The scorching heat and extremely humid weather can often trigger migraine attacks. Statistics reveal that the Gulf region has the highest prevalence of migraines in the world, says Dr Siarhei Bahushevich, a specialist neurologist at Medcare Hospital Sharjah. Citing the Institute of Health Metric and Evaluation data, he states that a migraine is the second cause of disability in the UAE in 2016 after lower back and neck pain.
Of all weather conditions, temperature is the major trigger. Differences in pollutant levels could also have a role to play in frequency of migraine attacks while dehydration too could be a trigger. ‘Sandstorms significantly increase the levels of some allergens in the air that can also cause migraines,’ says the doctor.
Dr Siarhei Bahushevich shares tips to prevent summer migraines:
✱ Drink plenty of water daily. Excessive amounts of soda, iced tea, cold coffee etc., should be restricted, since caffeine acts as a migraine trigger.
✱ Decrease time spent in direct sun exposure. Use broad-brimmed hats that keep the sun off your face, neck, upper chest and back. Periodically, cool down yourself with a wet bandanna (around your neck) or water spray or splash.
✱ Ensure you have good quality sunglasses and that you wear them when outside and driving. This is not only good for the health of your eye, but also for migraines. Bright and reflected sunlight is a well-known trigger for migraine.
✱ Warm weather brings a shift not only in temperature, but also in daily routines. Maintain a routine where you do not suffer on sleep or go lazy on food. Keep meals and sleep regular, as any compromise may trigger a migraine attack.