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Why Are My Migraines Worse in the Summer?

August 01, 2015

Each year an average of three million Americans seeks medical attention for migraines. Migraines are intense pounding or pulsing headaches which can be accompanied by an intolerance of sound or light, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

The uptick in migraine attacks in the summer months can usually be explained by an increased interaction with triggers such as:

·         Increased exposure to sunlight

·         Changes in diet (eating more processed foods at baseball games and barbeques, snacking more, and drinking more carbonated, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages)

·         Changes in routine (getting less sleep and traveling more)

·         Dehydration

·         Fragrances in summer products, like suntan lotions

·         Barometric pressure changes from thunderstorms

To help prevent migraines during the summer months make sure you wear sunglasses and hats, drink plenty of water, use unscented products, and do your best to maintain a balanced diet and sleep routine.

It is important to see a doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have a sudden on-set severe or atypical headache, headache following a head injury, or chronic headache that progresses in its severity, as these symptoms could indicate a more serious medical problem.

Timothy Schoonover, DO, is a neurologist at Kettering Health Network’s Neuroscience Institute and practices at the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders.