Lately, I’ve noticed more people in my life (myself included) complaining of headaches, sinus pressure, and migraines. All my friends and family members, regardless of where they live, have one thing in common: They are experiencing more frequent headaches. So, what’s causing these symptoms?
There are many factors that can cause migraines and headaches. These include lifestyle factors, triggers from food, stress, and other factors. And it’s no secret we’ve collectively experienced a fair amount of stress in the past few years.
But the recent headache spike might actually be thanks to the changing seasons and fluctuations in barometric pressure—or at least it’s yet another headache-causing layer on top of everything else.
What is Barometric Pressure and How Does It Work?
Barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere. It’s the weight of air molecules above any given point on the Earth. It’s measured by a barometer, and it changes constantly. The measurement will vary depending on the location.
The result is usually better weather when the barometric pressure rises. And as the barometer falls, the weather can become more volatile—the lower the pressure, the more intense the storm.
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Barometric pressure tends to be lower in higher altitude areas. You’ve likely heard climbers refer to the “thinner air”Mountains.
People sometimes comment on how it’s more difficult to breathe, they feel dizzier, and/or they may feel more fatigued at higher altitudes. It can also be easier to breathe at sea level (or by the ocean) as the barometric pressure is higher.
Some parts of the United States are more affected by fluctuations in barometric pressure than others. Barometric pressure fluctuations are less common in cities like Hawaii, California, or Connecticut.
As the seasons change, so does the barometric pressure. Spring and fall have more variation in the barometric pressure. Fall brings cooler weather and a decrease in barometric tension.
Typically, when the barometric pressure is steady, there won’t be much change in the weather. A storm could be heading your way if the barometer drops abruptly.
Barometric Pressure’s Effect On The Body
Some people believe that they can predict the weather, as their bodies react to changes of barometric pressure. The phrase “If the phrase…” is true, “My knees can predict the weather,”Barometric pressure is becoming part of your everyday vocabulary. You may already be familiar with some of the effects it can have on the body.
The barometric pressure can drop, which can cause a shift in pressure between our sinuses (and the atmosphere) to trigger pain. This includes various types of headaches.
Sudden drops in barometric tension can lead to migraines, sinus headaches and joint and muscle pain. Blood pressure changes, fatigue and allergies can also be caused by sudden drops. The barometric pressure drop can cause swelling and pain in the tissues, causing it to affect the nerves.
Sinus headaches can cause pressure and pain in the cheek, forehead, and brow. The pain and pressure can be worsened if you bend down or lay down. You may also feel tired and stuffy in your nose. Migraine symptoms may include throbbing and sensitivity to light, nausea, nasal congestion, and other symptoms.
How to combat Barometric Pressure Headaches
It’s always important to stay hydrated, and that’s especially true when battling a headache or migraine.
A humidifier, a saline spray and elevating your head during sleep are all natural home remedies for sinus pressure. Also, it is important to get enough rest if you can. Sinus and pressure headaches can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication or decongestants.
If you experience headaches that are severe or frequent, you might need to consult a doctor. The doctor may prescribe medication to treat your symptoms.
It’s also important to exercise a few days a week, eat a balanced diet, and avoid skipping meals. Meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques and yoga can all help to prevent migraines and headaches.