During the cold weather, I hardly ever have a headache. But when the weather starts warming up in the spring & during the summer, I have headaches just about every day. I can almost put my finger on the time the headaches will cease during the fall. I take preventive medications year round such as Topamax, Propanolol, and Paxil, but I don't think they are really doing their job. When I do get a headache I either take 3 aspirin w/ caffeine or an Imitrex. I'm not certain if my headaches are tension or migraine or a combo of both. I go to a neurologist, but if my headaches are weather related, should I be going to an allergist or an ENT instead? Do my headaches sound like they are sinus related? Whenever I try to wean myself off of the medications, my headaches seem to flare up worse. I'm also very conscious of the dangers of medication overuse and watch my intake of over the counter meds. Rhonda.
Most of the time, what people think are sinus headaches are actually Migraines. For more information on this, see Sinuses Giving You a Headache? It's Probably a Migraine.
Changes in the weather caused by barometric pressure changes are a very common Migraine trigger. It's not unusual for people to have more trouble with this trigger in warmer months than colder months.
A tension-type headache can trigger a Migraine, so it's important to treat it before that happens. Your doctor should be able to help you with a plan to determine if you're having a tension-type headache or Migraine so you know which medication to take. One telling difference is that a Migraine is made worse by activity or bending over; a tension-type headache is not.
If your doctor isn’t able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
About Ask the Clinician:
Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.
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Published On: December 08, 2008