Ask the expert: Why do I get more headaches in the winter?

For some people, this time of year can mean an uptick in headaches. While we know that devouring ice cream too fast causes a brain freeze, we weren’t too sure why the snowstorms and frigid temperatures led to an aching head. So we decided to find out just what was causing them.

It turns out that when you go outside and the bitter air hits something called the trigeminal nerve, blood vessels in the brain constrict, leading to the headache. Not everyone suffers from these headaches, and it’s more common in people who suffer from migraines.

Another possible cause for wintry-weather headaches? The change in air pressure. If a winter storm comes through, there’s a chance you can be hit with sinus and ear pain—especially if you are stuffed up.

If you notice this happens to you, there are some things you can do. Get a humidifier so that the air in your home isn’t so dry. When you do head out the door, wrap up in a scarf and hat so that your head and neck aren’t as directly exposed to the cold air. And don’t go outside in the winter with wet hair!

 

Photo credit: naturalhomecures34

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