14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

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What is it with migraines and the summer? The moment you think you can finally relax and enjoy some time off from school or work- Boom! Along comes a five-alarm migraine headache to spoil all your summer plans. By recognizing some common summertime migraine triggers, you can learn how to avoid frequent headaches, whether you’re lying on the beach or enjoying your Fourth of July celebrations.

14 Causes of Summer-Time Migraine Headaches

There are hundreds of migraine triggers, factors that increase your chances of having a migraine attack, and they can occur in all types of weather. Summer migraines may happen because of escalating temperatures, or they can have more to do with changes in your schedule.

Excitement about a planned camping trip, or even the lack of any plan at all for the summertime can also trigger excruciating migraine headaches.

Below are some common causes of migraine attacks in the summer:

  1. The sun.  Let’s face it- high heat is uncomfortable. But more than that, escalating heat from a heat wave causes fluctuations in your body temperature, increasing your chance for a migraine. Stay cool in an air-conditioned room when the temperatures soar above the 100s.
  2. If you’re sensitive to bright lights, then the glare from the sun can also trigger migraines. Wear sunglasses when outdoors, or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Hot and humid summer weather can spread allergens and also intensify scents that trigger migraines.
  4. Dehydration and heat stroke are common migraine triggers in the summer time. The hotter the weather, the quicker we lose sodium when we sweat.  To avoid dehydration headaches, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water- drink throughout the day. Also read 15 Tricks for Staying Hydrated and Avoiding Migraines.
  5. Weekend headaches happen from napping in the middle of the afternoon, going to sleep later than usual, and sleeping in. If you wake up disoriented with a crushing headache, then you need to stick to a strict bedtime routine, even while on vacation.
  6. Summer storms causing high barometric pressure increase your chances for suffering a migraine, especially if lightning strikes within 25 miles of your home. Scientists believe it has something to do with correlating changes in pressure in the brain.
  7. Traveling by plane this summer? Watch out for migraine headaches triggered by cabin air pressure, long waiting times and delays, and processed airline meals.
  8. If no summer vacation would be complete without thrill rides, then prepare yourself ahead of time by taking some trusted natural migraine preventative. High-velocity roller coasters are known triggers of migraines.
  9. Summertime fragrances can be a major source of migraines- lurking fumes from insect repellant, strongly-scented sunscreens and body sprays can trigger a migraine in one whiff.
  10. Being in a large crowd can be overwhelming, and headache-producing. If you’re planning a summer luau, keep the guest list small to avoid stress.
  11. Summer foods are some of the biggest migraine culprits. Hot dogs, ketchup, chips and beer may make for a great barbecue, but they can also make you spend the rest of the week nursing a throbbing headache.
  12. Too much electronic media causes too much excitement in your brain, causing headaches and irritability. To sleep well at night and prevent migraines, limit your television viewing or Facebook watching to one hour or so, and avoid checking your email within a few hours of bedtime.
  13. Stress from summer-related activities can induce headaches. If you’re planning a wedding, graduating from college, or worried about a summer job, then try to practice relaxation techniques.
  14. Less stress is also a migraine trigger; the letdown you sometimes feel after a stressful event has passed, the moment you finally get a chance to recuperate from back-to-back exams- that’s when migraines sometimes choose to strike.

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Like this? Read more:

Plan a Headache-Free Summer Vacation: Five Travel Tips

What Causes Migraines? The Long and Short Answers

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