Ice cubes in plastic bags over hands

How I Cool Down During Summer - With Migraine

I don’t know if any other community members experience more migraines in the summer as I do, but I thought I’d share some of my hacks for when I’m really struggling with migraine symptoms.

Summer and increasing migraine attacks

For me, my worst migraines occur in summer due to allergies and all of the sprays, fogging of lawns and trees, and other allergies that impact me severely. I also have autonomic dysfunction, which makes regulating my body temperature an awful experience.

So, no, you won’t find me lying out in the sun a lot because I become feverish very quickly.

Managing seasonal allergies

I haven’t found a combination of allergy medications that work for my seasonal allergies, but I have considered shots again. I know how terrible my allergies have been in May, as I’ve used almost a small box of tissue every day. Sometimes, I’ll go through a whole box in one day if I have a serious allergy attack.

My summer cool down tools

  • Cooling blanket: Don't use fleece or a thick cotton blanket (seems silly, but when I have migraines, I want to cuddle up with something comfortable)
  • Raised bed: The first time I used one, I actually used a large raised dog bed where air could flow from my fan underneath my body - and I actually felt very comfortable with a blanket and cooling pillow
  • Darkening blackout shades: Ones that actually absorb the sunlight if your home layout lets a ton of sun in all day long.
  • Sudafed: The drainage and post-nasal drip cause me constant sinus infections almost immediately, so I make sure that my septum is as open as possible, so I end up taking Sudafed a lot of times to help unclog what feels like my whole face swollen up and extremely painful when pressing the pressure points in how they test for sinus infections.
  • Cooling ice wraps & ace bandage: Bags of ice are too sensitive on my skin, so I wrap in a towel and maneuver it to wherever it hurts the most. Usually, I use it on the back of my neck and another on the top of my head.
  • Nights on the patio: I stay outside as I did as a kid every night until the sun goes down. And most nights, still stay outside for some more fresh air. The one disadvantage to this is my migraines tend to pop up more because I’m surrounded by grass, blooming trees, and other serious seasonal allergies. (Summer nights outside really is great for my mental health, so I guess I owe my neighbors an apology for all the sneezing that comes from our porch).
  • Frozen wet sponges in a ziplock bag: I freeze new sponges and put them in a ziplock bag to keep beneath my wrists if I have to work at my computer, for my hands and forearms can rest on them.

How about you?

What would you add or take off this list?

What helps you control your temperature when you're struggling with migraines, specifically in summer?

What are some of your tips or hacks to prevent migraines in summer?

Do you experience more migraines in summer or winter?

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