My grandfather was famous for his predictions of the future. He wasn’t a psychic or a medium, but he was a genius for forecasting changes in the weather. It could be the most beautiful sunny day in ten years not a cloud in the sky but if Grandpa said the rain was coming, our entire community knew to pack up their picnics and reschedule their barbecues. His accuracy may have seemed like a magic trick or a fun hobby to visitors, but the family knew it was actually a curse. Grandpa was afflicted with the pain of chronic barometric pressure headaches.
Can Air Pressure Really Cause Pressure Headaches?
It’s no secret that weather has an effect on your body, particularly when there are changes in the weather. Scientists believe that variations in barometric pressure result in changes in oxygen levels. It is theorized that variations in oxygen levels cause your brain’s blood vessels to expand and contract, which is believed to be the underlying cause of migraine headaches. This would also explain why people suffer from pressure headaches when they are hiking or flying.
Many researchers believe that its not just a question of air pressure; indeed, a variety of weather factors may trigger migraines. Temperature and humidity may also influence pressure headaches. In fact, a study done in 1981 revealed that migraines increase during phase 4 weather (low pressure, high temperature, high humidity, overcast skies).
The American National Headache Foundation claims that weather changes may also result in variations in the chemicals in your body. This is another trigger for migraines. Some researchers also believe that the electrical charge carried by the air may influence pressure headaches.
How to Deal with Pressure Headaches
Today, doctors are continuing to explore the connection between headaches and weather, but there a few helpful suggestions you can try in the meantime.
Doctors often suggest that patients keep a detailed journal of weather changes and headache pain. You should buy a decent barometer, preferably a digital one. This may enable you to predict your pressure headaches and allow you to plan accordingly.
The apparent link between weather and pain afflicts so many American citizens that weather.com has actually added an aches and pains forecast on their website. This forecast is based on dropping pressure, increased humidity, and changes or extremes in temperature. You simply enter your zip code, and you will receive an up-to-date aches and pains index, with one being minimal and ten being very high.
If you’re not blessed with the eerily accurate predictions of a psychic grandfather, you can use your barometric journal to know when you are more likely to experience an attack. Avoid outdoor events on days when you know you’re at high risk for pressure headaches.