Seasonal Changes and Migraines: Are They Related?

Seasonal Changes and Migraines: Are They Related?

Summer has arrived, which means that warm, sunny days are ahead of us. However, the seasonal change is not always kind to those who suffer from migraines.

Migraines & Seasonal Changes: Are They Related?

Migraines Are A Major Cause Of Disability

Migraines are a major cause of disability, and can severely affect the lives of migraine sufferers. While migraines can occur at any time of year, some may experience seasonal migraines, such as the beginning of summer. Bright sunlight, high humidity, and extreme heat can all have an effect on the level of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin. These types of changes can result in migraine headaches. A change in barometric pressure is also known to be associated with migraines.

Going from short, cold winter days to long, sunny summer days can also have an effect on people’s circadian rhythms, or their internal clocks. When you experience jet lag, you are experiencing a mismatch between your internal clock and the environmental conditions around you. Daylight savings time can affect people’s circadian rhythms or sleeping habits, resulting in migraine spikes.

The Silent Migraine

Interestingly, while migraines are usually associated with intense pain, a small minority of people experience migraines without the intense pain. This type of migraine is referred to as a silent migraine or acephalgic migraine. There are a variety of symptoms associated with this kind of migraine. Examples of these symptoms are blind spots, tunnel vision, and disruptions in hearing. While the pain may be absent, these symptoms are difficult to deal with and negatively affect the person’s ability to carry out their daily routine.

Avoid Migraine Triggers

A common recommendation for migraine sufferers is to track their migraines and to avoid migraine triggers. A diary or journal is a useful tool and can alert people to possible migraine triggers. A helpful website called tracks weather conditions, identifying days that might be problematic for migraine sufferers. It’s important to try avoiding other migraine triggers during seasonal changes, such as missing meals or sleep, alcohol, certain foods, and stress. Healthy habits related to food, exercise, and sleep can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

The avoidance of migraine triggers does not guarantee the avoidance of a migraine and people cannot control changes in weather that might result in migraines. Hopefully, the seasonal migraine season is as short and as pain-free as possible so that everyone can enjoy summer as soon as possible.

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