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Thunderstorm

This weekend’s weather in Athens, Georgia was beautiful and wet and intense and, for me and a handful of friends, migraine-inducing. I was, however casually, in charge of our neighborhood association’s party yesterday afternoon and felt fine up until the clouds finally broke open and the rain came pouring down in sheets. It was only then that the switch in the left side of my neck and head seemed to activate. I wasn’t in pain, just acutely aware that the migraine attack had been set in motion.

Sometimes cloudy weather is a trigger shortly before the heavy clouds roll in—the sky can still be mostly blue, but my brain knows that the storm is coming. Other times, the clouds need to be in thick, gray piles before my migraine is triggered. Days like yesterday I found that the rainfall at last triggered the attack, whereas other days the finally-falling rain is what makes me start to feel better. Happily, changes in barometric pressure don’t always trigger my migraines.

There’s been significant talk about the relationship between weather and migraine disease (including some mentions here on Migraine.com), but descriptions of this phenomenon vary wildly among migraineurs. My story shows that the weather’s effect on migraine can vary wildly from attack to attack. Sometimes the shifts in barometric pressure don’t affect me in the least!

If you are someone who’s strongly affected by the weather, tell us about it—when did you first notice your body’s connection to the weather? What do you do to help prevent or soothe weather-related migraine attacks?

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Comments

  • Shelly Stokes
    8 years ago

    I am doing almost everything I know of to prevent my migraines, but unfortunately I can not do anything about those barometric pressure related attacks. I can almost always predict a thunderstorm with more accuracy than the weather man, lol! And when the migraine hits, there is nothing I can do but wait it out. I am sensitive to narcotics, and nothing OTC will touch it. I just recently started going to a chiropractor who thinks he may be able to help; I’m hopeful!

  • Marietta Johnson
    8 years ago

    Sudden changes in barometer, especially drops affect me greatly. I too have had migraines that lasted 3-5 days if the barometric pressure stays low for an extended time. The whole month of April was horrible for me! My mother, an RN, first noticed the corelation to low barometer for me, about 1996. I have now found a website that graphs the pressure thoughout each day, and when I go back and look, If I have written down that my aura started at 10am… that’s when the barometer started a steep dive! And I don’t feel better until it comes back up… but not too high either! Meds don’t seem to help as much when the barometer is erratic either. I have to be very careful with my other triggers when the weather is erratic. Those can be some of the very worst migraines I can get…. I stumble instead of walking, I babble instead of speaking, I throw up instead of eating, I can’t sit up, cause the pain is worse, Just lie in a dark room with ice on my head, face, neck and back…. the really bad ones.

  • Maureen Gallagher
    8 years ago

    The barometric pressure always has an effect on my migraines especially when there is a sudden change…usually that means I will have the migraine for at least 3 days.

  • Eileen Finegan D'Angelo
    8 years ago

    Do you see a chiropractor? I have a few friends who have had a lot of success with chiropratics to reduce headaches.

  • Eva Gebre
    8 years ago

    right with you Maureen. mine arrived at 6 am today, and will be with me tomorrow at minimum too.

  • Elaine Gross
    8 years ago

    My ears and head feel very full, and the pressure is painful. I also feel dizzy and nauseous.

  • Lesley Freed
    8 years ago

    I hope you feel better now Elaine!

  • Georgia Phelps Robertson
    8 years ago

    I agree with everyone here. I too get migraines due to pressure changes. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia and pressure changes greatly effect it too. My Dr prescribed Inderal for me about 9 months ago. I’ve gone from 8-12 migraines a month down to 4-5. I’d say its worth it.

  • Maureen Baxter Douglas
    8 years ago

    I get them anytime there is moisture unfortunately. The barometric pressure changes in anyway can cause them. For instance currently I have one and we have had a storm system sitting over us since Saturday night. I have had one the whole time. As for relief I only get it when the pressure is gone. It doesn’t always happen when the rain or snow comes….it is more when the storm is gone.

  • Maureen Baxter Douglas
    8 years ago

    nope

  • Yancy Fry
    8 years ago

    move to arizona…dry as hell there.

  • Rosette Alcantara Doyle
    8 years ago

    I can usually tell when the weather changes especially when it rains. My head feels foggy and full, my left eye starts to blur and the left side of my face gets numb and feels a little droopy. My hands also start feeling a little weaker. I would love to live in the desert. I’ve always wanted to find out if anyone has every moved due to this reason, and if they’ve had any improvements.

  • Marietta Johnson
    8 years ago

    I have often wondered the same thing! Meds have helped me to some degree, btu nothing seems to help against these midwestern thunderstorms!!

  • Crissy Diener
    8 years ago

    I get them just before the rain starts, and they usually go away when it’s about halfway thru the shower or storm. I usually get the spots in front of my eyes, and then I’ll start sneezing like crazy. I know then, that the headache is coming! I kid my husband that I want to move to the desert! lol

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