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Why does the weather trigger headaches and migraines?

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There is a theory that headaches triggered by extreme weather are a protective, or defensive, response because they lead the person to seek a more hospitable environment.

Experts believe that people who get frequent headaches have a greater sensitivity to changes in the environment. They also have a lower threshold to the pain response. The reason, they suspect, is that people who get migraine headaches have likely inherited this sensitivity.

The survey cited earlier also found that two out of three headache sufferers had not discussed environmental triggers with their doctors. Nearly half of them, though, had been plagued by headaches for more than 20 years.

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Environmental and Physical Factors."

American Headache Society: "Tools: Headache Diaries."

WebMD Medical News: "Weather Behind Headaches, Sufferers Say."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Headache Foundation: "January 2008 Survey: Environmental Triggers and Headache."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 18, 2019

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Environmental and Physical Factors."

American Headache Society: "Tools: Headache Diaries."

WebMD Medical News: "Weather Behind Headaches, Sufferers Say."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Headache Foundation: "January 2008 Survey: Environmental Triggers and Headache."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 18, 2019

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What are warning signs of headaches and migraines triggered by the weather?

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