What Are Seasonal Migraines and How To Prevent Them

20 June, 2022  |  Camran Khan

What Are Seasonal Migraines and How To Prevent Them

Living in a place that experiences a range of different seasons can be an enjoyable experience. No one likes harsh winters or scorching heat all year round. However, for people who suffer from seasonal migraines, a new season can be anything but a joyous occasion. A change in season can increase the frequency and intensity of migraines for some people, and this is regardless of the season, whether summer or winter, fall or spring. Many people wonder what exactly are seasonal migraines and where to seek seasonal migraine relief.  So, in this blog, we take a deep look into what exactly are migraines, how a changing season can cause migraines, and most importantly, how to prevent seasonal migraines. 

What are Migraines? 

To understand Migraines, you need to know that there are two main types of headaches. These are Tension-Type Headache (70% of headache) and Migraine (30% of headache). Most people live with Tension-Type Headaches, but Migraine headaches are more severe and disabling. Although the intensity of migraines varies from person to person,  many people have to go to a doctor for relief from seasonal migraines. 

The exact reason for migraines is currently unknown. However, most research indicates that it may be largely due to genetics. Outside factors like tension and anxiety can worsen migraines. Furthermore, women tend to get diagnosed with migraines more than men. This is because of low levels of estrogen during the fourth or last week of the cycle aggravate migraine attacks in 70% of women.

Common Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines are a primary headache disorder with recurrent moderate to severe headaches. These headaches may occur on the side of the head and are marked by throbbing or pulsing pain. Many people can also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.  As a general rule, migraines last 4-72 hours.  Migraine headaches tend to get worse due to activity thus, people suffering from migraines often lie down or try to fall asleep. 

30% of people with Migraine have an aura or warning that comes with the headache, which is usually visual, but may be numbness on one side or trouble speaking.  Sometimes the aura comes with small or even no headache.  This is called migraine with aura.

Seasonal Migraines 

Seasonal changes can drastically change the living environment around us. For example, winters bring a dramatic drop in temperatures and cold winds. Springtime brings moderate winds but also carries allergens inside your house. Thus seasonal changes in barometric pressure, allergen production, humidity, and wind can all indirectly aggravate the occurrence of migraine headaches.

Let us look at different seasons and see how they can contribute to an increase in migraine frequency and intensity. 

Spring Time 

In the spring, plants grow and turn green. The flowers recover from harsh winters and begin to pollinate. This can cause a significant increase in allergens. Headache due to allergies, sui generis, and allergic reactions may aggravate migraine headaches.

Summer Time

Summers are often prime time to work out and get fit. Many people also tend to enjoy outdoor sports under the sun. Exercising can cause our bodies to heat up. This triggers our body to find some way of releasing this excess heat. Our bodies achieve this through vasodilation. The arteries in our bodies expand, allowing for more blood to flow. This helps dissipate heat through our blood. This dilation process produces migraine headaches for some people who have inherited the migraine gene. 

Summertime can also severely dehydrate our bodies. This is because we sweat more and often forget to drink enough water regularly. Dehydration is also a very common cause of migraines. 

Fall Time

Similar to springtime, the fall weather also brings about dramatic changes in our environment. 

Fall migraine triggers include cool weather, warm weather, humidity, barometric pressure change, and allergic factors. In the fall, the days also get shorter, which can disrupt the sleep schedule, making us feel more tired. Inconsistent sleep and insomnia are not good for migraines. 

Winter Time 

Winter time brings cold and dry air. This can cause respiratory ailments and dehydrate your body. Many people also use air conditioning to heat their homes, which can further increase the dryness in your body. Winters can dry out sensitive sinus membranes, making headaches and migraine pain even worse. Barometric pressure changes can also occur with snow storms.

Steps for Seasonal Migraine Relief 

You can make several lifestyle changes to minimise the chances of a migraine attack. Firstly, it is important to maintain a proper sleep/wake schedule. This will help your brain recover and relieve stress. You can even counter stress through yoga, deep breathing or exercising. Having a regular diet with minimum processed food can also go a long way in avoiding migraines. Avoiding sunlight or bright lights, in general, is another way to avoid migraine attacks because sensory overload is a major known cause of migraines. 

Study your migraine triggers. Carefully track and study when your migraines come, and then try to avoid the triggers. Treat your allergies and avoid exposure. You can check weather reports for which bad days for allergic conditions. Taking a shower and washing your body and hair after exposure to allergens can minimise their effect. 

Changes in barometric pressure are a trigger for migraines. Some people consistently get migraines as soon as the pressure falls. This group is encouraged to keep their acute therapy drug, probably  Rizatriptan UK, nearby and ready to go.  

Seasonal Migraine Medication 

There is no specific seasonal migraine medication, although you may seek a prescription from your doctor if you require relief from seasonal migraines. Some of these medicines for seasonal migraine treatment come in the form of over-the-counter pain relievers, whereas others come as migraine-specific medications.

There are various migraine-specific drugs in the Triptan family of medicines. The most popular ones include sumatriptan, rizatriptan, zolmitriptan, frovatriptan, and migard. Triptans decrease inflammation and modify blood flow via increasing serotonin (a neurotransmitter in the brain).

You can even get melatonin and other prescriptions for help with sleep. This, too, should be only taken with advice from a Doctor. 

IQ Doctor 

If you are looking for pharmaceutical options for migraine medication, IQ Doctor is the place for you. It is a UK pharmacy fully licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to sell medicines online. IQ Doctor offers its customers a wide variety of migraine treatment medications. You can visit their website and get a free consultation with a medical professional to determine what medicine may be suitable for you. Once you place your order, the medication will be shipped to you right away.

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