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How Can You Prevent or Avoid Migraines?
What Are Migraine Triggers?
Prophylactic Medications to Reduce or Avoid Migraines
Types of Migraines
Cryotherapy:  Ice Relief for Migraine Headaches
An Optical Migraine FAQ
Migraines and Pregnancy
The Art of Massaging Migraine Headaches
Migraine Headaches and the Weather
Menstrual Migraines
Migraines and the Smoking Connection
Well-Known Migraine Triggers
The Migraine-Aspartame Connection
Stress & the Migraine Sufferer
Sexually-Triggered Migraines
Eye Problems & Migraines
Fragrance Migraine Triggers
Treating Menstrual Migraines
Migraine Treatment:  A Natural Approach

Migraine Headaches and the Weather

As nearly any migraine sufferer can tell you, certain triggers are often responsible for bringing on migraine attacks.  These can be anything from drinking wine, eating chocolate, even just the stress associated with daily living.  Each of these and more has been found to increase the incidence rate of migraine headaches for many sufferers.  However, fewer people, even the migraine sufferers themselves, seem to realize that the weather can be a trigger.

A migraine headache is a very painful headache resulting from changes in the sufferer's blood vessels in the brain.  The resulting pain can often be quite debilitating, and can also produce other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and others.  In many cases, the sufferer reports seeing what's called an aura or smelling unusual smells. Migraines occur more often in women  than men; about 18 percent of women suffer from them compared to 7 percent for men.  

Many of these sufferers have learned how to avoid most triggers--but the weather is a different story. Nobody can control that.  In a study conducted by the New England Center for Headaches, it was discovered that more than 50 percent of migraine sufferers could track a link between the weather and their attacks.  Seventy-seven people who reported sufferers of regular migraine attacks were analyzed and asked to keep a journal of their incidents.  These journals were then compared with weather for the included dates.  The weather conditions included things such as changes in the atmospheric pressure or extremely hot or cold temperatures.

And while the link is now documented, it's not known for sure how or why weather affects migraines in this manner.  It's believed, however, that in some way, the weather patterns trigger an inflammation in the meninges of the sufferer's brain.  If a person has migraines and has not yet considered the weather factor, he or she might consider keeping a diary or calendar of when the attacks occur and compare these dates to the weather for that day.  Write down every conceivable factor about the weather What was the temperature?  Was there rain or snow?  Was it humid or dry?  What was the wind like?

While there's not much you can do to avoid these weather conditions, finding out if your attacks are affected by the weather could help you know in advance when a migraine might strike.  This way, you can begin immediately to take steps such as taking medicine or relaxing in a dark room.  It might also help you rule out other trigger "suspects."

Migraine sufferers know all too well how these painful attacks interrupt their daily schedules and interfere with things that need to be done. Understanding triggers is a way of lessening the impact they have on your life--and understanding if the weather is one of those triggers is an important step in this regard.

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