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How A Hat Helps Me Avoid A Migraine In The Winter

I’ve always been an “accessories” kind of girl. Belts, scarves, handbags, you name it and I’m probably a fan. It’s possible this developed out of a love for going through my grandmother’s closet. I’d “listen” to my outfits whisper how much they needed that 1950s black clutch or why my Care Bears sweatshirt had to borrow my grandma’s string of pearls. Years later, I never would’ve imagined my migraine would be “telling” me it needed accessories, too.

Why accessory came first for my migraine?

When I lived in Southern California, it didn’t take my "migrainey head" long to let me know sunglasses were a must. The super bright Los Angeles sun was a quick trigger for bringing on migraine pain that felt as hot as that sun. So, I had sunglasses on hand, well…on my face, anytime I stepped outside. When my family and I decided it was time to move back to my hometown (where there were actual seasons) my head let me know again that I was lacking in migraine gear.

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Would the cold of winter help my head?

I figured the winter weather would be helpful. I mean, a cold room eased my head pain during a migraine attack, so I was ready for wintertime walks and all the cool errand running. Or not. Cooler, maybe, but downright cold, not so much. I noticed the pattern the first winter we moved, the first thing in the morning

Why did this attack come on so suddenly?

“I’ll take the dogs out,” I shouted to my husband down the hall.

This phrase was as much a part of my morning ritual as brushing my teeth or not wanting to get out of my cozy bed. Checking the temperature, my phone read 29 degrees. This was usual for the winter months here, so I grabbed my coat and shouted for the dogs to meet me at the door. We all walked out together, and as I supervised their bathroom break, the twinges started. Then the minute we all came back inside, a migraine began faster than I could say, “Where is my Ubrelvy?” It was the weirdest thing because I’d felt fine when I woke up.

What was the trigger?

It took me a couple of weeks to notice the pattern and figure it out: It was the cold. The temperature had to be below 35 degrees to freeze my head, but it was there. Freezing temps were a migraine trigger. I added it to my list which already included heat, alcohol, lack of sleep, and trying to help my son with “new math.” I wasn’t sure what to do.

“I’ll take the dogs out,” I shouted to my husband down the hall.

“Don’t forget your hat,” my husband yelled back.

It seemed too simple a solution when my husband suggested I put on a hat. I didn't think it would work, but it did. Still, I can't take long, cold walks or make snow angels. But wearing a hat does allow me to run errands and stay outside for a bit without immediately triggering a migraine. So, yeah - I'm going to leave my hat on.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The 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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