Spring is officially upon us, which often means warmer temperatures, more daylight, and blossoming flowers. But a change in season can also impact migraine, with 63% reporting seasonal differences in their attacks and documented increases in migraine-related emergency room visits during spring.(1)(2) Although findings have been inconsistent in identifying the reasons, you can be proactive with these tips to help minimize the effects of common seasonal triggers.
Start by understanding your migraine triggers
The best prevention methods should always start with the identification of your own triggers. Recording attacks with a migraine journal and sharing them with your doctor will help you keep track of influences, seasonal or otherwise.
Reduce allergens at home or in the office
The presence of dirt, dust, or unpleasant odors in your home or office can all play a role in how you feel. Allergies have been previously linked to an increase in migraine frequency, especially for older patients, although it is unclear if there is direct causality.(3) In addition, some have suggested sneezing or coughing can act as a trigger, and many report experiencing short-lived episodes known as exertional headaches after these activities. This makes it important to keep these interior allergens at bay. Here are some specific suggestions:
- Keep windows closed and change air conditioning filters at least once a month
- Regularly dust and vacuum the home and workspace; wear a disposable face mask and/or gloves to reduce direct exposure
- Wash your clothes regularly to get rid of particles that may have been absorbed through the fabric
Tinted glasses and protective hats for sunny (or cloudy) days
As the days get brighter, you have to find ways to protect yourself from the bright sun. Precision tinted migraine sunglasses, such as those offered by TheraSpecs, remove the harmful wavelengths of sunlight, cut down on reflective glare, and help prevent light-triggered attacks. A wide-brimmed hat can also keep harsh sunshine from worsening your migraine. Both of these options are also great for cloudy days as well if softer outdoor lighting simply causes you discomfort.
Dehydration is constantly cited as a trigger for migraine, and, with warmer temperatures, it becomes vital to drink plenty of fluids. Other ways to avoid dehydration can also include: eating foods high in water content (such as fruit); engaging in outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day; and limiting drinks that are high in sugar content.
Pay attention to weather patterns and changes
Many local weather stations and online weather centers provide great information about things like air quality, which can influence your health. Barometric pressure has also been shown to exacerbate migraine.(4) Therefore, following weather patterns in your area will allow you to make informed choices about when to plan or avoid outdoor activities. Some outlets have even added special forecasts geared toward migraine sufferers to make these decisions even easier.
What other suggestions do you have? Let us know in the comments!
1 Alstadhaug KB1, Salvesen R, Bekkelund SI. Seasonal variation in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2005 Oct;25(10):811-6.
2 Brewerton TD, George MS. A study of the seasonal variation of migraine. Headache. 1990 Jul;30(8):511-3.
3 Saberi A, Nemati S, Shakib RJ, Kazemnejad E, Maleki M. Association between allergic rhinitis and migraine. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 2012;17(6):508-512.
4 Kimoto K, Aiba S, Takashima R, Suzuki K, Takekawa H, Watanabe Y, Tatsumoto M, Hirata K. Influence of barometric pressure in patients with migraine headache. Intern Med. 2011;50(18):1923-8. Epub 2011 Sep 15.
TheraSpecs Glasses for Your Health
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