Seasonal Changes and Chronic Headaches

(c) Can Stock Photo

January 3, 2014

With winter seasonal changes in full swing from Portland to D.C. and San Antonio, migraine sufferers are feeling the full effects from all of the chronic headache triggers associated with this time of year.  Many migraineurs are sensitive to certain weather or changes in weather.

While humidity levels and temperature trigger headaches for some; in others varying temperatures, barometric pressure and even sunlight can trigger migraines.  In an interview with, a neurology professor from the Cleveland Clinic explains that weather change also affects certain migraineurs thanks to messing up their circadian rhythms.  This is evidenced by the fact that these individuals seem to go through the same ordeal year after year.

Many chronic headache sufferers mistake migraines for sinus headaches. According to the neurologist, this assumption is faulty since according to a 2004 research study, out of 3000 people who thought they had sinus headaches, only 8 of these individuals actually had a sinus infection.  In reality, most of those headache sufferers had migraines.  The doctor further notes that headaches are actually not a primary sinus infection symptom and in any event, this condition isn’t precipitated by changes in weather.

Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a year round consistent and pleasant climate, you will need to carefully monitor your chronic headaches to make sure you are avoiding your triggers, and practice attentive self-care.  Hey, the good news is that whether you live in Portland, Maine, Washington D.C. or San Antonio, migraines can be managed with a broad array of treatments from preventative medication, to lifestyle modification and even migraine procedures.  At least you can enjoy the excitement of environmental change (snow, ice) that comes with winter, which those unfortunate residents of places like San Diego surely miss!

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