CLEVELAND – If you suffer from migraines or know someone who does, you may have noticed that they seem to get worse in the summer.
So why is that?
“Timing is a very important factor and element when it comes to migraine onset,” explained Dr. Emad Estemalik, a headache specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Especially around the seasonal changes. So as we go from winter, to spring, to summer, you have a significant change in barometric pressure.
For those unfamiliar, barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere and changes based on temperature, altitude, and humidity.
And as these conditions change, especially in extreme situations like a thunderstorm, it can affect a person’s sinuses and cause a migraine.
A migraine is considered much more painful than a typical headache and can lead to other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.
Dr. Estemalik said they offer a variety of treatment options to patients, which can include medication, therapy, Botox, as well as dietary and other lifestyle changes.
He said he understands how distressing migraines can be and stressed that one should not suffer in silence.
“Those who are really prone to migraines tend to have it worse, simply because again, when you get a bad or severe migraine and it doesn’t get under control quickly, you’re really in a lot of discomfort and pain between four and 72 hours,” said he. “And you have the typical nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light, so it’s really debilitating.”
Experts estimate that almost half of the adult population experiences headaches, and 12% of Americans get migraines. Women are about three times more likely than men to experience migraines.