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Weather Headaches

Some people suffer from weather headaches.  Although for the longest time this was not an understood phenomenon it seems to now be a well-recognized headache trigger.  They are commonly referred to as barometric pressure headaches. Although it has not yet been proven whether these headaches are caused by the constriction or swelling of the blood vessels in the head there is no doubt that those changes in the blood vessels are the cause of weather headaches.  Evidence shows they the change in blood flow is caused by the increased oxygen level that occurs with the pressure changes. This can cause migraines or just headaches. These pressure changes are also the reason people get headaches when they fly.

A recent study of weather headaches was conducted at an American university. A comparison was done between those who do not commonly suffer from headaches and those who were known to be migraine sufferers.  The results were that not only was pressure found to affect headaches, particularly migraines, but so did a rise in temperature. This only confirmed a study conducted in the early 1980s the results of which were that particular weather changes definitely increase migraine headaches. These weather fronts include low pressure, high temperatures, high humidity and cloudy skies.  Most evidence also pointed to lightening being a trigger for migraines. This has prompted some websites to now not only tell you the weather but to include in their forecasts warnings about how the weather fronts will affect weather sensitive conditions like headaches or arthritis.

Once it’s understood that there is indeed headaches directly related to the weather the question remains what can be done about it?  The first thing is to see your health care provider to see if they can suggest some medication or other alternatives. They will want some proof that you have noticed a tie in between your headaches and the weather. You will surprise them by producing the headache diary you’ve been keeping for the last couple of months. In it you will have correlated the instances when your headaches, migraines or otherwise, appear to have been triggered by the weather.  In your diary you will have noted what the barometric pressure was when your headaches began since you had gone out and bought a good quality digital barometer to make sure the information in your headache diary was accurate

Some health care providers will tell you that if you know the pressure is going to change then take some ibuprofen before the headache comes on. This might stop the headache, but at the very least should diminish your headache pain. . If you’re about to travel your physician may suggest taking some ibuprofen just before you board the plane.  Headache sufferers are finding this is making for a more pleasant and less painful flight.   Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, which helps by reducing inflammation of the vessels in the head.  Some physicians may suggest that when you go to lie down turn on a humidifier or ionizer.

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VISITOR COMMENTS on "Weather Headaches":

doc said,
3rd February 07
I live in Oregon, and while the weather has changed dramatically in the last few years (we get more sun than clouds) on cloudy days I get bad migraines. I believe part of it is my vision. It takes more energy to see when it is dark. However, I believe more of it could be the amount of melitonin my body is producing when it is cloudy and the pressure change. I do not get these kinds of head aches from the cold. That is more of a fatigue type head ache. I generally get these heach aches when it is cloudy. It feels like some one is squeezing my head. It's terrible. It makes me wish I could afford moving to cali. The sun does not give me head aches like this. On sunny mornings I feel great when I wake up. I love the heat. It's just the clouds. I'm glad I at least know what I can do now. I hope it helps.

GradStudent said,
11th February 07
I get bad headaches when it is going to rain or snow for the whole day. I am generally ok if there is only going to be a brief thunderstorm, but if there is going to be a day full of rain, I suffer. It's not just a normal headache, either. These headaches last all day, are completely resistant to pain meds (usualy Excedrin migraine works for me), and leave me feeling like I got hit by a bus. No fun!

c_baby said,
26th March 07
i get the worse migraines whenever it is raining, cloudy skys and ESPECIALLY when it is foggy, i honestly suffer the worse! I knew this for a long time and normally when I feel a headache coming on, i take an advil before just in case it gets worse.. then it gets a little better for maybe just an hour or so, but the weather so bad, the headaches came back faster than ever! any suggestions? :(

cwilly said,
9th April 07
i have discovered y moving to different parts of the country that weather changes are the cause of my headaches. they can last for days at a time if storm fronts follow closely together. sometimes a hard rain will bring relief while it is falling. inland southern california has been the best place for me to live so far...the worst is east texas. no migraine meds i have tried so far solve the problem.

Fancy said,
4th April 07
I get worst headaches when it is very cloudy and about to rain. If it rains the headaches go away if it doesn't it gets worse. My headaches hurt so bad that I can't even turn to right or left side and my eyes become smaller and they can't see well and far.

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