How To Manage Weather-Related Migraines: 5+ Simple Hacks for Painless Seasons
The weather is constantly shifting, and with those changes come challenges to our health. One of these challenges would be weather-related migraines. These headaches can be debilitating and might lead you to miss work, family commitments, or other important events. The good news is that they are manageable! With these five simple hacks, you’ll get to alleviate the weather-related migraine you’re feeling and enjoy every season!
#1 Know Its Triggers
The first step is knowing how this type of migraine occurs and what triggers them. That way, you will be able to proactively avoid these triggers so that they don’t lead up to an attack!
Typical “triggers” for weather-related migraines include the following:
- stress or anxiety
- foggy weather (cloudy or misty)
- rapid changes in the humidity levels
- changes in barometric pressure (like when there’s a storm rolling in)
- bright lights
Preventing an Attack
Once you have identified your migraine’s trigger, it will be easier to manage them even on your own. In fact, you can do any of these when you feel a weather-related migraine coming on to prevent an attack altogether:
- Rest in a dark room during an attack
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol, which might make symptoms worse
- Take medication at the first sign of an oncoming headache
You may also apply ice packs to pulse points around your neck and shoulders where veins are closest to the surface. This will give you quick relief from tension-type pains associated with weather-related migraines.
If all else fails, just remember that they’re temporary! The weather will change soon, and you’ll be back to your usual self in no time.
The good news is that if you can identify things like this ahead of time, then it will be easier to take preventative measures, so your migraines do not flare up!
#2 Keep a Diary of Your Migraine Attacks
This works even for non-weather-related migraines. Keeping a diary is an excellent way to help control the frequency and severity of your headaches or migraines. Doctors recommend keeping a daily record of what you’re eating, how active you are, your sleep habits, and other migraine triggers.
Here’s how it works:
- Make a note of what you’ve eaten that day to see if particular foods make your migraines worse
- Write down if you’ve been more tired than usual or have been engaging in more physical activity.
- Keep track of your sleep patterns and whether or not they impact your migraines.
Aside from helping you evaluate your triggers and overall lifestyle, you can always show your migraine diary to your doctor for a more efficient consultation.
#3 Keep an Eye on the Weather Changes
Weather-related migraines often occur due to drastic changes in temperature and humidity. Just by monitoring weather updates, you’ll be one step ahead of a migraine attack! Hence, make it a habit to check daily forecasts so you can implement the necessary changes in your routine.
If you know a weather change is coming, you may do the following:
- Limit outdoor activities
- Stay in an air-conditioned or heated room
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
- Wear sunglasses and a hat if it’s too sunny and you have to stay outside
#4 Consult a Health Professional
When you notice that your migraines are getting more prolonged and severe, it’s your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
The thing is weather-related migraines can be easily confused with other types of headaches, so consulting a doctor is always a good idea. They will be able to do some tests and rule out other health issues that might be causing your migraines.
Once it has been confirmed that you are experiencing weather-related migraines, your doctor can help in devising a treatment plan tailored specifically for you. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, and stress-relieving measures.
#5 Take Your Medicine
Take your migraine medication as prescribed by the doctor at the onset of your weather-related migraine attack to prevent the situation from getting worse. Work with your doctor to ensure the best possible migraine relief treatment for you. This may include prescription or non-prescription medications, dietary plans, therapies, and a combination of these treatments. Plus, consider preventive medications if you have four or more migraine days per month.
Relieving Migraine Pain
Here are some examples of medications that you can take to relieve the pain due to weather-related migraine. Just make sure to consult your doctor first before taking any of these medicines.
- Non-steroidal Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, mefenamic acid, etoricoxib, etc.
- Triptans such as sumatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan and the others.
According to experts, NSAIDs and Triptans are the most significant medications. These include:
Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor as they can give the best advice on the medications that are right for you and your current health condition.
Some Other Ways to Manage Weather-related Migraine
Now, it’s possible that you’re experiencing more severe weather-related headaches due to allergies or sinusitis, and even tension headaches. But no matter the type of headache you are dealing with, these are things that can help keep your head feeling great all year long!
Get Enough Sleep
It is essential to give yourself enough time to let the body heal naturally without medication interfering. And getting a good sleep is one way to do that! Try to manage your body clock and set a sleep schedule that will work for you. This will allow your body to avoid the midday sleepiness that often triggers a migraine attack.
Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. It also helps improve blood circulation and increases energy levels. So, if you can, try to exercise regularly even when you don’t have a headache.
That doesn’t have to mean setting up a whole gym routine for once per week either, but definitely try to fit in a walk when possible. And don’t forget about staying hydrated even while working out either because research shows having just a little bit more fluid intake before exercising reduced morning headaches by up to 50%!
Even slight weather and environmental changes may trigger your migraines. For instance, smokers are more likely to get weather-related headaches compared to non-smokers. This is due to the smoke drying out the mucous membranes, which can lead to pain and headaches. Thus, make sure you stop smoking for good if this is the case with you.
It also helps if you avoid caffeine as much as possible. Drinks such as coffee, tea, and cola contain caffeine which has been shown to trigger headaches in weather-related migraines for some. Moreover, too much of this can cause serious health problems in the long run such as insomnia, anxiety, and even heart problems.
Don’t Stress Too Much
We all know this is easier said than done. However, managing your stress levels is key in avoiding headaches and muscle tension. Consider practices like yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises to help you relax.
Furthermore, a weather-related migraine is often a sign that something else isn’t working the way it should be in our bodies. And when we can figure out what that might be, we can also start to heal from there.
Have plenty of water with you! Try to drink at least ¾ of your body weight in ounces throughout the day. Hence, if you weigh 150 lbs, then right around 126 oz would be good. It will not only keep headaches away, but it helps hydrate all systems in your body too.
Eat healthy, especially during the season that triggers your weather-related migraine the most! Foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices because they are high alkaline foods that help balance any acidity or inflammation. In addition, research has shown that red wine actually has antioxidants properties that can help with headache symptoms too!
Get Plenty of Sunshine
The sun is just one of the best ways to naturally boost your serotonin levels which helps interrupt a trigeminal nerve reaction that leads to headaches. This way, you are doing something good for yourself while still getting some vitamin D along with it all!
And if going outside isn’t an option, try and have enough light around in whatever room you spend the most time in during the day. It could even be a lamp on your desk or nightstand, so there is no lack of exposure when trying to get sunlight inside your body from wherever you might be sitting.
Relax with Some Essential Oils
When you’re feeling an attack approaching, put some peppermint oil on your temples and the back of your neck. This aromatic herb will help stimulate blood flow which helps relieve headaches from all angles.
Just make sure not to get it directly in your eyes if you still have allergies going on at the same time! Also, lavender is beneficial, so try using that instead or add it into the mix with some eucalyptus essential oils mixed together.
Wrapping it Up
Headaches, especially weather-related ones, are often easy to ignore. However, we cannot let them get in our way of enjoying the beauty of each season. Thus, if weather-related migraines are something that you’ve been struggling with, then the above hacks might help!
Taking control of weather-related migraines can make a huge difference in one’s life. It helps us become healthy and happy for whatever the atmosphere and nature bring our way. And isn’t that what we all want during this time of year?