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Stop Headaches FAST – Best Migraine & Tension Headache Hacks for EVERYONE (So Easy)!

By on April 11, 2017
Have a splitting headache? Researchers now say the weather is to blame–and to a lesser extent, barometic pressure.

According to research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), people exposed to higher temperatures throughout the day were more prone to headaches, including migraine and tension headaches. Low barometric pressure also caused people to experience more headaches, although researchers note it wasn’t as strong of a factor.

The research currently appears in Neurology.

“Migraine headaches affect a large proportion of the population,” says Kenneth Mukamal, M.D., M.P.H., a physician for the BIDMC Division of General Medicine and Primary Care. “Approximately 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men in the U.S. report having migraine headaches, particularly young and middle-aged adults.  Air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure are among the most frequent reasons that people give for their headache pain.”

The Research

Examining 7,054 patients admitted to the emergency room of BIDMC between May 2000 and December 2007, they calculated how many experienced certain types of headaches, such as tension or migraine headaches.

Then, using meteorological and pollutant monitoring devices, they looked at barometric pressure and air temperature readings to see if it correlated with certain weather conditions. Indeed, it did–the hotter it was, the more likely they were admitted for headache troubles. Changes in barometric pressure, humidity, and air pollution also led to slight increases in hospital admittances, but not to a significant amount.

While researchers could not determine why this increases headache incidences, they do say they believe air temperature can be a serious headache trigger.

“Certainly our results are consistent with the idea that severe headaches can be triggered by external factors,” says Mukamal. “These findings help tell us that the environment around us does affect our health and, in terms of headaches, may be impacting many, many people on a daily basis.”

So how can people avoid these two common headache triggers?

  • Keep up to date on weather reports. On days where high temperatures are reported, try staying indoors more often or finding additional ways to cool off.
  • Avoid going outdoors during peak hours. This is when the sun emits the most heat, triggering headaches. Typical peak hours start at 10 a.m. and end right before the sun sets.
  • Stay hydrated. It’s common for people exposed to high temperatures to become dehydrated, which can also trigger headaches. To minimize your risk, make sure to drink at least 8 ounces of water every hour.

In addition, doctors can prescribe medications to counteract weather triggers if necessary, though these drugs have a slough of side effects.

“Even though the weather can’t be altered, doctors might be able to prescribe medication that can be administered prophylactically to help avert the onset of weather-related headaches,” says Mukamal.

Your best bet? Try to stay cool and hydrated whenever possible; it’s the easiest (and most natural) way to keep headaches away.

Readers: What are your headache “triggers?”

Sources:
Severe Headaches Associated With Higher Temperatures, Lower Barometric PressuresScienceDaily.com
Weather and Air Pollution as Triggers of Severe HeadachesNeurology.org

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