Barometric pressure is a pressure in the air that is being applied to your body. Any change in that pressure can cause headaches because our sinuses are filled with air. In other words, weather changes can be the cause of your migraine or headache. So, it is important to pay close attention to the upcoming weather changes in case barometric pressure headache occur to you.
When there is a drop in barometric pressure then there is a high chance barometric pressure headache will occur. Even though they may feel like migraine or headache but some symptoms can show as well such as:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Vomiting or nausea
- Pain in one or even both temples
- Numbness in the neck and face
You are most likely suffer from barometric pressure headache if you repeatedly experience these signs along with headache when it’s humid or rainy.
The change in the outside barometric pressure can create a difference pressure between the outside air and the air in your sinuses. This change can result in pain. This can also happen when you are on a plane because the altitude on takeoff can change pressure and thus causing you to experience pain or ear popping.
Furthermore, a Japanese study on the sales of a headache medicine called loxoprofen shows a connection between changes to barometric pressure and an increase in the medication sales. This concludes that there is an increase in the case of headache as the pressure decreases.
However, the barometric pressure doesn’t necessarily have to change in a drastic way to cause headaches. Another study shows that people with chronic migraines are affected by the slight decrease in barometric pressure.
Read More : Tips and Tricks to Prevent Headaches
Should You See A Doctor?
Yes but only if your headaches start to affect your quality of life. Moreover, tell your doctor that these headaches are highly affected by weather changes.
There is no specific diagnosis for this so it is advisable to inform your doctor as detailed as you can. Your doctor may ask you about:
- How long they usually last
- When the headaches occur
- What worsen them or make them better
It is also advisable for you to keep a headache journal at least for a month before you review it with your doctor. And if this is your first time consulting with your doctor, he will probably do a full headache workup. You will be asked about your past medical history and any family members who may have history with chronic headaches and migraines. Moreover, some tests might be run to rule out other serious causes like neurologic exam, CT scan, MRI, blood tests, and lumbar puncture.
Every person needs different treatment for barometric pressure headache because it dependson how severe the headache is. Some people can defeat symptoms with just over-the-counter medications such as:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (advil, aleve)
- Excedrin (a combination drug which includes acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine)
However, if all of these over-the-counter meds do not relieve you from headache, your doctor will most likely prescribe a medication for you like triptans, ergotamines, codeine, antinausea medications, etc.
The easiest way to prevent barometric pressure headache is to be aware of your own headache patterns.