Living in Florida is difficult for individual who have migraines and other types of headaches. This is because drops in the barometric pressure can trigger a migraine attack. During the hurricane season in Florida, there are many tropical storms, thundershowers and rarely a hurricane (or hurricanes.) There can just be low pressure weather systems sitting over Florida with no actual “bad” weather. It is not so much the rain that triggers the migraine attack as it is the lower barometric pressure. During the recent string of six different tropical storm and hurricane fronts that lasted six weeks, many patients who normal have perfectly good control of their migraines had their worst attacks ever.
It has been studied extensively as to why changes in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity have such a profound triggering effect on migraine but no definite conclusion has been reached. The effects on the outdoor environment by these weather systems, in Florida, have a profound effect on headache suffers. Not only does the change in weather trigger headache attacks but so does the increase in pollen, mold and fungus spores.
Patients will often claim that they have “sinus headaches.” True sinus headaches belong in the same category as chances of winning the lottery: 1 in 14 million. Why? Because true sinus headaches are rare. What patients are actually feeling is a milder form of their migraine headache, triggered by weather, pollen and molds. Migraine headache symptoms include: nasal congestion, sinus pressure, sensitivity to light and nasal drainage. While these are sinus symptoms, they are part of the migraine syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms associated with migraine. Patients frequently will take sinus medications that will help or stop their headache. This, unfortunately, reinforces the mistaken belief that they are suffering from “sinus headaches.” The fact is, is that sinus medications have a similar effect in relieving headaches as do those of the more specific migraine drugs.
In conclusion, more Florida patients suffer from more headache and migraine attacks during hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) than at other times of the year. About fifty percent of migraine suffers find that changes in weather will trigger their headaches. The best thing to do, if you suffer from migraines or recurrent headaches, is to seek out a neurologist headache specialist and get started on preventative headache treatment as well as migraine treatment specific medication to stop an attack. If you do suffer from allergies, there are many medications to help control this as well.