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Monsoon migraines are real and can be a pain

Here in Arizona, there’s a unique factor that contributes to the pain: Monsoon season.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Are you one of the millions dealing with migraine headaches? 

According to the American Headaches Society, 37 million people are affected by headaches, but here in Arizona, there’s a unique factor that contributes to the pain: Monsoon season.

Peggy Lewis of Gold Canyon says “It feels like you have a man inside your head with a jackhammer.”

Lewis isn’t the only one who is familiar with the pain. “I get a little bit of nausea when they’re very severe,” says Jacueline Keiydel-Martinez of Phoenix.

According to Dr. Eric Eross from the Phoenix Head Institute, a headache is one the most common neurological conditions that he sees at his practice, and it results in a great deal of disability, more disability than any other brain condition. 

He adds that migraines are a disorder of sensory integration, a hyperexcitable brain, and individuals with the condition often need consistency and balance in their daily activities.  

Migraine or headache can ensue when that balance is upset.

“A poor night sleep or maybe you try to sleep in on the weekends, that causes a change from that balance. Things like becoming dehydrated, alcohol consumption is a frequent trigger for migraine headache,” says Eross.

So, the question is “Is there such a thing as Monsoon Migraine?” 

Eross explains, “While there is no diagnostic criteria for Monsoon Migraine, can weather patterns, in particular monsoon, trigger migraine, I would say yes.” 

He adds that lots of different studies have been done to prove that weather patterns are one of the most common triggers for people with migraine headaches.  A monsoon represents a dramatic change in the weather and it’s that inconsistency that the migraine brain doesn’t like and thus results in a headache. 

Jaqueline Keidel Martinez says, “Ever since I came to Arizona monsoon season has been the worst.” 

Her migraines started shortly after college and have gotten progressively worse.

“It does have an impact on your motivation, your mood and just the things you enjoy during the day like working out or even just lounging and watching a movie.”

Family history plays a factor

Another factor to consider when dealing with migraines is your family history.  

Peggy Lewis says both her parents and grandmother had migraines. Jacqueline Keiydel-Martinez notices the same thing with her mother.  

“My mom actually had migraines all through my childhood, I remember her getting them.”

There are ways to help treat a headache if you do get one such as putting a cold pack on your head and dimming your lights. 

The American Headache Society says if you are having frequent headaches three or more days a month you should really see a doctor and get the correct diagnoses and treatment.

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