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Easing Migraines On Hot Days

The sweltering heat often takes its toll by triggering migraine headaches in millions of Americans. But there are ways to relieve the pain when the hot weather and humidity becomes unbearable, reports Correspondent Anne Peterson of CBS News affiliate KCTV in Kansas City, Mo.

Staying out of the heat, using ice packs, and continuing to take medications will help ease discomfort, says Dr. Mark Greenfield of the Headache and Pain Center in Kansas City.

"When they notice headache coming on, sometimes ice packs applied to the neck, the back of the head or even the front of the head can be helpful in reducing some of the symptoms that are brought on by these heat-triggered headaches," says Dr. Greenfield.

Migraine sufferer Pam Watson says her pain isn't helped with medication.

"I became dizzy, disoriented, nauseated, very sensitive to heat, light, and to noise," she says.

Heat constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow -- conditions that may make the body more vulnerable to migraines, Dr. Greenfield says.

"The heat seems to cause chemical changes in the brain and central nervous system, and we think those chemical changes are responsible in some people who are predisposed to headaches to cause further interruptions and further headaches," Dr. Greenfield says.

He says in order for medication to be effective, it should be taken as soon as the symptoms occur and regularly as a preventative measure.

For more information on how to fight migraines you can call the National Headache Foundation at 1-888-NHF-5552.

For more on hot weather safety and fun, see our Welcome To Summer! care package.

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