Blizzards, Frigid Temps and Chronic Migraines

(c) Can Stock Photo

February 25, 2015

What if you surrendered to winter, and fled with your shorts, golf clubs and migraines to Phoenix, Arizona? This isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. The tourism office in one upstate New York town recently declared surrender to winter on its website. It seems that when the weather in your own town gets nasty, so does your chronic migraine condition. Maybe surrendering makes sense to you too?

According to a report about this story on USA Today, the Ithaca-Tomkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau website posted this message to prospective visitors: “Due to this ridiculously stupid winter, Ithaca invites you to visit The Keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out. Really, it’s for the birds here now. … P.S. Send us a postcard.” Judging from the unprecedented response to the message, resulting in a site crash, many people were attracted by the surrender suggestion.

But will escaping your local freezing temps and snowy roads really ease your migraines? According to the American Academy of Neurology’s journal Neurology Now, in an article published during 2013, temperature shifts, barometric pressure changes and stormy weather might all trigger chronic migraines for some people. But, before you take this information and flee to the tropics, it’s important to note that you might not be doing yourself any favors. After all, elevated humidity, extreme dryness and bright sun glare are also well known migraine triggers. This information would seem to suggest Palm Springs, Miami and Phoenix aren’t migraine proof either.

The good news is that while you can’t stop the weather from changing, you can use the media forecasts and your migraine diary to plan ahead. If your chronic migraine condition is triggered by lack of sleep, stress, wine or any number of other stimulants, be especially vigilant about avoiding those when you know drastic weather changes are imminent.   Also, be sure to keep your migraine medication prescriptions filled and within easy access, just in case.

If your local snowy storms, and migraine attacks have been interminable this winter, and it’s not in your cards to relocate to Phoenix, a migraine procedure instead of ‘surrender’ might be the better way to go.




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