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.
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?
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 make spotting trends and patterns much easier.
The next article will discuss recommended equipment for keeping a headache diary.