Summer can be a big headache for migraine sufferers


MIAMI – Along with the joys of summer comes a painful truth, people who suffer from migraines may find themselves suffering even more during the warmer months.

Dr. Emad Estemalik, with the Cleveland Clinic, said there are three major summertime that factors in migraines; extreme temperature, moisture, and pressure.

“Our sinuses are interlinked with our brains and think about the sinuses as, you know, vacuums of air. Anytime you disrupt that vacuum, you create an unequal or disequilibrium in pressure. It can trigger these migraines for a lot of patients,” said Estemalik.

Migraine treatments include dietary adjustments as well as medication and Botox. Without them, patients may find the symptoms debilitating.

“What you’ll hear from a patient is, ‘I’m just bedridden or I just can’t function, or I can’t take care of my children or I can’t go to work,” said Estemalik

Adrianna Vargo started getting migraines as a teenager, as many as 10 a month. She said the tightness or pressure in her head worsens into nausea and fatigue.

“It almost feels like going to sleep is the only thing that is going to make you feel better essentially,” she said.

Summertime brings a turn for the worse.

“It’s definitely the change of pressure and it just starts to kind of build-up, then the next day when you wake up, you have the migraine,” she said.

Estemalik, who is Vargo’s doctor, recommended Botox injections every three months to block pain signals.

“For me, it was life changing. I can go months without getting a single migraine now,” she said.

This is why doctors say it’s so important to get professional treatment so that summertime doesn’t become a big headache.

Estemalik said as many as 20 percent of women get migraines and up to 8 percent of men. 

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