The Weather Isn’t the Only Thing Changing – How to Prepare for Seasonal Migraine Triggers
Seasonal changes are evidence of nature’s cycles of life, rest, and rebirth, and for most people, are enjoyable transitions that usher in a welcome shift in the weather. Unfortunately, for those that suffer from migraines, these atmospheric and environmental changes can also become major triggers for intense bouts of pain, debility, and disorientation. Since no one can stop the sands of time and making seasonal moves to more temperate climates isn’t always an affordable alternative, how can you find fast and effective migraine treatment when they strike? Chicago’s Pain Relief leaders are happy to provide the whys and hows of seasonal migraine management.
What are Seasonal Migraines?
Migraine headaches are complex neurological conditions that impact everything from physical sensations in the head, neck, and body, to vision, balance, mobility, digestion, and more. Since they are not well understood, it can be difficult to narrow down what causes them, but among those with migraines, over 20% noted that changes in environmental conditions seemed to trigger the condition, made them worse, or extended their duration. What seasonal changes cause problems and why?
Winter Migraine Triggers
Depending on your climate, the winter season might usher in dry, windy conditions outdoors and dry, artificially heated air indoors, which is often dehydrating to the body and mucus membranes. Extreme cold and snowstorms pair with barometric pressure changes that can coincide with cranial pressure and balance issues, and the reflective quality of snow can create intense brightness that bothers the eyes and optic nerves.
Spring Migraine Triggers
The adage “In like a lion, out like a lamb” perfectly captures the occasional volatility of winter’s transition to spring. Dramatic changes in temperature and humidity can cause intense storms with varying pressure systems, and common airborne allergens can irritate the eyes and sinuses.
Summer Migraine Triggers
For most of the US, summer packs a multi-trigger punch for migraineurs. Not only can humidity contribute to water retention and blood pressure increases, extreme heat can impact digestion and dehydrate through excess sweating. Brighter days and lightning flashes can irritate eyes, and shorter nights may disrupt supportive sleep patterns and lifestyle habits.
Fall Migraine Triggers
While the fall seasonal shift is less aggressive than spring, there are still fluctuations in temperature and humidity, which result in pressure changes in the environment and body. Windy, cool conditions can be drying and overstimulating to the senses, and dramatic shifts in daylight can make it harder to regulate circadian rhythms that support the nervous system.
What You Can Do for Migraine Relief
It’s said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to the debilitating pain of seasonal migraines, taking care to compensate for your personal triggers will go far in helping you avoid or lessen the condition. Consider employing “opposite therapy” to support yourself; if bright or flashing lights send you into a tailspin, invest in good, dark sunglasses that dampen the intensity, or avoid exposure by adjusting your schedule. If dry air during the winter dehydrates your body and sinuses, drink warm, hydrating teas, invest in a humidifier, and consider oiling nasal passages to retain moisture. Above all, try your best to regulate your schedule and dietary habits to be most supportive during these challenges.
What We Can Do for Migraine Relief
Migraines are not simply “bad headaches,” and sometimes all the prevention and home care in the world won’t help you shake the pain. When it’s time to call in support, you owe it to yourself to seek the most compassionate, progressive, and comprehensive migraine treatment available. At MAPS, our double board-certified physicians and experienced staff help patients find migraine relief through a variety of innovative, non-surgical, and FDA-approved approaches, and complement them with supportive modalities like acupuncture, physical therapy, strategic injections, and meditation. Not only do we focus on long-term results, we support total health and wellness.
Weather the Storm of Seasonal Changes with MAPS
As Chicago’s leader in fast and effective pain management, we’re dedicated to finding the safest and longest lasting solutions to acute and chronic pain conditions for our patients. Through a number of cutting-edge, FDA approved techniques combined with holistic, alternative therapies, we provide comprehensive care to relieve migraine pain at the source. Don’t let seasonal migraines dampen your holiday spirit this year; contact MAPS Centers for Pain Control today!