No, You’re Not Imagining It. Seasonal Changes Do Trigger Headaches

Headaches can tear open your head and sometimes your soul. Here’s how to deal with the seasonal misery 

Published
Health News
3 min read
A whole host of factors like changes in daylight, barometric pressure, and temperature could be to blame (Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)

Headaches - oldest excuse in the book but they can make an adult groan out loud, rock back and forth on the floor, cradle their head in pain or crawl on their knees.

If you start thinking what causes headaches, you’ll end up with a migraine yourself.

There are more than 200 types of headaches but a rare, intensive kind of pain that affects more than two million Indians (according to the National Headache Foundation) strikes at the change of seasons.

Just about everyone knows someone who has a migraine - an intense throbbing headache in one area of the head, commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound - and for some people this happens each time the season changes. So spring does not always mean warmer weather, blooming flowers - it’s also a world of pain.

But what’s the science behind a fall mold headache, a summer migraine or a winter cluster headache? Or is it just in your head?

What Does a Changing Season Have To Do With a Headache?

Their seasonal nature means cluster headaches are sometimes mistaken for allergies or just stress (Photo: YouTube/EPainAssist) 
Their seasonal nature means cluster headaches are sometimes mistaken for allergies or just stress (Photo: YouTube/EPainAssist) 

Doctors aren’t completely sure but it probably has something to do with the internal clock that everyone has in their brain that control circadian rhythm. So it is easy to figure out the outside ambience which can be the culprit, it is hard for experts to figure out what exactly it is the change in season that is the culprit.

Studies estimate that on June 21, the start of the summer solstice, while most people in India are celebrating monsoons, there are millions who are in debilitating pain due to the earth’s shift towards the sun. Doctors agree that it’s a known fact that our biological rhythm is tied to earth’s rotation and the most extreme gravitational offsets can cause headaches for many.

During the autumn months, there are not only changes in temperature, but also in barometric pressure - summers therefore, give migraines to many. In fact a study by New York Head Center (NYHC) found that your risk of a headache goes up by 10% each time the temperature increases by 8 degrees.

(Photo: YouTube/TheHollywoodSigh)
(Photo: YouTube/TheHollywoodSigh)

Dehydration is also to be blamed for a summer headache. The NYHC estimates, if the body loses water and it is not replenished then there is a 40% chance of a migraine episode. So keep hydrated with at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and avoid caffeinated drinks in and alcohol in extreme heat as they cause dehydration.

How To Deal With a Throbbing Headache

(Photo courtesy: Tumblr/<a href="http://a-cat-in-damask.tumblr.com/post/116698700044/i-somehow-got-behind-a-few-episodes-on-mom-i">A-CAT-IN-DAMASK</a>)
(Photo courtesy: Tumblr/A-CAT-IN-DAMASK)

Everyone has a different ritual for getting through their migraines.

Some people just need to pop in their prescription medicines or over-the-counter pain relief, and for other’s it is holistic treatments like homeopathy, essential oils or ... Nutella.

Some people can’t get through a pain episode with an icepack. It’s yoga in a dark room for others to release the tension.

Lavender, peppermint and basil oils work wonders for others.

Make changes in your diet and stay away from foods which contain MSG and even alcohol.

Inflammation is the cause of many headaches and can be reduced by having omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds can help provide relief.

So what’s your way to ensure that a headache doesn’t ruin your life? Write to us in the comments box below.

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