Categories: generalhealth

Headache and Migraine Due to Cold Weather


Do you prefer cold or warm weather? Some people like cold and rainy weather. They love to wear coats, jackets and winter styles. Although the winter makes us frozen and sick sometimes. In fact, we may have headache and migraine symptoms because of this weather. You have to take some precautions in order to avoid headaches. Definitely, it is a medical problem that hits many people. There are different causes of headaches. This article helps you to know more about headaches caused by cold air in details.

Causes of Headache

According to a new medical study, a third of the world population suffers from headaches. The pain hits your brain which makes you unable to focus or work normally. If it is a strong headache attack, you can have noise and light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting. There are many reasons that lead to headaches like stress, fatigue, smoking or sleeping difficulties. Also, there are health problems that could cause headaches, such as: nasal congestion, toothache, brain tumors, high blood pressure, trauma and head injury. Moreover, unexpected factors may cause headache like cold air either from weather or air conditioner. There are more than 150 types of headaches and migraines. Also experts believe that muscle tightness in the neck, scalp or face may cause headache.

Sources of Cold Air!

Different changes occur in the weather could cause headaches and migraines. These changes are humidity, storms, rainy weather, dusty weather and cold or hot temperature. According to a survey, there are common environmental factors of headache with the percentage of people who described them as triggers like: barometric pressure changes 73 %, intense odors 64 %, bright lights 59 %, smoke 53%, extreme cold or heat 38 %, altitude changes 31 % and high winds 18 %. People who participated in this survey said that they tried to avoid these factors by staying indoors.

Moreover, air conditioner might cause strong headache. It takes the humidity of the air causing dryness. Actually, the cold air that comes out from air conditioners lead to contraction in blood vessels of the brain. Thus, it causes headaches. Not only that, but the cold and dry air of air conditioner causes dehydration that may cause mild to moderate headaches. The AC may spread mold that stays in it. It also can cause headaches. So you have to make sure that your AC gets maintenance every year to prevent this mold to grow.

Why does Cold Air Cause Headaches?

There are some imbalances in the brain chemicals that happen because of changes in the weather specifically the cold weather. These chemicals include serotonin. Thus, you start to have headache and migraine. It is thought that your body makes a defense or protective response represented in headaches in order to seek another environment away from extreme weather. In fact, people who suffer from frequent headaches are more sensitive to any changes in the weather. After being exposed to cold air, you may have nasal congestion causing headache or bad sinus pain. Exposure to a blast of air by coming out from a warm temperature to a cold temperature suddenly causes several symptoms. They are muscle cramps because they become unable to adapt the sudden changes of weather. Also you may suffer from severe headache. A blast of cold air may affect your back, chest, face, eyes and shoulders.

Effects of Exposure to Temperature Changes

About half of people suffering from migraine say that changes in the weather can impact their attacks. According to a 2017 study in the International Journal of Biometeorology, there was an increase of sufferers from migraine in emergency department on warm, cold and dry or humid days. Whether you get affected by cold weather or not, it depends on your body response to changes in temperature. So, people who are sensitive to temperature are more likely to suffer from migraine attacks in the winter. On the other hand, there is no link between hot or cold temperature and headaches according to a study done in 2020.

How to Avoid Headaches Due to Weather Changes?

You need to know which weather triggers your headaches or migraine attacks: is it cold, hot or windy weather? Then you have to take your medication to relieve headaches. Moreover, you have to make sure to stay indoors, if the weather is bad and may trigger your migraine attacks. You need to prepare your body for the outer temperature gradually. For example, you can open the windows before you get out of the house so the outdoor temperature gets in. Also you can drink cold water before getting out in cold weather. If you take a shower and get out in the cold weather, you need to put a hat, a towel or a scarf in order to cover your hair. When the weather outdoors is hot, you need to put on your sunglasses and stay away from the sun as much as possible.

Other Symptoms Triggered by Cold Air

Headache is one of symptoms triggered by cold air and weather changes in general. There are many other symptoms such as: runny nose, nasal congestion and the flu. And for people who suffer from chest allergy, they feel sick because of cold weather, dusty or windy weather.

Finally, if you are one of those people who get tired during winter, you should take your precautions. Actually, a lot of people suffer from headaches due to cold weather or any kind of weather changes. It is a topic that requires more researches.