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Question for migraine sufferers

  • 15-07-2021 6:11pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,191 ✭✭✭

    Any fellow migraineurs finding the constant high humidity of the last few weeks are triggering migraines? Mine is off the charts for over 2 weeks and this muggy weather is all I can attribute it to.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,373 ✭✭✭✭Tauriel

    Yep, I have always found this and fog tends to be a trigger for vertigo for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭spookwoman

    Only time I have ever enjoyed the heat and not have migraines and sinus issues was in Las Vegas. Desert heat and lack of humidity is something I miss.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    No, thankfully. Mine are now blessedly rare in my old age. And I cannot pinpoint what triggers them It used to be low blood sugar when I missed meals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot

    Yeh been constantly feeling just a bit off with random symptoms popping up with different severity.

    Didnt realise until recently how difficult migraines are to manage and how many different symptoms that can accompany them. I seldom get a headache with my migraines , usually visual disturbances and loads of sensory issues.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,507 ✭✭✭Pa ElGrande

    Used to get them when I was younger during the Summer months, but not suffered them for a long time. It was only when I looked into it that the probable cause was a combination of exertion ( hard work/ running) leading to dehydration/drop in blood sugar and not wearing a sun cap or sun visor. I concluded drink plenty of water, watch the diet as some combinations of food were more likely to trigger it and unlike mad dogs and Englishmen take it handy and stay out of the midday sun.

    Net Zero means we are paying for the destruction of our economy and society in pursuit of an unachievable and pointless policy.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,235 ✭✭✭Oneiric 3

    Yes, pretty much since the start of this summer. Happens every year but they seem to be worse than ever this time around. Am living off Nurofen as they are the only over the counter pain killer that in any helps dull the constant crucifying pain.

    New Moon

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,324 ✭✭✭mojesius

    Sorry to hear that. There is nothing worse than constant migraine, it just destroys every facet of life. I'm a bit of an outlier. I get more migraines in the darker colder months than summer. I think too much artificial light is a trigger for me, whereas I love basking in sun and sitting out in the evening heat and my overall health is tip top.

    When the clocks go back, it's an entirely different story. This year, I'm going to test if it's SAD-induced or not by taking vit D supplements from early October, rather than my usual tactic of 'kill it with nurofen, vit D and everything else' in November.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,944 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Humidity was a trigger, try keep well hydrated it helps

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    I found the magic bullet. Imigran Nasal Spray. Kills a migraine dead. Prescription.... A sheer miracle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    Yes, well hydrated and blood sugar kept up. . I used to wake with them. The last two have seen me in hospital, the last one by chopper as the vomiting was so severe it caused internal bleeding.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,191 ✭✭✭xxyyzz

    Same as that, I don't get any pain. Just pressure around the eyes and nose, severe discomfort looking at screens, dizziness. This is daily, I infrequently get bad ones where I lose my vision and the ability to talk temporarily.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,818 ✭✭✭passatman86

    Any one else get blurred vision and then a pain in the corner of your head or when you bend down or look down

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Gaoth Laidir

    About twice per year I get a migraine. It starts with a tingling in my fingertips, soon followed by partial loss of vision in one eye (a large "blindspot") and difficulty in speaking (unable to get some words out). If I don't take Migralief at that stage it will develop into a pain behind the eyes and some nausea.

    It's not, however, linked to the weather in any way. That's just an old-wives' tale.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭spookwoman

    Same thing here large blind spot. Was rushed into hospital when it first happened because they didn't know what was causing it. I often get blind spots without the headache and a blinds effect with ocular migraines. Maybe once or twice a month I get the headache and maybe once a year a get one that's a complete crippler where I just curl into a fetal positional and wish it would all end.

    Dark room, cold is the best, a basin, otravine if there is any bit of congestion and whatever painkiller I can get my hands on.

    I had a great fix for migraines years ago, Aulin and stemetil but Aulin has been taken off the market.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,818 ✭✭✭passatman86

    Woke up with a migraine this morning i kid you not. Eyesight blurred but coming back. Pain in the corner of the head starting

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,631 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Less frequent now for me, thankfully. Could never really establish a trigger apart from tiredness. If I was extremely over tired, I knew I could expect a migraine to follow. Blurred vision then vicious pain. Ugh.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I've read a few theories on this which seem to come down to our sensitivity to barometric changes, particularly impacting the vestibular system and but sinus cavities and other air filled spaces in your head to some degree too.

    Your sense of balance is mostly driven by the vestibular system, which is your inner ear. It's three semi-circular, fluid filled canals that your brain is using inputs from to sense and calculate your position three dimensional space - basically an x, y and z axis. The movement of the fluid in the canals is picked up by sensory hairs, which give extremely precise information about the location of your head. [You also pull in information from other sources - visual cues, sensations from joints and muscles etc, but the primary source is your vestibular system.]

    Your middle ear is filled with air (well a controlled mix of gasses similar to air which is actually a mix of air let in through the eustachian tube and from gas exchange with your body). When there's a change in air pressure, your middle ear's internal pressure can be significantly different to the atmospheric pressure which places pressure on structures as the gas expands. Likewise, if there's a sudden increase in atmospheric pressure, these pockets of gas can compress until they equalises through that valve in your Eustachian tube or through gas exchange, and that can give a strange sensation in your hearing, but it can also impact your sense of balance or cause other sensory impacts, due to physical pressure placed on the structure of your inner ear.

    You can even get small bubbles of gas in your inner ear, which can cause issues like this too. They can be there temporarily and are reabsorbed after a while, or they can be there all the time.

    The other aspect is that you've gas filled spaces i.e. your sinuses, but also little bubble like pockets of gas in bone and spaces in your head generally, all of those are impacted by pressure changes in the atmosphere, so you can pick those up as headaches and possibly odd sensory input which can trigger migraine like events.

    Your brain can sometimes interpret false inputs in very odd ways i.e. they can make you feel physically sick (that's what motion sickness is). Basically your vestibular system is telling your brain that your body is moving in odd directions, and your eyes and muscles are telling it they're not. It doesn't fit the model it has of how movement should work, so, the response is confusion and you feel sick / dizzy, as it's totally outside the parameters of what your body's evolved to do (e.g. not be attached to a machine that's moving in chaotic ways). It's also why you can learn your way past it - e.g. by focusing on the horizon and ensuring that you're giving it the correct inputs.

    So, the sense of feeling pressure changes in the air is very real.

    It's also why some people get sudden headaches ahead of thunderstorms. That isn't a myth. It's your ears and head working like a barometer and detecting the rapid changes in air pressure.

    Things like going outside and fixing your vision on a distant point with a clear view of the horizon can help. As it gives your brain a reference that tells it things are not moving.

    Taking a comfortably hot steamy shower could also help a lot as it can help clear mucus from your sinuses and nose, which helps get your Eustachian tubes working and equalises pressure.

    Keeping adequately hydrated - keeps mucous production from getting too thick.

    Minimising exposure to pollen (if you're allergic to it only) e.g. using an air filter in your bedroom at night, not sleeping in rooms with very pollen producing plants, giving the house a hoover with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner or mopping the floors and generally keeping dust down, and checking with your GP or pharmacy about allergy medications and so on is useful too.

    If you've an on-going issue with this, there would be no harm in getting your ears checked by an audiologist or ENT.

    If you've bad migraines though, you should definitely get them investigated by a doctor as they can have many underlying causes that are worth eliminating.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Gaoth Laidir

    Ok, out ears are sensitive to pressure changes, but if what you describe can cause migraines then people would be having them every time they get in a car. Pressure changes by 1 hPa for every ~8 metres change in elevation, so if you drive up or down a hill or even go up a few storeys in a lift or by stairs your head would be exploding.

    Typical pressure changes between weather systems are of the order of a few to 10-20 hPa, but over very slow timescales. Even the arrival of the most vigorous depression brings with it pressure drops (tendency) of around 5 hPa per hour, which is like slowly climbing a hill of ~42 metres or going up about 10 storeys in a lift. And that's a worst case scenario. Typical pressure changes during fine weather are almost immeasurable.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Your inner ear can detect absolutely tiny changes.

    It can also fill with more fluid as the air pressure drops.

    There's significant ENT research done on this btw showing direct correlation between atmospheric pressure and humidity and attacks of Ménière's disease (more commonly referred to as vertigo).

    The middle ear pressure changes also don't necessarily change in response to immediate change in atmospheric pressure. Your middle ear is a small, usually sealed pocket of gas with a tube with a valve that connects to the atmosphere via your throat (just behind your upper pallet basically). Your inner ear and other head spaces containing gas i.e. in bones, are entirely sealed.

    The atmospheric pressure can change more slowly, but the pressure in your ear doesn't equalise immediately, it builds. So it can create swelling, responses from fluids filling spaces (during low pressure). Or in the case of your middle ear, it will suddenly shift when the valve is triggered by swallowing. A % of people don't have the most effective eustachian tubes or may have valves that don't respond very well / get stuck so the pressure just builds.

    Some people's ears will pop and crack on a small hill, or even on a train going through a tunnel.

    The tiny trapped bubbles of gas elsewhere are often VERY tightly sealed with little or no leeway for expansion, so a change in pressure is extremely perceptible if it causes pressure on something sensitive. They can expand slightly or shift suddenly and so on.

    Some of these issues aren't necessarily how the system has evolved to operate, but rather they're minor glitches that are present in a small % of the population.

    If you take a pressure change impacting your inner ear directly e.g. a trapped bubble of gas, there shouldn't be gas present there, but it is sometimes there and it can cause chaotic inputs to nerves.

    You're talking absolutely tiny bubbles and EXTREMELY sensitive sensory systems, capable of picking up absolutely tiny changes in pressure or movement within their systems, which will be interpreted by your brain as very significant changes as they're being caused by something directly interacting with a sensory organ's internal workings, in a way that isn't normal.

    Then if you throw random sensory input into a system like that, the impacts can be quite odd. Instead of just being a single error, your brain can just interpret them very strangely and it can trigger other sensations.

    It's not quite like a computer system that's just narrowly and literally looking at inputs, nor is it a simple barometer. Rather, you're looking at changing atmospheric pressure interacting with complex, dynamic systems with small spaces containing gases and fluids.

    Your brain also feeds everything into an extremely complex model, where one input can end up convolving with a whole load of other things and resulting in a perception of something completely different. So, throw something like a vestibular sensor into a chaotic input and you can end up seeing a colour, or feeling a sensation on your nose or something. It can be quite odd.

    Have a look at some of the experiments on colour perception sometime, for example, and you'll get a sense of how our reality is very much a model. If you throw the inputs out even a bit on some obscure aspect of it, it can result in some very strange sensations until the model adjusts.

    At the most basic level you can play around with some of that to create illusions, but it can have some very real impacts when someone's got a neurological issue or something creating a false signal somewhere.

    These systems can and do glitch. So, it's just important to recognise when they are glitching and be able to see glitches for what they are, rather than something scary.

    Serious migraine i.e. with visual disturbances, auras, etc absolutely should be investigated. It's important to rule out any serious issues. They can be caused by cardiovascular issues, neurological issues, blood sugar issues or even tumours and so on, so definitely do not ignore them.

    The same applies to sensory phenomena like tinnitus. It can be some random glitch issues, or it can be something serious.

    With any issue like this, ALWAYS talk to a doctor and don't just assume it's nothing until you know it is! Mostly they can rule out anything dangerous quite quickly.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,235 ✭✭✭Oneiric 3

    "Serious migraine i.e. with visual disturbances, auras, etc absolutely should be investigated. It's important to rule out any serious issues. They can be caused by cardiovascular issues, neurological issues, blood sugar issues or even tumours and so on, so definitely do not ignore them".

    Something I have suffered with all my life. I'd not rule out some of the causes you list here, but I often find that salty foods (even a bag of crisps) can sometimes - though not always - help; indeed, I often crave such when in that hell pain place.

    New Moon

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