Health experts explain why migraines may be worse in the summer

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Published: Jul. 10, 2022 at 3:21 PM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Oh. (WAVE) - Some people who suffer from migraines may notice they seem to get worse during the summer.

“Weather is a very important factor and element when it comes to migraine occurrence,” Emad Estemalik, MD, headache specialist for Cleveland Clinic explained. “Especially around seasonal changes. So as we’re going from winter, into spring, into summer, you have significant barometric pressure change.”

According to the Cleveland Clinic, barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere and changes based on temperature, altitude and moisture.

When those conditions shift during weather changes, it can have an effect on a person’s sinuses, causing a migraine.

Symptoms of migraines include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

Estemalik said treatment options include medications, therapy, Botox, and dietary/lifestyle changes.

“The ones who really are prone to migraines tend to have it the worse, just because again, when you get a bad one or a severe migraine and it’s not managed quickly, you’re really in a lot of discomfort and pain between four and 72 hours,” he said. “And you’ve got the typical nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity, so it is really disabling.”

Experts estimate that nearly half of the adult population experiences headaches and 12% of Americans suffer from migraines. Women are about three times more likely than men to experience migraines.

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