How to Stop Your Migraines This Summer
Migraines are awful! They're so painful, make us sensitive to light and noise, nauseous/vomit...they're debilitating. I frequently share that I suffer from migraines, but have taken steps to significantly reduce them.
One of those steps is to make sure I'm ALWAYS wearing sunglasses on sunny days. Today's guest post from Destiny Hagest is all about how you can reduce your migraines.
Read on -
It’s not your imagination — people who suffer with migraines often get them more in the summertime.
When your list of migraine triggers is already two pages long, this may not be what you want to hear, but it’s the truth: seasonal weather can cause more migraines.
When you know more about what’s causing your migraines, you can do more to prevent them (I promise, knowledge really IS power). So don’t freak out, don’t roll your eyes, and don’t ignore this stuff.
Because I’m right there with you in Migraines Suck Summer Camp, and I know if you don’t avoid your triggers, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Migraines or Headaches?
First up, let’s clear the air here — there is a BIG difference between migraines and headaches.
This isn’t for the sake of the “I Suffer the Most” badge of honor award, it’s because preventing and treating a migraine is super different than a headache.
Headaches can be formed by a variety of stimuli — cranial pressure (holy headbands), sinus infections, lack of sleep, you name it.
All of these things can cause a migraine, but the difference here is that headaches are typically pain felt everywhere in your head, not localized. They can last as little as an hour or as long as a week.
Migraines can be caused by cranial pressure changes, as well as a whole laundry list of other triggers:
Too much caffeine
Not enough caffeine
Too much screen time
And on. And on. Anyone with a history of migraines probably has a whole list of their triggers running through their brains to avoid seriously screwing with their day.
Migraine pain is typically concentrated on one side of the head and can be so intense that the victim can’t open their eyes.
They can also come with a slew of seriously freaky neurological symptoms, known as an aura. Everyone’s aura migraines are a little different, but symptoms can include:
Temporary loss of vision
Oscillating lights in the eyes
Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Extreme nausea and vomiting
It. Is. AWFUL.
When you have migraines regularly, it helps to know what’s causing them, so you can avoid that thing like the plague.
Some people actually experience more migraines in the winter, but the majority of people with seasonal sensitivity develop the majority of them in the summer.
A perfect storm of triggers comes together in the summer that puts migraine sufferers at extra risk:
- Increased risk of dehydration (heat)
Bright light triggers (sun on cars in traffic is a big one)
Increased humidity makes smells more pungent
Nasal congestion (because allergies)
As people set out on vacations, they get stressed out with travel planning, they don’t get enough sleep as they travel, they eat junk food in airports and gas stations, and they lose their water bottles ten thousand times.
The result for anyone with a history of migraines is spending two days locked in a dark hotel room while the rest of the family enjoys the beach — not fun.
What You Can Do
Alright, enough of the Debbie Downer routine — here’s the good news: you can do something about it.
The rotation of the earth on its axis and position of the sun is out of your control, but you can control your exposure to migraine triggers in the summer.
#1 — Drink more water
Seriously, take your water bottle with you EVERYWHERE and have backups on backups on backups.
#2 — Wear sunglasses
And not the cutesy ones at the mall — REAL, full-on sun protection for grownups. Get 100% UV protection sunglasses (and sure, get ‘em in a cat eye shape), and keep them on you all the time. Glare is a major migraine trigger, and the last place you want to get one is while you’re sitting in traffic.
#3 — Bring snacks
Be that person with snacks in her purse all the time. It’ll keep you from reaching for junk food at the gas station and inadvertently triggering a migraine while you’re on vacation.
#4 — Treat your allergies
Sinus pressure can be a serious problem for migraine sufferers. If seasonal allergies are hitting you where it hurts, talk to your doctor about solutions (like, yesterday).
#5 — Ditch the perfume
Even natural fragrances can pack a heavy olfactory punch, and summer heat and humidity only makes it worse. At least until things start to cool down, stick with a mild deodorant and skip the perfume.
Live Yo’ Life
Having migraines can feel like having a literal ax hanging over your head sometimes. Tiptoeing around triggers is exhausting, but making them a part of your routine will make it second nature.
Make the last few weeks of summer count and stop feeling like you’re at the mercy of your migraines.
About the Writer
Destiny Hagest is a freelance copywriter and crunchy mom of two wild little boys. By day, she’s a corporate copy slinger working with cool brands like J+S Vision, but by night she’s just another mom staying up past her bedtime.
I hope you found this article helpful!
Do you suffer from migraines? What has been helpful for you in avoiding them? Let me know in the comments!
Peace and wellness -
Hi! I'm Bri....the wife, mom, RN, and Certified Health Coach behind HippieDippieMom. Read more about me here.
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