How To Beat Those Holiday Headaches, According To A Migraine Expert

It's estimated that more than 37 million Americans are affected by migraines, according to WebMD. While a migraine can strike at any time of the year, some people may be more prone to the condition during the holiday season, explains Dr. Sara Crystal, Medical Director for Cove, a platform that combines diagnosis, personalized and affordable treatment solutions, and ongoing condition management for migraine sufferers.

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Dr. Crystal highlights common migraine symptoms. "Migraine headaches are often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea with or without vomiting," she states. For those who celebrate Christmas, Dr. Crystal explains that the holiday activities can potentially prompt migraine headaches. "The added Christmas lights, music and overall cheer and festivities can aggravate those who suffer from migraines," she says. However, bright lights and loud music aren't the only factors that can contribute to a holiday-related migraine. Rather, Dr. Crystal explains that stress during the holiday season can also play a major role in one's increased susceptibility to migraine headaches.

Factors that may influence migraine headaches during the holidays

"It's no secret that the holidays bring about added stress and pressure," Dr. Crystal tells Health Digest. "Day-to-day emotional stress is a big contributor to migraines and it's easy to get stuck in a stress-migraine cycle, in which stress triggers migraine attacks, chronic pain causes more stress, and so on," she explains. Not only that, but the chillier weather during the winter months doesn't help either, Dr. Crystal notes. "If all that wasn't enough, weather changes, like a sudden drop in temperature can trigger migraines," she states. "A 2015 report in the scientific journal SpringerPlus found that 20% of migraine attacks are caused by changes in weather, while the Internal Medicine Journal found that 64% of participants in a 2011 study were affected by weather changes." 

To help keep migraines at bay during your holiday celebrations, Dr. Crystal suggests a few key things to keep in mind. "If you're taking medication, be sure to stay consistent and keep up your routine as best as possible," she says. "There are a lot of parties, events, and get-togethers but keeping with as much of your routine as possible can help prevent stress." Dr. Crystal concludes, stating, "Additionally, know what triggers your migraines and do your best to avoid them."

To learn more about Cove and their migraine treatment plans, you can visit