If you suffer from migraines and live in places such as South Florida, coastal Georgia, the North Carolina Outer Banks, or along the Gulf of Mexico, you are probably familiar with going through more headache episodes during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. For many migraine patients, this usually happens when a tropical storm approaches, particularly once dark clouds have already rolled in and the humidity is so concentrated that you can almost taste it. By the time thunder strikes, you know that a migraine will soon follow.
What is it about meteorological conditions and migraine episodes? The connection between weather events and migraines has been studied more than once. To a certain extent, we can look at how wildlife and even our pets react to weather changes. Birds, for example, seem to be in a good mood when the weather is pleasant and the sun is shining, and they tend to get nervously excited when a storm approaches.
It is not unreasonable to think that humans are sensitive to barometric pressure. If you suspect that a migraine episode is coming after the first lighting strike of a tropical storm, chances are that your body was already aware of this possibility the moment the barometer reading indicated a drop in atmospheric pressure. Some patients think that the loud noise of thunder or the sudden flash of lightning may be the triggers, but there is a greater chance that barometric pressure or the surge in electrically charged molecules are prompting migraine episodes.
Now that we have established that migraine episodes can be triggered by atmospheric events, would it be reasonable for us to think that moving to a place where the climate is more uniform and benign could improve our conditions? In theory, this would seem to work; however, a host of factors related to human life cannot guarantee that great weather will equate to fewer migraines.
If the tropical storms and unbearable heat of South Florida are triggering migraine episodes, could you benefit from moving to a place such as the Central Coast of California? This is a region known for its very stable and benevolent climate, so there is a strong possibility that you will see an improvement in terms of weather-related migraine conditions. With this in mind, you may want to avoid certain regions in the Midwest that have four clearly defined and extreme seasons; to this effect, Chicago comes to mind.
Other Things to Consider
Weather is not everything in the life of a migraine patient, which is why relocating in an attempt to avoid headaches is not always a good idea. Going back to California's Central Coast as our example, let's take a look at San Luis Obispo County and some of its positive aspects that may also help you reduce the frequency of migraine episodes:
- The median income and quality of life are highly rated
- The crime rate is low in comparison to other parts of the Golden State
- Unemployment is low and economic opportunities abound
The factors above may be even more important than the weather for a patient suffering from chronic migraines. Relocating is often stressful, particularly when it is accomplished under less than ideal conditions. Moving to San Luis Obispo may sound enticing to anyone; the key questions to ask yourself in this regard are:
- Can I afford to move there?
- Will I be able to find a well-paying job?
- What about friends and relatives? Will they be near in case I need them? Or in case they need me?
So, Should I Move?
If the answer to any of the questions above is less than positive or certain, your relocation may actually end up triggering more migraine attacks than you can handle. Think about how some migraine patients who live in big and stressful cities may benefit by adjusting to life in a small town; this is how you should be thinking when planning to move to a different place for the purpose of getting fewer migraines.