Answers to Common Headache Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about headaches.

Is there maintenance medicine that can help prevent a weather-related headache?

Dr. Aaron Block discusses whether there is medicine that can help prevent a weather-related headache. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

Is there maintenance medicine that can help prevent a weather-related headache?

We do have medications that we can use to help prevent headaches, if you suffer from them often. Usually if we see more than 15 or 16 migraine headaches in a month, we're usually going to recommend that you look at a medication to prevent them from happening, or at least reduce them.

We found that three out of four people who take those medications oftentimes have at least a 50% reduction in the amount of headaches they have. So they are effective. But sometimes we have to worry about the side effects, so it's definitely a joint decision we have to make.

One of the medications that we can use is actually a beta blocker, or a blood pressure medication, that sometimes helps reduce some of the vasospasm that we think used to happen in the brain. But it does help for migraines.

We also have a class of antidepressants and a class of anticonvulsants, which are seizure medications, that sometimes help quiet down some of the nerve activity in the brain.

Regarding prevention of headaches, specifically from allergies, the idea is identifying the allergy and then treating it, or trying to prevent the response to the allergies. If you find that you have really bad sinus problems and sinus allergies, we may talk about starting a nasal spray to help prevent the inflammation of the nasal turbinates in the sinuses in order to avoid those.

If you have specific allergies to weather or pollen, we may also talk about some allergy medications to take on a long-term basis in order to reduce the amount of hypersensitivity you have. But again, if it's related to the weather and the environment, we usually have to identify those specific triggers for us to successfully block some of those headaches for you.

     

If your weather-related headaches are caused by allergies, there is medicine that can help prevent some of your headaches.

Allergies that cause you sinus problems, for example, can be fought with a nasal spray to prevent nasal inflammation that can lead to a headache, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians say.

If you have a pollen allergy, you might be able to take a long-term allergy medication to help reduce your sensitivity and curb your headaches.

Talk to your doctor for more information about maintenance medicine that can help prevent weather-related headaches.

Source: Richard Kim, MD, The Clinical Neuroscience Institute; Aaron Block, MD, Franklin Family Practice

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