Family Health

Why I Get More Migraines This Time of Year

I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.


This is the second part of a series of posts talking about migraines. In my first migraine post, I talked about my worst migraines which are the ones where I go completely blind for a period of time. I was surprised at how many people sent me messages after that post to say that they had the same symptoms or something similar including people who lose their hearing temporarily, people who have terrible smells/tastes in their mouth for hours, and people who feel like they’re staring into a bright light whether they close their eyes or not. These are definitely not just “bad headaches”.

I get 2-3 migraines every month but luckily I only lose my vision occasionally. The other migraines are debilitating but they don’t leave me completely helpless so I’ll still take them over the others any day. A few years back, I noticed that I could see a pattern in how often the migraines were occurring and realized that specific times of years seem to be much more likely to trigger a migraine episode than others. My worst times are in late Spring and Autumn, which I only noticed because I tend to be down with migraines right around the time certain outdoor activities are taking place. For whatever reason, spring flowers, Mother’s Day brunch, and pumpkin patches are all things that I now associate with migraines.

The tough thing about pinning down an exact trigger is that there are so many things out there that can set migraines off. Weather changes, lack of sleep, loud noises, bright lights, and stress are all known triggers and it wouldn’t surprise me if seasonal allergy sufferers who have migraines are more likely to be triggered right when all the plants are changing. If you do suffer from migraines, it’s a good idea to try to keep track of what you were doing before you noticed symptoms to see if you can find a pattern and try to avoid or plan for those triggers in the future. Planning for triggers might seem silly, but it’s not a bad idea to have a kit with things that will help (dark sunglasses, a bottle of water, a bag to throw up into, etc.) if you might be caught out and about with a migraine.

Sometimes I get really frustrated with myself for having migraines because some of my triggers are things that are in my control, like how much sleep I got the night before, but ultimately I know that occasionally it’s just something that happens even if I’m well-rested or well-hydrated or staying out of the sun. So, I try hard to stay relaxed, do what I can to feel better, and then concentrate on the fact that it will pass because it always has before. I think any kind of pain, disorientation, and nausea has the unsettling habit of tricking you into feeling like you’ll suffer from it FOREVER, so being conscious of the fact that time is moving forward and getting me closer to relief is a huge comfort for me.

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