December 16, 2018

Treatment for Weather Headaches | Headache Diary

 

Having looked at the symptoms and cause of weather headaches and the factors involved in headaches and the weather, the first part of this series dealing with the treatment for weather headaches will address the importance of keeping a headache diary.

 

Headache Diary

Some people begin self treatment for weather headaches without ever verifying whether they do indeed suffer from them. ‘Maybe’ suffering from them is a world apart from knowing for definite. Not only that, for certain treatments to work optimally, it important to know under what weather/air pressure conditions a persons headaches are likely to develop so that the sufferer can pre-empt or lessen an attack from developing.

In addition, it is not uncommon for a person to be medically diagnosed as suffering from migraines and medicated to suppress the symptoms without the actual migraine trigger(s) being identified. Although they may get symptom relief with the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed, if their migraine trigger was found to be weather related, it might mean that they could reduce medication or be given a more suitable, short term form of treatment with fewer side effects.

How can you determine whether you are a weather sensitive person?

Weather Headache Diary

Treatment for Weather Headaches | Headache Diary

One must keep a diary that records when your headaches began and under what air pressure/weather conditions they started. Depending on the accuracy required, a minimum amount of data should include recording:

  • Time/date the headache started.
  • Headache symptoms and severity.
  • Type of weather and air pressure.

In order to build up meaningful results, one should keep a headache diary for more than 6 months. Some people record data daily (including temperature, humidity and altitude) regardless whether they experienced a headache on that particular day. Why? Recording data on a daily basis can help reveal subtle patterns associated with an increased risk in headache frequency or severity e.g. an individual may find their headaches depend on specific changes in air pressure, or their headaches may be linked to decreasing air pressure coupled with a sudden spike in temperature etc. However, every extra variable measured e.g. temperature or humidity, results in a notable increase the amount of data. Therefore, it is important to keep accurate and methodical records; displaying data in a graphical format (e.g. on graph paper) can help with interpretation and spotting trends and patterns much easier.

The next article will discuss recommended equipment for keeping a headache diary.

Treatment for Weather Headaches | Types of Treatment

 

Previous articles concerning treatment for weather headaches looked at the importance of  keeping a headache diary and recommended equipment that a weather headache sufferer should consider owning. We know turn our attention to giving an overview of the various types of treatment available for weather headaches.

 

Types of Treatment

The most holistic approach for tackling general headache symptoms is through non-drug or therapy methods such as avoiding stuffy rooms, taking a brisk walk or exercising to raise natural headache fighting body chemicals e.g. endorphin’s, and avoiding general migraine triggers e.g. red wine, bright or flickering lights, strong aromas or broken sleeping patterns.

However, the first point of call for most people regarding medication is through trying over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen (Paracetamol) or ibuprofen. Some treatments contain one of the basic drugs plus an additional substance which modifies its action e.g. Paracetamol with caffeine added. In this case, caffeine helps the main drug to be adsorbed faster and to work more effectively, plus it helps blood vessels to constrict thereby reducing pain. Unfortunately, there are a minority of people who are sensitive to caffeine – it can actually trigger their migraines!

Types of Treatment

Types of Treatment

If the above methods prove ineffectual, it will be necessary to consult a medical practitioner who will usually have you accessed to rule out any serious underlying medical conditions. They will then typically prescribe medication that will either help prevent headaches e.g. Beta Blockers such as Propranolol, or acute medication that will help tackle developing headaches or migraines to prevent them becoming entrenched e.g. Triptans such as Sumatriptan.

However, some people have found that alternative therapies treat weather headache symptoms effectively. Many possible treatments have been recorded as being beneficial, for example:

  • Herbal medication.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Meditation.
  • Pilates.
  • Yoga.
  • Aromatherapy.

In addition, the use of equipment such as ionizers and humidifiers are reported to be helpful. Finally, some research studies have shown Magnesium supplements are of benefit for weather headache sufferers, although the  recommended dosage varies between 200-800 mg/ day depending on the study in question.

It is important to remember that what helps one person may not help another. Therefore, it is vital to remain patient and be prepared to adjust or alter the medication/ therapy in order to find a type of  treatment for weather headaches that is optimally suited to your needs. Before starting any treatment or taking any medication always apply due diligence and if you have any concerns, always seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

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