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Fall Migraine Triggers

A change in seasons introduces many new environmental factors that can trigger additional migraine and headache attacks, such as cooler weather, changes in barometric pressure and humidity levels, wind and allergens. For those with a previous history of consistent head pain, these natural changes in the environment create an unwelcome transition that can easily overshadow the beauty of the fall months.

Changes in Weather

Weather changes are a common migraine and headache trigger, and the cooling temperatures in the fall are a primary instigator. While it is not clearly understood why this happens, there are a number of studies being conducted to understand this correlation. It has even been suggested that factors such as changing barometric pressure, humidity and temperature can be triggers. Since these factors tend to occur at the same time, it is difficult to pinpoint which is the culprit.


Perhaps the most common headache and migraine triggers are allergens, and fall sees high concentrations of ragweed and mold. Allergens will increase the amount of histamine our bodies produce when allergens are high, which can trigger migraine by inflaming sinuses. Individuals with migraine and headache disease should take a number of precautions during the fall to lessen the impact of allergens. A few ways are to use a HEPA air filter, mattress and pillow encasings and prescription allergy medications to reduce aggravation of the sinuses.

Daylight Cycle

The fall is also met with less daylight, and this commonly shifts sleep schedules. Maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern is essential for those impacted by migraine and headache disorders, as their chance of an oncoming attack significantly rises when the pattern is disrupted. Additionally, as days grow shorter, it tends to have a neurological effect on people, potentially triggering a migraine episode.

Seasonal changes seem to always bring more headache and migraine triggers, which can mar the joy of pumpkin patches, fall colors and other activities. As the weather changes, the best course of action is to prepare for the possible headache and migraine attacks. Track your attacks and speak to your healthcare practitioner about them to create a plan of action to help prevent further head pain.

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