Change of Seasons, Change of Migraine Patterns

As someone who has lived with migraine her whole life, I've noticed acutely that when the temperature or the seasons change, so do my migraine patterns. In a regular month, I get 1-2 really tough migraine attacks that require all of my emergency medication and sometimes even a trip to the emergency room. Now, when it's humid, rainy, changing from winter to spring or summer to fall, that pattern changes. There's now regular small headaches every day or every few days, and some of them turn into debilitating migraines.

Now thats not fair! To have a grasp on things and then have them change in the blink of an eye?

What do I do during these seasons?

I'll tell you that I pay a lot more attention to the upcoming weather than I ever used to.

During these seasons, I spend a lot more time filling, re-filling, and adjusting what I keep in my headache kit. I spend a lot more time worrying about when my next migraine will be, which I'm sure brings on my next migraine.

I spend a lot of time trying to connect with my doctor, ensure I have the right prescriptions in the house, and that if I don't, I'm able to get a refill as soon as possible. That's the worst, in my opinion, to know there's a treatment option that's helpful, but it's unavailable to you because it's stuck at the doctor's office or with the insurance or the pharmacy doesn't have it in stock. Those amount to my biggest frustrations.

How do my migraine attacks change seasonally?

But, when the seasons change, my migraine patterns noticeably change.

I mentioned that they were more frequent, but they were more the pounding type of migraine than the sharp pain type. They still included sensitivity to light and sound, but they come on quicker, and it almost seems like with the right medication combination, they leave quicker. This is an interesting phenomenon, from someone's who has had routine migraines since childhood, sometimes lasting days at a time.

What have I found helpful?

If you find yourself identifying with me, noticing that your migraine pattern changes like mine, here are some tips I've found helpful:

  1. Make sure your migraine kit stays up to date. The worst thing is to be searching for medication or an eye mask when your head is throbbing.
  2. Be aware of where you live and how often the weather changes. Is it unseasonably warm, or does this happen every year? Prepare accordingly.
  3. Prepare your partner or roommate or housemates that when the weather changes, especially quickly or unpredictably, you end up with migraines you didn't expect, and you might need extra quiet/darkness/to cancel plans and be in the silence.
  4. Prepare yourself mentally. Having a migraine can take a lot out of us, and having them more frequently and intently can cause depression and anxiety that you didn't see coming. It might even help to see a therapist that specializes in chronic illnesses to talk through these things.

If you've noticed that your migraine patterns change with the seasons, what tips would you add to my list above? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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