Autumn is here! Ah, those cooler days and nights that many of us love. Of course, autumn varies from state-to-state and country-to-country. Here in Florida, our fall consists of temperatures in the 80s. Still hot and often muggy. Often though, there is also a difference in the morning temperature, and as autumn progress, we have less humidity. It’s hard for us in Florida to think that some parts of the U.S. and the world are already experiencing snow – even though it’s only October.
With the arrival of fall, most places are experiencing cooler temperatures, less humidity, windier days — and for some migraine sufferers, more migraines and headaches.
Do you find that changes in daylight, barometric pressure, and temperature with the arrival of fall trigger more headaches and full-blown migraines? Do you suffer from fall seasonal migraines and headaches?
Seasonal changes really can provoke migraines — that severe, throbbing, debilitating pain which is often accompanied by auras, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Even research confirms that weather is a trigger for approximately half of those migraine suffers who are aware of their triggers.
While it may be clear that the outside climate can cause head pain, trying to figure out exactly what it is about the change in season that is the culprit for the pain is not so clear. With weather changes, it isn’t just about temperature, it is also the atmospheric pressure, winds, clouds, dust and even precipitation. In addition to this, you may find yourself dealing with more allergens, mold and ragweed at this time of year.
Changes in Daylight Cycles
Changing daylight can be a culprit. As our fall/winter days tend to shorten, some migraine experts have stated that this has a neurological effect on people.
During the autumn months, not only do we experience changes in temperature, but also in barometric pressure. Research has shown what many of us have already experienced – barometric pressure/change is most likely the number 1 culprit of migraines. When a high-pressure system approaches, temperatures fall, barometric pressure goes up, and humidity tends to fall. On the other hand, when low pressure comes in, it does the opposite. Barometric pressure falls, temperatures and humidity rise, and then we start seeing storms and lightning.
Research has also shown that lightening itself is a migraine trigger. Even more interesting the fact that other studies have shown that when lightning strikes within 25 miles of a person’s home, his or her migraine risk goes up 28 percent. That is a pretty staggering figure.
How do Weather Changes Lead to Migraine Pain?
While you and I may experience first-hand that weather is a trigger, the mechanisms for this are not yet fully known. At this point, experts still aren’t sure of all the different pathways involved in Migraine, stating that this is a “very complex biologic and neurologic event.” Well, as a person with a trigger like that, you don’t need to be told it is a complex thing! You know first-hand.
What can you do if you suspect the change in seasons is triggering your migraines? As you probably know from experience, that’s a tough question to answer since weather is something that happens and isn’t something we can avoid.
What Actions Can You Take?
If you have already figured out that it’s the allergies to mold and ragweed that are the culprit for you, try to stay indoors more often to avoid exposing yourself to these triggers. Of course, staying inside will not help if barometric pressure changes are your trigger. Eventually, the barometric pressure inside will mirror what is outside.
The most valuable lesson is to be prepared as prepared as possible. If you know weather is a trigger, make sure you have medicine or natural remedies that work for you wherever you go — at work, in your purse, in your car — and then be sure to treat early.
As I have said before, if I know a change is coming from the weather forecasts, I often take additional magnesium. I prepare by being well rested, and well hydrated. I also make sure I am eating wholesome, healthy foods. Do as much as you can to have your body in good, healthy shape to help in the prevention of an impending weather change that may normally trigger a migraine for you. Be aware of what’s going on seasonally, and more importantly, plan ahead and be ready now.
If you notice fall weather headaches and migraines with the change of seasons, comment below and share your experiences and remedies.