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Sep 15, 2008

How Weather Can Affect Your Migraine Headache

How Weather Can Affect Your Migraine Headache
Anyone who suffers from migraine headaches probably knows that there are certain triggers that may bring one on. Eating chocolate, drinking wine and even stress have been found to increase the incidence of migraine in many suffers. But one trigger that many people may not know about and have little control over is the weather.

Migraine headaches are extremely painful headaches which result from changes in the blood vessels of the brain and can be severely debilitating including other symptoms such as sensitivity to sound and light, nausea and vomiting. More common in women, about 18% of them suffer from this while only 7% of men are affected. Sometimes migraines sufferers also reports seeing auras or smelling strange smells.

While these unfortunate few have probably learned to avoid their triggers, one thing that most likely cannot be avoided is a change in weather. But a study done by the New England Center for Headache found that over 50% of the migraine sufferers they tracked did have a weather trigger associated with their headaches.

Of the 77 participants in the study, 51% were found to have had their migraines triggered by weather conditions such as changing atmospheric pressure, or extremes In temperature. These people were tracked from two months to two years and the Incidence of migraine was correlated with weather data taken from the National Weather Service.

It's not well understood why weather effects headaches like this but migraine sufferers do so due to dilated blood vessels as well as inflammation of the meninges of the brain and perhaps weather patterns trigger these. Anyone suffering from migraines might find it interesting to keep a calendar of when they get a headache and correlate that with what the weather was on that day. Much like people who say they can predict rain by the pain in their knees or other joints, migraine sufferers may be able to predict the onset of a headache through the weather forecast.

While there is really no way to avoid changes in weather, determining if your migraines are triggered by whether might be able to help you figure out when one might come on. If you know about the weather conditions in advance, and you may be able to take preventative medicine to avoid the headache altogether. this would require some tracking and due diligence on the part of the headache sufferer but could be well worth it in the long run.

Anyone who suffers from migraines know how they can interrupt your schedule and put a damper on your life. So having all the tools that you can to help fight and avoid them make sense. While tracking the Incidence of migraine headaches with the weather conditions might be a bit tedious, if it helps to avoid a few headaches over the course of the year and it could be well worth the effort.

Lee Dobbins writes for http://headache.topicgiant.com where you can learn more about different types of headache symptoms and treatments.

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