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Climate change may trigger increase in headaches, migraines

Climate change could trigger more headaches, migraines
Climate change could trigger more headaches, migraines 01:57

MIAMI - Concerns about climate change often focus on rising seas and warming temperatures, but some doctors are warning about its effect on our health, including migraines and headaches.

Nearly one in ten people worldwide suffer from migraines.

Many things trigger migraines, like lack of sleep or alcohol, but according to Dr. Fred Cohen many patients blame the weather. So extreme conditions fueled by climate change are now an increasing concern.

"Migraine sufferers are the best meteorologists because when there's a weather system changing, they get an attack," said Cohen.

Weather triggers include intense heat or cold, high humidity, and windy or stormy conditions. Even stress from severe weather can be a factor. Cohen said during this summer's wildfire smoke in the northeast, headache complaints jumped.

"There could be a relationship with these severe weather phenomena both in the United States and globally and an increase in headache and migraine attacks," he said.

But treatments for migraines are evolving too, with new approaches and medications doctors can help patients monitor migraine triggers and adapt to environmental changes.

Anyone who's suffering should see a doctor and ask for help.

The American Migraine Foundation said migraines are three times more common in women than in men, and one in four U.S. households includes someone who suffers from migraines.

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