Did you know your head is affected by barometric pressure in your environment?

CBS News reported that up to 70% of individuals who currently suffer from migraines can experience attacks from changes in barometric pressure, often before it rains.

The migraine can be recurring, severe and debilitating causing the headache to last four to 72 hours.

These attacks often are accompanied by nausea and make it hard for an individual to enjoy their everyday lifestyle. However, some sufferers may think they’re actually experiencing a sinus headache.

A study conducted by The Headache Care Center, and published by The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research found that most of the migraines that were brought on or worsened by barometric pressure were incorrectly diagnosed as sinus headaches.

What does this mean? It means since 12% of the population suffer migraines, then most of them are incorrectly diagnosed!

The Weather’s Effect on Migraines

The weather may seem like it could affect your headaches slightly, but in fact, it’s widely considered to be one of the top causes for migraine triggers. 50% of individuals who have migraines are sensitive to the weather, and view weather changes as triggers for an attack.  When the weather gets cold and dry, it may trigger migraines.

Sinus Headaches vs. Migraines

With the changes in barometric pressure can come sinus headaches. This occurs when the weather is cold and damp, and causes intense pressure into your sinuses. If your sinuses can’t equalize the pressure well, you can get a severe sinus headache because the sinus chambers can’t expand and retract in response fast enough. A sinus headache often includes facial pain, including around your eye area and near your forehead. Because a migraine can give you pain on one side of your head or face, you may think you’re having a sinus headache. However, migraines are neurological. And while some migraines are caused by the blood vessels in your brain and surrounding tissues constricting or dilating, it is because your brain received an overabundance of messages from the pain center your blood vessels react, causing you severe pain in the head.

How to Cope with These Headaches

Stress is one of the biggest migraine triggers, especially emotional stress. When under stress, try deep breathing to calm yourself down so you don’t bring on a headache. Your diet is also another element that effects migraines, so having a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will help. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, low amounts of caffeine, and plenty of water and will help you manage the headaches more effectively.  To see if the weather is affecting your migraines, you can keep a journal on how you react when the weather changes. This way you’ll be equipped to tell your doctor the information they need to properly diagnose you.  Be sure you include the date of your headache, what type of weather it was, and how long it lasted. When it comes to your health, you can never be too well-informed!

Do you or a loved one live with chronic headaches or migraine? Schedule a consultation today!