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Migraines: Are they triggered by weather changes?

Published On: Feb 24 2014 10:15:14 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 13 2014 11:21:49 AM CDT

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Some people who have migraines appear to be more sensitive to changes in the weather. Weather-related triggers include:

  • Bright sunlight
  • Hot or cold temperatures
  • High humidity
  • Dry air
  • Windy or stormy weather
  • Barometric pressure changes

For some people, weather changes may cause imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which can prompt a migraine. Weather-related triggers also may worsen a headache caused by other triggers.

If you feel your migraines are triggered by weather, you may be understandably frustrated. After all, you can't change the weather. However, you can learn which weather changes start a migraine and take steps to lessen their effects:

  • Keep a headache diary, listing each migraine, when it happened, how long it lasted and what could have caused it. This can help you determine if you have specific weather triggers.
  • Monitor weather changes and avoid triggers if at all possible. For example, stay indoors during very cold or windy weather if these factors appear to trigger your migraines.
  • Take your migraine medication at the first sign of a migraine.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices -- eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and keep your stress under control. These factors can help reduce the number and severity of your migraines.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/expert-answers/headaches/FAQ-20058505/