The onset of cold weather can cause many people to experience more than just a change in the temperature. When a cold front passes through, the barometric pressure drops. This change in the air pressure can cause sinus or ear pain. If the cold air is dry, it can dry out sensitive sinus membranes, making headache and migraine pain even worse.
If you’re prone to getting headaches or migraines in the winter, there are several things you can do to reduce the risks.
Eat healthy: A balanced diet helps your body handle cold weather-related headaches better. Fruits and vegetables contain detoxifying agents that lower the risks of migraines. Protein, in the form of chicken soup, can also help with winter headaches. Warm soup soothes the sinuses and gives your body a natural antibiotic that helps protect against infections.
Stay hydrated: The brain is three-quarters water, and when it detects dehydration, it begins to produce histamines that cause pain and fatigue. As a result, you’ll experience a headache and low energy. Hydrating every day will prevent the brain from producing histamines and its painful results. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day.
Stress management: Life can be stressful, and how you handle it can greatly affect your health. A balanced life with enough time for work, loved ones, relaxation and fun helps to develop the strength you’ll need to deal with life’s pressures and meet its challenges.
Get enough rest: When you sleep, your body and mind recharge to take on the next day. Without enough rest, your energy levels drop and your memory can also be affected. Be sure to get about seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Sufficient rest keeps your body in the best shape it can be to fight migraine triggers.
Don’t take too much medication: According to the International Headache Society, taking headache medication more than twice a week puts you at risk for Medication Overuse Headaches. Medications can cause headaches or migraines to worsen or happen more frequently over time. This can create a cycle where you take more medicine to combat the pain, which leads to worsening and more frequent headaches, which causes you to take more medication.
Keep a Headache Diary: If you suspect the weather is a culprit regarding your headaches or migraines, a headache diary can help you determine if this is true. A diary is an important part of keeping headache pain from disrupting your life.
Note in your diary:
Keeping a headache diary for one to three months will help you see any patterns and help determine if the cold weather is a factor. Your headache diary can also help your doctor decide on the best methods for treating your headaches.
At Complete Neurological Care in NYC, our top migraine and headache specialists know how to diagnose and treat persistent headaches and migraines. Schedule an appointment to ease the discomfort cold weather headaches can bring.