Migraines can be debilitating, and for many people, they strike at the worst times. If you’ve noticed a pattern of migraines that coincide with changes in the weather or other seasonal factors, you might be dealing with seasonal migraine triggers. Learning how to identify these triggers is the first step in minimizing their impact on your life.
Understanding Seasonal Migraine Triggers
Migraines are complex and various factors can contribute to their onset. Seasonal migraine triggers are things that tend to worsen or initiate a migraine during specific times of the year. Here are some of the most common seasonal migraine triggers to watch out for:
- Weather changes: A sudden shift in temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure can trigger a migraine for many people. For instance, the transition from summer to fall can be challenging for a lot of migraine sufferers because of the rapid drop in temperature.
- Seasonal allergies: Pollen, mold, ragweed, and other allergens that are more prevalent during certain times of the year can be major migraine triggers. Allergies increase histamine levels in the body and cause sinus congestion and inflammation, which can lead to migraine attacks for people predisposed to them.1 Keep an eye on weather forecasts and pollen counts. This information can help you prepare for potential triggers so you can take preventive measures.
- Sunlight: Bright light is a common migraine trigger, which can make an extra sunny season particularly challenging for some migraine sufferers. Wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat outdoors on extra sunny days can help reduce the risk.
- Holiday stress: The holiday season can be stressful for many people. Stress is a known migraine trigger, so managing stress levels during these periods is important to avoid initiating an attack.
- Dehydration: Hot summer weather can lead to dehydration, another common migraine trigger. It’s essential to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated every day, but more so if you’re out and about when it’s sweltering outside, to mitigate this seasonal migraine trigger.
Identifying Your Own Seasonal Migraine Triggers
Now that you know some of the more common seasonal migraine triggers, the next step is identifying your personal culprits. Here are three strategies that can help:
- Keep a migraine diary: Start keeping a record of each migraine episode that includes the date, time, location, and severity of the migraine. Also, jot down any potential seasonal triggers you notice before or after a migraine attack, such as weather changes or exposure to allergens.
- Look for patterns: After a few months of keeping your migraine diary, review your entries to look for patterns or common factors that seem to coincide with your migraine attacks. This will help you identify your specific seasonal triggers.
- Practice prevention: If you notice that allergies or weather changes, for instance, tend to trigger your migraines, make prevention a part of your day-to-day life. For some people, that might look like staying indoors or managing allergies with medication. For others, it might be implementing relaxation techniques to reduce stress. The trick is to find what works for you.
- Consult a health care professional: If you’re struggling to identify your triggers, a health care professional can provide valuable insights and recommend appropriate treatments or preventive measures. A health care provider can also guide you on solutions you may not know about it, like gammaCore™ non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator (nVNS). This FDA-cleared device is available with a prescription and works to prevent and treat migraines without daily medications or injections. Plus, gammaCore nVNS is portable and handheld, so you can use it at home, while travelling, or even just out and about during the day.
To see if gammaCore is right for you, visit our clinic finder to locate a health care provider near you, or contact our dedicated Customer Experience team at 888-903-2673 or email@example.com.
1. Fall Migraine Triggers. National Headache Foundation. Retrieved August 17, 2023, from https://headaches.org/fall-migraine-triggers/