Thursday, December 29, 2011

How Weather affects Your Migraines?

Millions of people suffer from headache everyday due to hustle and bustle of this contemporary life, and it is the most common therapeutic problem in today’s world. But while we talk about the pain in head, there are 2 conditions which should be considered: headache and migraine. These 2 conditions vary in their origin; headache is the symptom of stress, tension, substance abuse or any medication abuse, on the other hand migraine is a therapeutic condition itself and its symptoms are more than a headache. Migraine…is generally indicated by pulsating and strong pain, usually on one side of the head. Depression, vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to light & sound quite often come with the pain. Any person who suffers through migraine headaches possibly knows that the migraine brain is very susceptible and there are many things that can trigger a migraine!!!

The sufferers know that their migraine headache can be triggered by drinking wine, eating chocolate, missing a meal, stress, a poor night’s sleep etc. But there is a one trigger that many sufferers may not have knowledge of and have minute control over…. is the Weather. Weather is prominently described as one of many environmental triggers of migraine and headache. The other triggers described above are avoidable and sufferers can avoid it, but weather related triggers can not be avoided. The most common weather trigger reported by sufferers is quickly falling atmospheric pressure that is normally seen when a storm is coming.

How Weather affects Your Migraines?
The reason behind the Triggering action of Weather for Migraines

The secrecies of migraines and other headaches have been still sorted out by Headache consultants. Most specialists believe that a combination of factors take part in these conditions. These factors are ranging from neurovascular to genetics imbalances in the brain. Migraine headaches are very sore headaches resulting from alter in the brain blood vessels and can be severely intolerable including other symptoms like nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to sound & light.

Although what could be the weather’s role in migraine and headaches? Some scientists consider that a rapid change in weather and probably the ionization of the air can modify the chemical balance of human body. In certain people, weather changes may lead to imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin that can cause a migraine. Triggers related to weather may also worsen a headache which initiates from other reasons.

Experts also consider that people who suffer from repeated headaches have a greater susceptibility to the environment changes. They even possess a lower threshold to the ache response. This susceptibility in the people with migraines is may be hereditary, according to the experts.

Some experts believe that the changes in weather and extremes in cold and heat lead to headache. According to important evolutionary theory, getting a headache is a defensive mechanism in opposition to unpleasant environmental stressors. The theory says that headache pain would lead a sufferer to search for safer & more convivial surroundings.

Weather Triggers

Some People who are suffering from migraines are likely to be more susceptible to the weather changes. Some specific weather elements that can trigger the migraine include:
  • Barometric pressure changes
  • Temperatures changes
  • Humidity changes
  • Extremely dry conditions
  • Stormy or windy weather
  • Bright sunlight
  • Dusty environments
Weather patterns alteration by a rapid change in one of above weather elements, or by a change in combination of elements, can onset a pain.

Weather Triggers in comparison with Other Environmental Migraine Triggers

Recently, the National Headache Foundation had performed one survey in which they gave a list of sixteen possible triggers to headache sufferers. After that, sufferers were asked to categorize the triggers according to their effects on the migraines and other headaches. 3 out of every 4 sufferers alleged that their headache pain has been triggered by weather. Frequently, people recognize more than 1 type of trigger for their migraines. Some ordinary environmental triggers for migraines included in the survey and the % of sufferers who recognized them as triggers are provided below.
  • Changes of weather or barometric pressure – 73 percent
  • Strong odors – 64 percent
  • Intense or erratic lights – 59 percent
  • Smoke – 53 percent
  • Excessive cold or heat – 38 percent
  • Changes of altitude – 31 percent
  • High winds – 18 percent
The majority of the sufferers said that, due to these environmental triggers, they can not take part in their regular outdoor activities. They also reported that they have to excuse their-self from places which are expected to contain smoke in the air, like bars or restaurants.

The survey quoted earlier also suggested that 2 out of 3 headache sufferers had not talked about environmental triggers with their physicians. However, almost half of them had been cursed by headaches for above twenty years.

Earlier Signs

Some people get clear forewarnings that a migraine headache is about to ensuing. And they may feel these clear signs almost 48 hours before the strikes of headache. These early forewarnings are known as "prodromal," and it means precursory. The probable earlier signs are:
  • Depression
  • Persistent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Especially excitable feeling
How to manage Migraine and Headache Triggers

The people who believe that their headache & migraines are triggered by weather may be unsurprisingly frustrated. That is because obviously no one can change the weather. But…but…but there is a one thing that they can do, they can discover the weather changes which begin their migraine strike, and subsequently they can make a way to minimize their effects.

The first step toward repelling the headache from disrupting your life is keeping a migraine or headache diary. By this way, you can look back to 1 or 2 day before your pain initiates for indications of what may have triggered your ache. Keep a comprehensive diary for 3 months and record each migraine in your diary to discover the variable patterns of your headaches. Keep a record of following things in your headache diary.
  • The time of initiating as well ending of your headache
  • Symptoms of your headache such as what the ache feels like, where you feel the ache, and any other symptoms like nausea or sensitivity to smells, bright light, or noise
  • Prodromal signs and any other irritability
  • The weather changes on that time, like high winds, storms, or high humidity
  • Any beverages and foodstuff you taken, most commonly caffeine, chocolate, and foods with nitrates and the preservatives MSG
  • Any treatment you have taken, and either it relieved ache or made it worse
If you have any specific weather triggers, then this catalog of headache can help you to find out it.
  • Keep an eye on those weather changes and stay away from that triggers if at all possible. For instance, stay in the house during windy or very cold weather.
  • At the 1st indication of a migraine, take your migraine medicine.
  • Healthy lifestyle factors can help to lessen the severity and number of migraines. So, make a healthy lifestyle selection by
    • Eating healthy foods
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Exercising regularly
    • Keeping stress under control
However, weather-triggered headaches & migraines are still somewhat of a mystery, according to experts. They also mention the unpredictability of these headaches, so the only way for recognizing surely if the weather is a factor for your headache is to find out it by yourself. And the best way to do that is keeping a comprehensive migraine & headache diary. You can not alter the weather but you may be better able to defend it and keep the aches at bay. If you have knowledge of the weather conditions beforehand, then you can take preventative steps and medicine to stay away from the headache all in all.


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