Rough week for migraine sufferers

Unruly weather could bring record low barometric pressure, resulting in headache pain.

Greater Louisville meteorologists are predicting near-record low barometric pressure readings for mid-week, and as many who suffer from migraines already experience, the barometer changes can also result in migraine pain. Brian M. Plato, D.O., with the Headache & Concussion Center, a part of Norton Neuroscience Institute, encourages migraine sufferers to heed the warning and prepare now.

“The change in barometric pressure may act as a triggering event for people who have migraine,” Dr. Plato said. “In addition to barometric pressure changes, bright sunlight, extreme heat or cold, sun glare, high humidity, dry air and windy or stormy weather can impact migraine sufferers.”

As you prepare for weather changes, Dr. Plato recommends the following tips:

  • Monitor other triggers – Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, get adequate rest over the next few days, exercise and keep your stress under control. 
  • Have your medication handy – With the changing weather, it’s best to keep your medications with you 24/7. Should a migraine emerge, you are prepared. This can include preventive medications that help ward off headaches as well as rescue medications for when a headache starts. 
  • Act fast – If you start to feel a migraine coming on, go ahead and take your rescue medication.

Many times migraine will include symptoms of nasal congestion, dry and watering eyes, and pressure around the eyes and cheeks, which leads people to believe that their headache is not a migraine, but rather a sinus headache.

“Many people will incorrectly think that their headache is a sinus headache, however most often these are actually migraine attacks,” Dr. Plato said. “However, for someone with undiagnosed migraine, they may not know the difference.”

The symptoms of migraine include:

  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Sensitivity to sound or light 
  • Moderate or severe throbbing pain typically on one side of the head 
  • Pain that is worsened with physical activity, causing the preference to avoid activity

“While not all headache pain requires medical attention, some types of headaches can make daily life and activities unbearable, or they may be a symptom of a more serious health issue,” Dr. Plato said. “It’s important to seek prompt medical treatment for severe or recurrent headaches.”

 

Norton Neuroscience Institute opened the Headache & Concussion Center as the region’s first center dedicated exclusively to the treatment of headache and concussion pain. For more information, call the Headache & Concussion Center at (502) 899-6782.


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