Published: 21 Jul 2023, 08:59 am IST
Migraines are debilitating headaches that affect millions worldwide and have a significant impact on quality of life and daily functioning. The condition is characterized by throbbing pain, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and visual disturbances. A variety of factors can trigger migraine in monsoon – including a change of season such as summer to monsoon.
Why do I get migraines during monsoon season?
During the monsoon season, several factors such as changes in atmospheric pressure, humidity levels and temperature fluctuations can potentially worsen migraines, which are commonly termed ‘monsoon migraines’. Understanding these causes can help individuals better manage their condition and alleviate symptoms. Here are 5 primary causes of migraines during the monsoon season:
1. Change in atmospheric pressure
As heavy rainfall occurs during monsoon, the atmospheric pressure tends to drop. This change in pressure can affect the brain’s blood vessels and oxygen supply, leading to migraines in susceptible individuals. The sudden shift in pressure can also stimulate the release of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, which is known to trigger migraines.
2. Humidity and dehydration
Monsoon is characterised by increased humidity levels. High humidity can lead to excessive sweating and make it challenging for the body to regulate its temperature effectively. This can result in dehydration, a common trigger for migraines.
3. Allergens and mold growth
The rise in humidity during monsoons creates favourable conditions for the growth of mold and fungi. These organisms release spores into the air, which can act as allergens and trigger migraines in individuals who are sensitive to them.
4. Temperature fluctuations
Monsoon often brings about unpredictable temperature changes, swinging from hot and humid to cooler temperatures. These rapid fluctuations can stimulate the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, triggering migraines in susceptible individuals. Extreme heat can also lead to dehydration, exacerbating migraine symptoms.
5. Increased stress and environmental changes
The onset of monsoon may be accompanied by changes in routine, increased stress levels and disruptions in daily life. These environmental and lifestyle changes can contribute to the development of migraines or intensify existing symptoms.
Those prone to migraine need to be aware of these potential triggers during the monsoon season and take appropriate precautions to minimise the impact of these causes and effectively manage migraines during this time.
Tips to manage migraine during monsoon season
While the monsoon season can be challenging for individuals prone to migraines, there are effective ways to help manage the symptoms. Here are 5 tips:
1. Stay hydrated
As the monsoon season brings increased humidity and the potential for dehydration, it is crucial to stay hydrated. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration, which can trigger migraines. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.
2. Control the indoor environment
Manage the indoor environment to minimise potential triggers. Use dehumidifiers or air conditioners to control humidity levels and reduce the growth of mold and fungi. Regularly clean and disinfect areas prone to mold growth, such as bathrooms and kitchen spaces, to minimize exposure to allergens.
3. Follow a consistent routine
Stick to a regular sleep schedule, eat balanced meals and practice stress-management techniques. Maintaining a consistent routine can help reduce the likelihood of migraines triggered by stress and lifestyle changes during the monsoon season.
4. Identify and avoid triggers
Keep a check on potential triggers specific to the monsoon season. Once identified, make necessary lifestyle adjustments to minimize exposure to these triggers. This may include avoiding strong smells, certain foods, or specific weather conditions that consistently trigger migraines. One should also consult with their doctor to manage the triggers.
5. Practice relaxation techniques
Incorporate relaxation techniques into the daily routine to manage stress and promote overall well-being. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga and other relaxation techniques can help reduce anxiety and potentially alleviate migraine symptoms. Regular practice can also enhance a person’s ability to cope with migraine triggers effectively.
While these tips can provide some relief, it’s important to understand that every individual’s experience with migraines is unique. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a doctor who can better manage your migraine and minimize its impact on your daily life during this monsoon season.