Ever noticed that during the season change you seem to get more headaches, and these headaches can sometimes turn into migraine headaches.
These are believed to be caused by barometric pressure changes and are considered the main cause for migraine headaches during the erratic weather changes during a seasonal changeover.
Migraine Triggers in the Environment
Barometric pressure Migraines headaches can be particularly intense due to a variety of triggers in the environment during these seasonal changes. It is also a time of year when the weather can dramatically change from day to day without much warning at all.
During the season change there can often be smoke in the air from fire reduction burning or the beginning of winter fireplace heating, and this, in turn, puts smoke and particles out into the air. It is also often a fairly gusty or windy time of year too so this can really play havoc with allergies and sinuses at the same time.
If your susceptible to migraine headaches during these weather changes and the migraines are frequent during this time of the year for you, then it may be possible you are someone who suffers from seasonal migraines.
Which Season Causes Migraine Headaches?
It doesn’t have to be one particular season it can be spring to summer, winter to spring, summer into autumn (fall) and so on. It really just refers to the changing environmental conditions and atmospheric pressure changes in the air during the changing weather patterns of the seasons, and these conditions could be causing migraine headaches.
Sometimes the weather changes can bring about changes in the air such as pollen in the wind which adds to allergies, which then can cause sinus and blockages that can be painful in themselves. This is quite often a common problem for me during the spring.
I often get sinus pain and have to find measures to combat this. It really helps me to reduce my sinus issues so that it doesn’t add to the pain I get when a migraine occurs.
Can Thunderstorms Cause Headaches?
Seasonal weather changes and their effects on migraines headaches is still fairly under-studied. The understanding of an electrical storms relationship and migraine headaches is not yet fully understood.
So, can thunderstorms cause headaches? I think there is no question they have some effect as many migraine sufferers will tell you they know when a thunderstorm is on the way because they can feel a migraine headache is descending down upon them.
Stormy weather and thunderstorms have long been a concern for people who contract migraine headaches. It is thought that these dramatic pressure changes and electrical energy changes in the surrounding atmosphere can affect our brain chemicals and electrical energy patterns. So, if serotonin is triggered during these weather occurrences, that for some people is enough to give them an intense migraine.
Can Warm Weather Cause Headaches?
Warmer summer weather can also be a concern for migraine headaches in those who are sensitive to the weather changes. The humidity can be a cause of sweating and dehydration. In the warmer months like spring and summer, you can also get barometric pressure changes and that could be your trigger for a seasonal migraine.
During the summer months, the glare or strong light from the sun and dramatic changes in light can also be a cause of migraines in some people, especially for those that are particularly sensitive to light (photophobia).
Wearing normal sunglasses can help to reduce eye strain in the sunlight for most people but they may not be the best choice of protective glasses – for a migraine sufferer who is sensitive to light changes.
There are migraine glasses available from and Axon Optics have done a number of studies that have been developed with a lens that filters specific light colours and could help to further reduce the light sensitivity, far more significantly than sunglasses, in migraine sufferers. Axon Optics make migraine glasses that will fit over your prescription glasses and have done a variety of studies regarding a migraine and the effects of light sensitivity.
Reducing the eye strain caused by light sensitivity is thought to reduce the brain activity that can be a cause of migraines in some people. These glasses have been developed specifically to help migraine sufferers who have symptoms and triggers from photophobia. These special migraine light filtering migraine glasses have been developed for both indoor and outdoor use.
You could also trigger or make a migraine worse with dramatic changes in light. This is sometimes caused by going outside into the bright sunlight after being in a dark house or room or coming inside after being out in the bright sunlight. If you have a sensitivity to light and this can be a migraine trigger for you, it’s probably a good idea to perhaps look at wearing migraine-specific protective glasses to protect your eyes from light sensitivity, and using these preventative measures to manage a migraine and its symptoms.
Weather Apps For Migraine Awareness
There is a weather website called accuweather.com and it has a health section to the site where there is an option for you to choose Migraines. The weather report will then show if there will be a “cause for concern” for those that suffer these weather-related migraines.
I have the Phone app but I wasn’t able to find the health function on the Phone app. If it is there it wasn’t easy for me to find. But the website health section was on the right of the screen and once I ticked the box the migraine forecast was set.
Seasonal Migraine Conditions:
- Extreme changes in weather
- Air temperature changes (hot to cold)
- Sitting too long in the heat of the sun
- Very windy or cloudy weather
- Thunderstorms (Barometric pressure changes)
- Humidity (sweating can be a cause of dehydration)
- Intense exercise and lack of hydration
- Very windy (airborne pollen during spring can be a trigger here)
Season Migraines Triggers
Firstly, try to keep a migraine headache health diary. This can help you find what your triggers could be that have set this migraine headache into motion. In this diary, you can write down the lead up to your migraine headache and the things you did for relief during the migraine period.
How to keep a record
Here are some ideas on how to help you with your health and migraine recordings:
- The intensity of the Migraine episode (eg: 1/5 – 5/5 rating)
- Symptoms leading up and during your migraine episode (eg: vision disturbances, jaw pain, nausea)
- Weather on that day (eg, humid, rain, warm AM changed to cold windy PM)
- What foods you have eaten, (eg. takeaways, chocolate, dairy, banana smoothie)
- The stress you are going through (eg: overloaded at work, an unwell child at home, argument with a neighbour)
- Alcohol (one-glass red wine, half-glass of white wine, beer)
- Lack of sleep (eg: 3 hours sleep got up 3 times in the night)
- Any other health concerns whether you feel they are related or not (eg: sinus, cough, earache, neck strain, gout)
You should also record:
- Symptoms of your migraine headache (eg. sharp eye pain, throbbing temple pain, stomach upsets etc)
- Any treatments that you applied during the migraines (medication, natural remedies, rest)
- The treatments your felt helped you (eg. massage mat, sleep, isolation, magnesium)
- Duration of your migraine (eg. 1 hour mild, 3 hours head pain, better in the evening but tired)
- How did you feel after your recovery (eg. foggy, tired, clear-headed, record any side effect from treatments)
Keeping a really detailed migraine/health diary can help you find your triggers. You can buy a health diary or make your own as long as you’re keeping a clear record of what is happening to you during the migraine episode.
Apps for Recording Migraines and Triggers
There are now some great apps available now to help you keep track of your migraine headache symptoms and treatments. These Apps can help you keep a track when your out and about or at work.
This can give you an accurate way to keep all your migraine and other information about your health issues so when you see your healthcare professional you will have an accurate account of what has been happening leading up to the Migraine headache occurrences, and how often you may be experiencing these headaches and when they are becoming Migraines.
Most of us carry a phone with us these days and an app makes it easy as were less likely to forget it. Many of these diary apps are fairly easy to use and are free to purchase. Some up upgrades to premium without ads and a few extra features but it is up to you if that’s what you prefer. So download one now and start keeping track of your triggers, symptoms and relief management.
What Helps With Seasonal Migraines?
If you feel the problem behind your migraines could be the weather that the best course of action would be to keep indoors as much as possible to see if this makes a difference to you.
Try not to sit under air conditioners or heaters at work so that when you leave the office there isn’t a dramatic change in temperature for your body. Always keep something warm handy to put on if the weather is changing a lot.
If you are light sensitive and find you have problems coping with sunlight glare and also dramatic changes in the light try and make sure you limit these intense light changes as much as possible, including reducing your exposure to artificial lighting. Keep a hat handy to keep strong sun heat off your head and perhaps try some migraine-specific glasses to keep the light changes and specific migraine inducing light to a minimum.
Try to keep clear of any other known migraine triggers that you have discovered affect you, such as loud noise, alcohol, fatty foods and too much caffeine.
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. You could find a quiet place and meditate, or relax over a cup of herbal tea.
REALLY IMPORTANT!!! Safety First.
If you experience ongoing headaches or extremely painful headaches with other associated symptoms such as vomiting or dizziness, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you see your health care professional they can check for any underlying health issues that could be the cause of your head pain. Once you have done that and it has been identified as a migraine health issue then you can work to find out what the triggers and causes behind these migraines are for you. Then finally you can put a “migraine management plan” together and hopefully find some relief for your head pain.