Q. I get terrible headaches because of cold weather. How to get rid of it?

Answered by
Dr. Sugreev Singh
and medically reviewed by Dr. Chithranjali Ravichandran
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 23, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am experiencing terrible headaches for several years. The pain is like a migraine. Cold and wind trigger the pain. My bathroom window was kept open, and the temperature outside was 18 degrees Celsius. Though the windows in my room are closed, the cold wind from the bathroom was enough to wake me up with a terrible headache that I could not move my head from the bed all day while my housemates were totally fine. I get pain every time I come across this kind of climate. I know it is easy to say to avoid these places, but it is not possible to prevent the factors like going outside or opening windows, or traveling from place to place. Painkillers do not help. Kindly advise me on what to do. Is there any solution to get rid of that pain for good?

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for writing, and I understand your concern.

As you mentioned, you get a headache when it is cold, or you visit some places outside, so definitely it is due to allergy, so in such case, painkillers alone will not help. You should start antihistamines as well.

Of course, it is not easy to avoid the places, but use warm clothes or cover yourself specifically head when you go outside.

I suggest you take tablet Cetirizine 10 mg once before sleeping for five days along with painkillers and let me know afterward.

Answer the following to help you better;

1) Have you done any allergic tests before?

2) Do you get a runny nose or sore throat as well?

3) Which part of the head aches the most?

Thanks and regards.

The Probable causes:


Probable diagnosis:


Treatment plan:

Tablet Cetirizine 10 mg once before sleeping and tablet Paracetamol 500 mg as and when required.

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much for the quick answer.

I have not done any tests so far. The most painful region is the forehead, eyes, face, left ear, and backside of the neck. And yes, I sometimes feel like water coming from my nose. I thought it to be sinusitis and consulted a doctor who said my sinuses are completely fine. Every time I expose my head to a bit of cold, it will end up in pain. Even washing hair in the evening causes pain the next day.

Thanks again for your suggestions.



Welcome back to

It is an allergic response to cold, and it will get better with antihistamines along with painkillers. And as I mentioned, you should cover your head whenever you go out or feel cold. Another thing is you should check your eyesight once because that can also cause such pain. People who work on the screen for a long time tend to get such headaches. So please check your eyesight once, if there is any impairment in vision, they will give you glasses to use, and you will not have headaches anymore.

Kindly answer the following;

1) What is your occupation?

2) Do you get a similar headache while working?

3) Are you taking any medicines for blood pressure?

4) Do you wear glasses?

If anything else, please mention it.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

My eyes are fine, and screen time does not affect my eyes. I can sit for long hours on the computer. I do not have hypertension, and I do not wear glasses. During winter, when I go outside and the temperature is low, I have difficulty breathing. So I assume it may be an allergic reaction to a cold. I will try these antihistamine tablets.

I just wondered why cold causes such a reaction in my body. Headache is terrible and occurs often.

Usually, the pain lasts for 24 hours. Painkillers I have been taking for several years had a bad influence on my stomach now, so I must avoid or reduce them.

Usually, when I am exposed to wind, pain starts on the left side behind my left ear then spreading to the neck, forehead, eyes, and face. I had a scan of that area next to my left ear recently, but nothing suspicious had been found.

Kindly help.



Welcome back to

Thank you for your reply.

Few people experience symptoms as you do. It is due to cold, which activates our nervous system, so whenever there is a cold or a weather change, our body releases cytokines and deals with it. Still, few people with low immunity or allergic to cold develops headaches and shortness of breath, but the shortness of breath indicates asthma. Asthma is also caused by allergies such as pollens and dust or cold. That is why we suggest covering your head in cold weather to keep yourself warm, and for asthma patients, we recommend using masks. I do not think you have asthma. It is just a headache that is triggered by a cold. So if you cover yourself adequately while going out or during the cold season, then everything will be fine.

Taking antihistamines will decrease the chances of allergies. And if you face shortness of breath every time, I suggest you do a chest x-ray once to rule out asthma or bronchitis. But if you do not have a family history of asthma, then chances are rare.

Please take the proper precautions, as I mentioned, and that will be enough.

Thank you.

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