I-I-I I’ve got a migraine
And my pain will range from up, down, and sideways.
I don’t know why they always seem so dismal
Thunderstorms, clouds, snow and a slight drizzle
Whether it’s the weather or the ledges by my bed
Sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head.
21 Pilots, lyrics to “Migraine”
Last week at the beginning of spring, I got clobbered by a migraine attack, and it took me out for two straight days. I was down for the count.
Last year, about the same time as the seasons changed, I also suffered from a bout of migraines. The migraines started in my late 20s. It’s something I have little control over.
I have not found a good medication that works. The migraine glasses that I wear work when I look at computer screens because they block certain wavelengths. But my colleague Boyd Matheson, who hosts “Inside Sources” on this station, told me that migraines are seasonal?
What kind of doctor do I have that I didn’t know migraines were seasonal?
Change of seasons and onset of migraines
Migraines make me feel like a weak idiot. It’s something I can’t control. Like last week, sometimes I miss work, a job that I love. You feel helpless. I’m embarrassed to talk about it. I feel other people, who don’t have migraines, think, “Oh, c’mon, you can’t handle a little headache?”
Luckily, Dr. Cynthia Armand of the at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in New York, who is an expert on migraine pain, provided some guidance, saying that “foods, substances, stressors, changes in sleep or hormones, and weather changes” can trigger migraine attacks.
Also, Dr. Armand says rising or falling barometric pressure can cause a pressure difference in the sinuses and spark a migraine attack. In other words, a change in the atmosphere can bring on a migraine. Good to know, doctor.
I can tell about a half an hour before the onset when I’m about to get hit with a migraine attack. I get blind spots. I call them the splotchies. I don’t know if that’s the medical term. The only thing I can do is sleep. I’ll sleep for 12 hours. I’m lucky. Some sufferers can’t even sit down.
Temperature changes and where you live in the world can also cause a migraine to come on, says Dr. Armand.
I tried to tell my boss that I can’t work in the spring. I need springtime off. Is that too much to ask? But so far it’s not working.
Migraine sufferers can take action against the season
Here are some tips from Dr. Armand for migraine sufferers who are affected by seasonal changes:
In autumn, put on a scarf or hat to guard against temperature fluctuations and beware of drafts, which can sweep in colds and migraines. In winter, when the air indoors is dry, use a humidifier. In summer, drink plenty of fluids because dehydration is one of the biggest migraine triggers, says Dr. Armand.
In springtime, allergens come in to play, so contact your doctor about possibly taking allergy medicine. Also, don’t forget the sunglasses to decrease sunlight exposure. And don’t be afraid to share with your doctor anything you think might be a possible migraine trigger.
Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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