If you have started noticing an increase in your headaches as the weather gets cooler, you aren’t alone. As it happens, many people deal with headaches in the fall, more than during other parts of the year. Here are some facts to help you understand and deal with those extra headaches you have to deal with in the fall.
Autumn Means Increased Headaches
Studies show that, from the months of September through November, people in general experience more of every type of headache. One study shows that migraine attacks are even significantly more common – at least in adults – during fall than during the other seasons. This means that fall is the perfect time to get a better handle on your migraines or other recurring headaches.
Why the Fall?
Weather changes may be responsible for this increase in all kinds of headaches. Those who suffer from cluster headaches are also more likely to experience them in the fall, and one study did show a link between temperature changes and such headaches, most likely when the weather changes from cold to warm. Obviously staying warm during the cold and tracking your triggers to know what to expect and when to expect it becomes more critical as fall approaches.
Allergies Contribute to Headaches
With the fall comes worse allergies for many seasonal allergy sufferers. Some sufferers of allergies also experience migraine headaches – one study shows that fifty percent of allergy sufferers may also be migraine sufferers. You should speak with a physician if you have allergies and severe headaches, as these can often be misdiagnosed as sinus headaches instead of migraines. Be sure to have your allergy medications at the ready to help prevent flare-ups of your worst allergic symptoms.
Less Sun is a Trigger
As the temperatures drop, we have a tendency to stay inside more as we keep warm and avoid inclement weather. Less exposure to sun, though, means less sunshine and, therefore, less vitamin D. Some research shows a clear parallel between lack of vitamin D and an increase in the frequency of headaches, so there is a chance that the two are directly related. Consult a doctor before taking any new supplements, but getting outside and getting sun and taking supplements could help you counter some of these problems.
Stress Also Affects Headaches
Whether you’re headed back to school, or if your workload is increasing at work, the more stress you get, and the less sleep you get, can be a way in which headaches are triggered in some people. Holidays are also a source of stress for some, whether you’re talking about holiday shopping or preparing a big holiday dinner. Colder weather has a way of bringing out the worst headaches.
One way of helping yourself out is to create a headache diary, which will chronicle your triggers (as many details as possible will help you in the future). This can help you plan out your days and help you be somewhere safe and comfortable when a migraine is expected to hit.