Headaches are common in winters, why so and how to get rid of them

People sometimes develop stress headaches due to decrease in daylight.

Stress Health Woman people
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Last Updated on January 16, 2022 by The Health Master

Headaches are common in winters, why so and how to get rid of them

As much as you want to enjoy the holiday season toward the end of the year, the winter season often comes with its own set of illnesses.

From flu and respiratory issues, to dry skin, winters can be tough for people who are prone to these common health problems.

One of the unexpected problems that invariably affect our well-being in the cold season is winter headaches. They come without warning and refuse to go away at times, spoiling the mood to have fun at get-togethers.

If you too get headaches in the winter, experts say there could be many reasons behind it. One of the leading causes of headaches in the winter season is a cold-stimulus headache.

To avoid this kind of headache, we are rightly advised by our elders to cover our heads in winter to avoid exposure to cold air.

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There are other factors like dehydration, a change in sleep routine, and diet that could trigger headaches.

A dip in the temperature can also aggravate headaches due to the rise in barometric pressure and a reduction in the duration of sunshine.

“Cold dry winds, dehydration, change in sleep routines and search for comfort foods like soups which often contain monosodium glutamate can sometimes be the cause of so-called winter headaches,” says Dr Neetu Ramrakhiani, director, neurology at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur.

Another kind of headache that is known to worsen during winter times and occurs at particular points and times in the season is called “cluster headaches”.

They often peak during January and occur mostly during the months of December and January.

One can get headaches due to poor ventilation too, as people tend to keep their windows closed and heaters on.

Rising pollen counts, more common in winter, precipitates allergic rhinitis, triggering headaches. Carbon monoxide poisoning due to room heaters and closed windows preventing good ventilation is known to cause headaches,” says Dr Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant-Internal Medicine at Global Hospital, Mumbai.

People sometimes develop stress headaches due to decrease in daylight.

“A decrease in daylight times can also provoke sadness in mood leading to an increase in stress headaches,” says Dr Ramrakhiani.

How to avoid headaches in winter

We can prevent such headaches by eating well, keeping warm, ensuring good sleep, avoiding excess caffeine and taking care of hydration.

“‘Regular meals, sleep, and exercise routines are usually instrumental in preventing these headaches. Small measures can often help us enjoy the beauty of winter,” says Dr. Ramrakhiani.

Here are other tips by Dr. Agarwal.

  • Avoid exposure to cold air. Keep your homes well-ventilated and use exhaust fans to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Use humidifiers at home and keep indoor humidity levels between 35 and 50% to avoid dryness.
  • Make sure to get good quality sleep at night.
  • Do not skip meals and have healthy snacks from time to time.
  • Hydrate yourself well, as dehydration could cause headaches. Avoid too much caffeine, tea, alcohol, or tobacco.
  • Ensure a good intake of vitamin D rich foods like fish and eggs. One can take supplements of Vitamin D if they are deficient.
  • Avoid ingestion of MSG found in soups as it triggers migraine headaches.
  • Regular exercise of moderate intensity for 30 minutes, like walking, cycling, or indoor online workouts, will help you feel fit and keep headaches at bay.

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