what your triggers are if you relieve the underlying issue.
Hope for Migraine Sufferers
Upper cervical chiropractors are bringing hope to those who suffer from debilitating migraine attacks. You may have noticed that your migraines are frequently associated with neck pain. In fact, about 75% of patients report neck pain either in the 24 hours prior to or during a migraine. Why is this the case?
An upper cervical misalignment can affect the entire central nervous system. Intracranial pressure may occur if cerebrospinal fluid fails to drain properly. Blood flow to the head can be inhibited. Even brainstem function may be affected if the bones that are in place to protect the brainstem are even slightly out of position.
If you are suffering from migraines, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, you should get an examination from an upper cervical chiropractor. Worst case scenario, you have no misalignment and you rule out a possible underlying cause. Best case scenario, correcting an existing misalignment relieves your migraines in as little as one or two adjustments. Schedule a consult today to learn more about what upper cervical chiropractic care may be able to do for you.
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