Tips to prevent migraine headaches triggered by the weather

By Andy Kalmowitz, AccuWeather staff writer

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In May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first medicine that is designed to prevent migraines, which could end up having a largely positive impact on people are susceptible to these severe headaches.

The new drug is called Aimovig and would be administered as a monthly injection with a device that is similar to an insulin pen, according to the New York Times.

Not all migraines are triggered or exacerbated by the same thing, and for many people, they can be caused by the weather, especially extreme heat.

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(princigalli/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines can be triggered by changes in the weather. People who have migraines can be more sensitive to bright sunlight, extreme heat or cold, sun glare, high humidity, dry air, windy or stormy weather and changes in barometric pressure.

“For some people, weather changes may cause imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which can prompt a migraine,” writes Jerry Swanson, M.D. “Weather-related triggers also may worsen a headache caused by other triggers."

While there is no complete migraine cure, there are several steps you can take to prevent or manage them.

A very simple step to take is to keep a headache diary. Every time you have one, list it with details such as when it happened, how long it lasted and what could have been its cause.

Migraine sufferers can also monitor weather changes and avoid known triggers. One example is to stay inside when it is hot or humid outside. If those weather factors have caused migraines in the part, it is best to try to avoid them all together.

Another thing you can do is more overarching. Eat healthy food, drink enough water, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and try to manage your stress.

The final migraine mitigation strategy may be the simplest: Take your migraine medication at the very first sign of symptoms.

While these steps will not absolutely guarantee that you won’t get a migraine, they are good steps to take in order to mitigate them.


For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.

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