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Weather pattern changes can trigger migraines

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SAN ANTONIO---Migraines are a big problem for many people, but can weather make it worse. A day like today is a perfect example of some wild pressure changes because of the strong cold front that can bring dread to some people because of what it can mean to them.

We all know people or are people that feel different due to the weather. For example, our knees start acting up or the old arthritis flares up and now there is mounting evidence that big swings in barometric pressure can act as a "trigger" for those debilitating migraines.

Oni Washington, migraine sufferer explains, "Typically I have like eye pressure, swelling, congestion in my face."

Oni is describing how her migraines start,

"With the change in weather! It's usually with the change of weather, like what you described. When it goes from hot to cold or cold to hot," she says.

And here in South Texas that normally happens with the arrival of strong cold fronts. Doctor Deborah Carver, a Neurologist for UT Health Science Center who works at University Hospital says she hears this a lot from her patients.

“They often relate that the weather, specifically barometric pressure can increase their headaches. We see that a lot when a front comes through that their headaches are going to get worse," explains Carver.

Dr. Carver says that studies show that between 30 to 70 percent of people relate their migraines to weather changes but she thinks that the weather pressure changes alone do not necessarily "cause" the migraines but are more likely one of several "triggers."

"Keeping yourself hydrated, decreasing stress, making sure you get enough sleep, regular eating patterns," are a few of the things Dr. Carver says can help.

Dr. Carver also said that she doesn’t believe that taking migraine meds ahead of time of a big front would help because those kinds of medications don't last for long in our system and that it's normally several of those "triggers combined" that fire off the migraines.

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