If you've ever had a barometric pressure headache, you know it can be really difficult to deal with. Let's take a quick look at the research that's out there on barometric pressure headache and see if we can limit your pain!It's been fairly obvious throughout history that weather, and particularly changes in the weather, have an effect on your body. In spite of this long line of weather-sensitive individuals, scientists are still unsure why changes in weather cause headaches and other migraines. There is a theory, however. Changes in pressure cause changes in oxygen levels.
It could be that blood vessels in your head expand or contract to compensate. Changes in the size of your blood vessels is part of the flow of changes that happen when you get a migraine headache. This is also why you may get a headache when flying, hiking, or even travelling to a new location.
A study was done by a group of researchers of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia with migraineurs and "normal" individuals to compare their reactions to weather. The study found that migraines are indeed more likely when pressure rises, and somewhat more likely when the temperature rises.
Many researchers believe that it's not pressure alone, but a variety of weather factors together that trigger migraine. A study done in 1981 found that during phase 4 weather migraines increased – that's weather with low pressure, the passage of a warm front, high temperature and humidity, and often overcast skies. (Read this interesting article about health and weather) According to the American National Headache Foundation, weather changes may also cause chemical changes in the body, another factor that triggers migraine. Many believe that the electrical charge of the air may also have something to do with your headaches.
Weather.com now has an "aches and pains" forecast, basically based on dropping pressure, increased humidity and changes or extremes in temperature.
What can I do about Barometric Pressure Headache?
Looking on the bright side, often barometric pressure headache sufferers at least have a little advance warning, especially if there is a predicted weather front moving in, or if you know you're about to go on a trip. Here are a few suggestions for dealing with the pain:1.Keep track of the effects of weather on your headache
If you think pressure changes are a trigger for you, try keeping a diary of weather changes and headache pain. For this you'll want to get a decent barometer (preferably not the cheap ornamental one that you bought at the hardware store or department store). Ideally if you really want to investigate, consider investing in a digital barometer. These are not cheap, but they do tend to give you more accurate, exact readings.
I think it's a load of baloney to be honest. If a pressure variation of a few hPa can cause problems like that then sufferers wouldn't be able to drive in a car because of changes in elevation. Driving from Dublin city centre to Celbridge (elevation 65m), I get a drop of 8hPa in a few minutes (pressure drops by about 1hPa every 8m or so). And that's only a fairly small climb. In many other parts of the country there would be much greater climbs and henced pressure drops during the average car trip. But do people complain about that?
In my opinion the increase in migraines with increasing pressure can be attributed more to dehydration than pressure. Highs usually mean low humidities, and people can lose hydration without noticing it, that is, until they get a headache. Possibly another reason why people seem to have more migraines in winter - lower dewpoints means lower relative humidities indoors, where people spend more time during the winter than in summer.
I get brutal headaches from the cold. Brutal.
Very good explanation there Su... i beginning to veer more towards ur reason instead .
I don't think the dehydration theory holds water (pardon the pun)
I've had migraines for many years and everyone always say "oh you must not drink enough water". But that really has nothing to do with migraine headaches.
I definately get weather related headaches but can't really pinpoint if its pressure related or not. Its just "changes" in the weather that seem to trigger something.
I know 3 people who get weather migraines, all have had one at one point since thursday. They normally get 1 a month or so. As with everything I'm sure there is some truth in it.
or else its just a coincidence?
happens a fair bit, still possibly coincidence but when you consider the people who dont get them at the same time it does hint at a pattern.
I would still say that could be dehydration. My sister used to suffer from severe deabilitating migraines one or two times a week. I asked her did she ever drink water - she said no! She started drinking it and hasn't had one migraine since.
That was 11 years ago.
Of course that's just one case, but I do think that there's more to that than there is to the pressure theory. There are others too of course.
Take a weather "change" - from wet and windy to dry and settled. Wet and windy means pressure is low, dewpoints are high, and the air is constantly being refreshed, reducing low-level pollutants, etc. Some people do suffer when thunderstorms are around, which is most likely due to electromagnetic effects.
An anticyclone moves is. Pressure rises, dewpoints drop (in most cases), the air stagnates and deteriorates in quality as pollutants become trapped. The lower relative humidity (especially indoors, where people spend most of their time) means more fluids are lost. Cold frosty weather means people are less inclined to drink water, so their hydration levels suffer.
Given the fact that we all go through vast pressure drops every day as we go to and from work, etc. I think pressure changes due to changing weather can be ruled out as a suspect. Hydration, poor air quality, indoors more, etc. are more likely candidates in my opinion.
Count me in for the thunder headaches... really its the only time when i get a headache. Generally it happens when I don't hear thunder, but feel it building so figure it must just be near by somewhere. If its actively thundering overhead I tend to feel dizzy but this lessens the headache. Strange
Weather does have some effects on pain, why do arthritis sufferers have less joint pain during high pressure/low humidity as compared to low pressure/high humidity?
I get headaches on planes when Im landing. Its the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. It feels like someone is pulling my brain out of my eye socket. I assume its pressure related although not really related to this thread.
I just wanted to share.
I think it's a load of baloney to be honest. If a pressure variation of a few hPa can cause problems like that then sufferers wouldn't be able to drive in a car because of changes in elevation. Driving from Dublin city centre to Celbridge (elevation 65m), I get a drop of 8hPa in a
This is a great explication of dehydration headaches and why we all need to drink more water . However , mirgraines are genetic and how I wish they could be solved that easily . I’ve just spent two days drinking water to no effect .
When you have a hangover , you’re dehydrated and you get a bit of a headache . When you have a migraine , you experience a whole world of trouble .
For me , yesterday I couldn’t see out of one eye and my eye mask felt like it was made of iron so I couldn’t hide from the light. Today I’m better but I’d love to throw up to get rid of the nausea .
Here is an explaination from the NHS UK website .
Pressure changes that cause weather changes are thought to trigger chemical and electrical changes in the brain. This irritates nerves, leading to a headache.
How to fix it: There’s not much you can do to change the weather. However, by looking at the forecast, you can predict when you’re likely to have a headache and take a preventative painkiller a day or two in advance.“
If you have joint inflammation this is a doubly painful time ðŸ˜©