In June, July, and August, it’s hot in New York City! There’s a reason why many residents decamp for weeks to lakeside houses in the Catskills or Adirondacks, or spend the most sweltering of summer days on Rockaway Beach, Coney Island, or Jones Beach. But for migraine sufferers, humidity and atmospheric changes brought on by sudden storms can be a trigger to hours of intense pain. In fact, medical researchers have recently determined that increases in temperature are the number one weather-related trigger for migraines.
So how can you deal with your migraines while in New York City?
High heat means a loss of fluids and electrolytes through sweating and evaporation. Between dehydration and a change in body chemistry, summer can be the worst season for migraine sufferers.
To lower the risk of an attack, consider exercising during the early morning or late evening hours, when the heat is at its minimum. Remember, too, to hydrate with water and, if you find yourself sweating profusely, drink plenty of fluids that contain electrolytes.
Keep To A Routine!
Summer often means a change in your regular schedule, whether you’re a college student home between semesters, or an at-home parent who suddenly has idle children about. Even full-time workers can find their schedule shifted if you’re allowed Summer Fridays off or late morning arrivals.
The subsequent changes in your eating pattern can cause blood-sugar surges or ebbs. Disrupted sleep patterns due to the lengthening days or changes in your schedule can do the same. For many people, these are common triggers.
To stave off migraines due to these shifts in routine, try to keep to a steady schedule despite the changes going on around you.
Watch The Weather!
There’s nothing you can do to stave off heat, humidity, or changes in atmospheric pressure, but you can be prepared for them. Avoid as much as possible being outside during sticky heat waves. Stay in air-conditioned places if you find that helps. If changes in atmospheric pressure are one of your stronger triggers, make sure you have your medications with you at all times and keep an eye on the skies (or your weather app) for upcoming storms.
Air Pollution Indexes
Although researchers have not found conclusive evidence to say that air pollution is strongly associated with a risk of migraines, they have noted that car exhaust fumes that contain nitrogen oxide can increase the risk of headaches overall. It’s still a good idea to avoid exposure if possible.
If pollution or allergens are triggers for you, keep an eye on the air quality index and be prepared if you have to venture outside. Make sure, too, that you frequently change filters in your air conditioner system if you have one, so that you at least can breathe freely at home.
It’s almost impossible to avoid all weather-related triggers if you’re a migraine sufferer living in Manhattan, so be sure your medications are up-to-date and you’re taking them properly. Some migraine medications only work if you take them at the first twinge of an oncoming attack, so always be sure to understand how your particular prescriptions work and take them as recommended.