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If You Feel a Migraine Coming On . . .

It actually could be weather-related

SUNDAY, April 27, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- If you sense your migraines seem to get worse with changes in barometric pressure, experts say it's probably not just in your head.

In fact, a number of weather conditions can trigger migraines, including barometric pressure, humidity and even wind changes, according to the National Headache Foundation.

Such weather factors can cause various changes in the body's chemical balance and, though it's not common, migraines can result. Specifically, changes in barometric pressure can cause the blood and blood vessels to compensate for reductions in oxygen and the scalp arteries can swell, bringing on the migraine.

Similar problems can occur among migraine sufferers when flying in an airplane, diving or traveling at high altitudes, because changes in oxygen levels produce inflamed blood vessels and nerves around the brain.

Migraines are often described as intense pain that can be on one side of the face or head. They can sometimes be accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to bright lights or loud noises.

Because of the many possible migraine triggers, experts with the American Medical Association recommend seeing your physician if migraines are a recurring problem. A good doctor will probably recommend a management plan that includes working to identify the factors that trigger your migraines, describing various medications to prevent or treat migraine attacks and considering lifestyle changes that could further prevent such headaches.

More information

The National Headache Foundation offers helpful information about migraines.

SOURCES: National Headache Foundation; American Medical Foundation
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