A change in season impacts our body in many ways1. While monsoon sees an increase in infection scare2, winters can make you prone to wheezing, cold and cough3. Meanwhile, summers are notorious for dehydration, sunstroke, skin allergy and migraine headaches3.
Although Seasonal Migraine is not a recognised headache terminology, many migraineurs use this term to describe their headaches which are triggered solely due to a change in season.
Impact of seasons on migraine –
The perception that weather can trigger headaches is widely reported in patients with migraine4. Some studies have suggested several inconsistent meteorological factors such as surrounding temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed to be associated with headache4.
Some researchers believe that a migraineur’s senses are sensitive to any kind of changes in the weather and hence bright sunny days of summer or dark gloomy winter days can trigger a migraine headache4.
While doctor’s still do not understand the main reason behind this phenomenon, researchers think that variation in sleep and diet during seasonal change may have some influence on a person’s headache.
Some precautions that can help you control migraine
If you are sure enough that seasonal changes do trigger your migraine headaches, there are some precautions you can take to manage and control your headaches.
Download our migraine diary to keep a track of migraine triggers
1) Stock up on your medicines – keep all your medicines handy before the new season begins so that you do not have to run to your pharmacists during an attack.
2) Stay hydrated – Drinking ample amount of water has shown to be helpful in avoiding migraine due to dehydration5.
3) Wear season appropriate clothing – If it is the harsh summer sun that triggers your migraine, keep your umbrella, sunglasses, hat ready when stepping out. Similarly, wear proper layer of clothes during winters to avoid migraine headaches.
4) Avoid unhealthy foods – It may be tempting to eat fried and junk food, but if seasonal weather change is your adversary, it makes sense to stick to healthy, home cooked food.
5) Exercise – Healthy exercises such as walking, yoga, stretching can have a positive impact on your body and mind and may help you cope up with headaches better.
6) Maintain temperature indoors – Ensure your house is well ventilated and maintains a comfortable temperature.
7) Avoid travelling in harsh sunlight – Even a non-migraineur finds harsh sunlight difficult and burdensome, so it is better to avoid travelling during those parts of the day when sunlight is at its harshest.
A migraine headache is a very complex biologic and neurologic event. Even the smallest variation in temperature or atmospheric pressure can have a negative impact, triggering a migraine headache. Therefore, the most valuable lesson is to be well prepared to brace the weather change.
If seasonal change is your migraine trigger, do let us know in the comment section below what measures have you taken to manage your migraine headache during this time.
Scientists have demonstrated that climate change poses a wide range of risks to population health including migraine headaches.
1. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7): e0132178.
2. Springerplus. 2013; 2: 205.
3. Glob Health Action. 2014; 7: 10.3402/gha.v7.23025.
4. J Headache Pain. 2015; 16: 49.
5. J Headache Pain. 2010 Dec; 11(6): 513–517.