9 Simple Ways to Prevent Fall Migraine Triggers

Sep 30, 2022



women having migraine during fall season

A migraine is a headache that’s been medically evaluated as being not dangerous — not all headaches are migraines — but that are bothersome and usually repeated. A severe pulsing or throbbing pain, typically on one side of the head, often with nausea and light sensitivity.

While migraines occur at any time of the year, they can be more common in the fall. Do you want to know why? Keep reading!

Why Do I Get Migraines in the Fall?

Although everyone looks forward to the cooler weather of the fall, this season can also bring on triggers for migraines:


Allergens (such as mold and ragweed) are common in the fall and are major migraine triggers. When you come across allergens, your body produces an increased amount of histamine, which can inflame your sinuses and cause migraines.

Weather-Related Changes

The temperature changes during the fall can affect humidity and barometric pressure (atmospheric air pressure). These can irritate nerves in the brain, triggering electrical and chemical changes and causing migraines.

Daylight Cycle

The days are usually shorter during the fall, which can change your sleep cycle. Changes in your sleep can impact proteins that cause pain and suppress neurotransmitters in the brain, triggering a migraine.

Other Common Migraine Triggers

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

Estrogen fluctuations during or before menstrual periods, menopause, and pregnancy can trigger migraines.

Sensory Stimuli

Strong smells (such as paint thinners, secondhand smoke, and perfumes) and bright or flashing lights can cause migraines.


Vasodilators and oral birth control pills can worsen migraines.


Stale cheeses, salty/processed foods, and food additives, such as preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sweetener aspartame, can cause migraines.


Coffee and alcohol (especially wine) can trigger migraines.


Stress is a common source for migraines.

How to Reduce Fall Migraine Triggers

You can reduce the incidence of fall migraines with the following lifestyle changes.

#1: Drink Enough Water

Dehydration contracts your brain and other tissues in the body, increasing pressure on nerves, thus triggering migraines.

You can also stay hydrated by consuming:

  • Soups
  • Glucose or electrolyte supplements
  • Sports drinks
  • Water-rich foods, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, watermelons, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers, etc.

#2: Enrich Your Diet with Magnesium

Lack of magnesium may block signals in the brain, causing migraines with aura (where you experience severe recurrent headaches along with dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and other sensory disturbances). A study reveals that taking 500 milligrams of magnesium oxide twice daily for eight weeks can prevent migraines.

Foods rich in magnesium are:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Milk
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Egg

#3: Make Your Diet Healthier

A healthy, balanced diet containing lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables plays a crucial role in mitigating migraines.

To prevent migraines, ensure to include these foods in your diet:

  • Bananas
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Ginger
  • Fatty fish
  • Flax seeds
  • Berries
  • Herbal tea
  • Avocados
  • Collard and turnip greens
  • Kale
  • Spinach

#4: Know Your Food Triggers

While some foods can ease migraines, others can trigger or worsen them. Food triggers vary for different people, so keep track of what foods cause you migraines and act accordingly.

Foods that may trigger migraines include:

  • Chocolates
  • Dried fruits
  • Beans
  • Cultured dairy products
  • Nitrate-rich foods (Bacon, hot dogs, etc.)

#5: Manage Your Stress

The American Health Society reveals that over 80% of people report stress as a major trigger for migraines.

Manage your stress by:

  • Practicing breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, like yoga and meditation
  • Doing relaxing activities like gardening, painting, playing an instrument, etc
  • Listening to soothing music

#6: Stick to a Constant Sleep Cycle

An irregular sleep schedule can trigger migraines, so sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

The following tips can help you stick to a regular sleep schedule:

  • Avoid watching television/mobile before going to bed or while in bed
  • Don’t drink coffee after noon
  • Practice relaxing activities that promote sleep (reading a book, taking a hot shower, etc.)

#7: Avoid Medication Overuse

Long-term use of opiates, prescription pain relievers, and OTC pain relievers containing caffeine can cause migraines. Always take medications as prescribed by your doctor.

You can prevent medication overuse migraines by:

  • Not using OTC painkillers for more than 15 days a month
  • Limiting the usage of triptans and combination analgesics to 9 days a month
  • Avoiding medications containing opioids and butalbital

#8: Limit Caffeine Intake

Though caffeine can ease your headache, overconsumption (over 100 milligrams a day) can worsen migraines. Track how much caffeine you get from foods (chocolate, cocoa beans, and kola nuts) and beverages (soda, black tea, etc.), and gradually reduce the intake.

You can try coffee alternatives, such as:

  • Chicory coffee
  • Golden milk
  • Lemon water
  • Rooibos tea

#9: Avoid Unfiltered Light

Light sensitivity is the most common migraine trigger, so do not stay in dark areas for long periods of time.

You can prevent sensitivity-triggered headaches by:

  • Wearing light-filtered glasses or sunglasses when going out
  • Fully opening or closing your windows (to eliminate scattered light hitting your eyes suddenly)
  • Avoiding exposure to fluorescent or LED lights

If your migraines don’t get better even after trying these remedies, visit us at Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care in Irvine, Fountain Valley Urgent Care, or Costa Mesa Urgent Care, CA, for further treatment. With our swift medical care and assistance, we will quickly resolve your migraines and related symptoms.