Can weather be a migraine trigger? According to a report by WebMD, a recent survey by the US’s National Headache Foundation has revealed that the weather is considered to be a trigger of migraines and other types of headaches in a whopping 73% of sufferers, putting it above intense odors (64%), bright or flickering lights (59%), and extremes of temperature (38%). Not traditionally thought of as a migraine trigger, sensitivity to the weather may be an evolutionary trait that protects us from environmental extremes. However, some experts believe that the weather may be blamed for headaches more often than it is actually true.
If you think that your headaches or migraines may be triggered by changes in the weather, the article suggests keeping a headache diary, recording the following details each time an attack occurs:
- Any early warning signs such as irritability, excitability, depression or yawning
- Headache symptoms: where you feel the pain, what the pain feels like, and any other symptoms, such as vomiting or sensitivity to noise, smells, or bright light
- The time your headache started and ended
- Any food and beverages you had (common triggers include chocolate, caffeine, and foods with the preservatives MSG and nitrates)
- Any changes in the weather, such as storms, high winds, or high humidity
- Any treatment you tried, and whether it helped or made the headache worse
This will help you to establish whether there is any pattern to your symptoms that can – or cannot – be explained by changes in the weather. Can weather be a migraine trigger for you?