Summer has arrived again.
It's time to enjoy picnics, ball games,
swimming, vacations, and all the joys of warmer weather. Unfortunately,
summer weather also means a different set of headache and Migraine
triggers for some of us. The silver lining of this summer cloud is that a
great deal can be accomplished with good trigger management. Let's take a
look at some summer triggers and ways to help manage them...
Here are some tips:
||Keep yourself well
This is an important point all year, but especially in the summer
when the heat can dehydrate us more quickly. You may hear or see
news reports warning about dehydration and heat stroke. Heed them.
Dehydration is a major headache and Migraine trigger for many
people. WHAT you drink can make a difference, too. Large quantities
of soda or regular iced tea, although summer favorites, have a great
deal of caffeine, and caffeine speeds dehydration. Lemonade is super
unless your stomach is sensitive to all the acid. Water is always a
||Be cautious of
time in the sun.
Summer sun can be one of our worst enemies, not just because of
sunburn and aging skin, but because it can do serious physical harm.
Too much sun is another potent headache and Migraine trigger.
That doesn't mean we have to stay indoors. Try hats with broad brims
that keep sun off your neck and upper chest and back as well as your
face. Beach umbrellas can be great at ball games and the like. You
can also cool yourself down with a spray bottle of water or a cold,
wet bandana around your neck.
||Be aware of
fragrances in summer
Are you sensitive to fragrances by themselves or in products and/or
other odors? When shopping for sunscreen, insect repellant, and
other summer products, remember to read the labels carefully. Look
for fragrance-free products. If you're not sure about chemical names
listed in the ingredients, your pharmacist may be able to help you.
Summer sun, even on hazy days, can be tough on the eyes. Treat
yourself, and invest in some good sunglasses. Polarized lenses are
better because, in addition to darkening, they cut glare. If you can
go for optical grade lenses, do it for yourself. They aren't as
likely to produce distortion as inexpensive sunglasses. Still
troubled by light from around your glasses? Try a baseball cap or
another type of hat to block out the sun that comes in from above
the sunglasses. You can also find side shields to block sun from the
sides. For the pool, check out tinted goggles with UV protection.
||Mind your schedule.
It's easy to get off schedule in the summer. It gets dark later,
things seem a bit lazier. Don't let that lull you into getting off
your schedule for meals and sleep. Even on vacation, be careful not
to skip meals, and try to resist the temptation to indulge in
trigger foods. Try to keep your sleep schedule regular, too.
Remember that too much sleep can be a trigger, too, so watch out for
||Take proper care of your
Please be aware that medications have storage temperature ranges
that can easily be exceeded by summer temperatures. Prolonged
exposure to higher temperatures can make your meds less effective,
even useless. When traveling, keep your meds in your carry-on rather
than letting it go with the luggage on a plane and in the car with
you rather than in the trunk in your luggage. If you need to keep
some medication with you while hiking, attending an event in the
summer heat, etc., check out some of the small insulin carriers that
have cold packs with them. At home, keep your meds in a cool, dark
place. Your bathroom is not the best place because of the heat and
steam from the shower.
||Review and possibly modify your
If you exercise outdoors or don't have air conditioning, you may
very well need to modify your exercise routine for the summer. Even
with air conditioning, if you have respiratory problems, you may
need to modify your routine for the summer. If you have questions,
check with your doctor. Whatever the season, if you can't talk
easily or experience unusual pain while exercising, stop and check
with your doctor.
||Plan ahead: "Prior preparation
prevents poor performance."
Planning ahead can save many an event and make your summer more
enjoyable. It can help ensure that stress doesn't bring on tension
headaches or exacerbate your Migraine triggers. When cooking, cook
big batches and freeze meals. Make lists. Delegate chores to family
members. Make travel reservations well in advance. Be sure your car
is serviced before traveling. Mark prescription refill times on your
calendar so you don't run out of meds.
Last Updated May 30, 2004
|NOTE: The information on
this site is for education and support only. It is not medical
advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your
physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your
treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without
consulting your doctor.