Most headache specialists believe a combination of factors, from genetics to neurovascular imbalances in the brain, play a role in Migraines and other kinds of headaches. And there’s something else. And it could be right outside your window.
In a new research survey by the National Headache Foundation, headache sufferers were given a list of possible triggers. They then were asked to rank them in terms of what commonly brought on their migraines and other headaches. Looking at the data, people often have more than one type of trigger for their headaches. Three out of four respondents said that weather triggered their headache pain. By the numbers:
- Weather or barometric pressure changes: 73%
- Intense odors: 64%
- Bright or flickering lights: 59%
- Smoke: 53%
- Extreme heat or cold: 38%
- Altitude changes: 31%
- High winds: 18%
The only way to know for sure if weather is a factor for you is to find out for yourself. And the only way to do that is with a detailed headache diary. You may be better able to plan around it and keep your headaches at bay by keeping a HEADACHE DIARY, covering the details.
- Your headache symptoms: where you feel the pain, what the pain feels like, and any other symptoms, such as vomiting or sensitivity to noise, smells, or bright light.
- The time your headache started and ended
- Any food and beverages you had (common triggers include chocolate, caffeine, and foods with the preservatives MSG and nitrates)
- Any changes in the weather, such as storms, high winds, or high humidity
- Any treatment you tried, and whether it helped or made the headache worse
You can’t change the weather, but by keeping a diary and watching the forecast, you can adjust the other factors that may play a part of your migraines. Watch the forecasts, then perhaps limit the coffee, chocolates and snack food more than you normally would until AFTER the storm passes.