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.