Could Your Worsening Headache Be Related to the Weather?

Are you one of those people who suffer from frequent headaches, at random, in a day? If you answered yes to the question, then you are probably wondering why it happens for no apparent reason. Headaches are among the most widely experienced symptoms known to man, and usually means there is something wrong with your body, particularly the neck and head region.

Technically, a headache is called a “non-specific symptom” because it can be caused by a number of factors. The way this symptom is treated is by determining its root cause. Most people take analgesics to remedy the pain.

When you visit a trusted doctor to report a nuisance headache, one of the questions he or she will ask is what kind of pain you experience. He or she will also ask you to gauge the intensity of your headaches by gauging it from a level of one to ten, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest.

Some people suffer from throbbing or pulsating headaches, some experience a piercing pain, while a distinct portion suffer from both. As for the degree of pain, different intensities have different causes. These headaches can go from mild to excruciating, which might then be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

However, many medical experts are connecting a portion of headaches to be caused by weather eccentricities. There is a significant number of people that experience migraines during a thunderstorm or when there’s a sudden rise or drop in temperature. One patient even experienced an increase in the intensity of the weather-induced headache when eating chocolates or drinking alcohol.

There is now a whopping 30 million people (and counting) in the United States who suffer from painful migraines. The fact there are so many people experiencing such a troublesome, and at times debilitating, symptom makes it a very serious issue.

So Can the Weather Really Cause a Headache?

The answer to that, dear one, is a painful yes. Why painful? Because you would have to accept the fact that you are at the mercy of Mother Nature and that your health is affected by something that cannot be prevented, such as a thunderstorm or a heavy downpour.

Warm weather, drastic changes in temperature, and low atmospheric pressure as well as lightning bolts have been reported to trigger headaches. While the exact explanation has yet to be determined, the link is most certainly legitimate. According to Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians’ Comprehensive Headache Center’s clinical director Dr. Carolyn Bernstein, who is also the author of The Migraine Brain, people who usually experience migraines are vulnerable to any type of fluctuation, including weather change.

A lot of patients she has encountered report exacerbating migraines whenever there’s a strong storm around. In Boston, where she’s based, there’s a spike in patients reporting in for migraine treatment whenever its August, known to be the hurricane season.

It is best to keep in mind, however, that weather-induced headaches are only a fraction of the various headaches that bother individuals. Those that are usually triggered by any change in the atmosphere are usually those that make people sensitive to light and noise. These can cause nausea and usually brings about toe-curling pain, which makes it hard for people to go about their usual activities.

Some of the possible explanations behind this kind of headache that were mentioned include the following:

(1) The weather affects the brain chemistry of patients who experience migraine, specifically by lowering the levels of serotonin in the body.

(2) Low barometric pressure can affect the trigeminal nerve found in the eyes and the sinuses.

(3) Electromagnetic waves that come from lightning can trigger headaches.

(4) Lightning produces pollutants in the air, which then aids in releasing fungal spores that then lead to migraine.

For migraine sufferers, spring is the most challenging among the seasons, as there are layers of factors that could add up to a really bad migraine. This is because of the rainstorms that get more frequent during this time. In a study published in the journal Cephalagia (An International Journal of Headache), it was revealed that the risk of having a migraine whenever a lightning strikes goes up to 28%, and this applies to those who are within a 25-mile radius from the source.

This, however, does not necessarily mean that these migraine-sufferers will forever be at the mercy of thunderstorms and lightning bolts, but it is rather a part of the whole equation leading to increased occurrences of migraine. For more information about this particular type of migraine, do not hesitate to consult with a medical professional.

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