Barometric Pressure Changes and Headaches

Severe changes in weather are often the causes of headaches, and this is often due to barometric pressure changes. Barometric pressure is the force exerted on our bodies by the air. Barometric pressure changes cause a pressure imbalance between your sinus cavity and the weather outside. These imbalances can trigger intense pain in the sinus and ear chambers. Increasing pressure can also cause blood vessels to contract, causing irregular blood flow to the brain which often triggers headaches.

Barometric pressure changes are the result of various weather changes. Rain storms contribute to an increase of humidity in the air, while hot days or strong winds contribute to a decrease of humidity in the air. Changes of altitude also cause atmospheric changes which can tamper with the pressure balance in your sinus cavities. If you hike a mountain or travel by airplane you may experience this.

Here are some of the symptoms of headaches triggered by weather changes:

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Distorted vision
  • Numbness to face or neck
  • Nausea or abdominal pain
  • Tightness or pressure in the neck and face

There are ways which you can decrease the likelihood of experiencing barometric pressure change headaches. Try some of these methods to decrease the frequency of your headaches: always stay hydrated, especially when you exercise or travel by airplane, avoid excess alcohol and sugar consumption, and, when weather changes do occur, practice techniques for relieving your stress and anxiety, such as yoga, exercise, or sleep.

Do not let the weather confine you to your house this season. Learn how to manage your headaches despite the cold and enjoy this winter without fear of your next migraine attack!

P.S. For more information on this topic, check out our podcast episode on barometric pressure changes!

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