If your headaches seem to be affected by various weather changes, then you should pay more attention to your symptoms. In that case, you might be suffering from barometric pressure headache. This type of a headache makes planning for vacations and holidays more challenging. It is often confused with other health conditions which makes the treatment more difficult to come up with.
What is a Barometric Pressure Headache?
The barometric pressure is the pressure in the air applied to our bodies. Our sinuses are filled with air and this means that any change in the pressure can trigger a barometric pressure headache. A drop in the barometric pressure can trigger a migraine like symptoms. In some cases, patients can experience other symptoms which include facial numbness, sensitivity to light and gastric disturbance.
The truth is that even an insignificant change in the barometric pressure can trigger pain in migraine patients. A slight drop or increase in the barometric pressure can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Symptoms vary in intensity and frequency to a great extent, which makes this condition rather difficult for doctors to diagnose. The best thing you can do is to keep a headache journal in order to keep track of your symptoms. You should write notes about the frequency of your headaches, how long they last and whether they get triggered by changes in altitude or temperature. These notes will help your doctor find a pattern in order to determine the right trigger behind your headache.
What is Barometric Pressure Headache Treatment?
Although there are a lot of tests that can help diagnose various types of migraines, barometric pressure headache is different. Neurological exams and CT scans(1) might not be the best ways to detect and hence diagnose the condition. Keeping a detailed journal will help your doctor prescribe the right headache treatment.
Most patients benefit from OTCs since they can relieve pain and help patients enjoy their lives in better quality. In more severe cases, doctors will try prescription medications that usually show very good results. Botox injections also help with the pain since they block the nerves transmissions. A patient might consider taking a Botox shot every few months in order to keep their headaches in check. The pain doesn’t go away on the spot and the effect might take a few ways to show, but it usually lasts for a while. Once it wears off, the doctor will schedule for another treatment. In the most severe cases, doctors might consider a surgery, although this is left as the last option.
It is always easier to avoid barometric pressure headaches than to treat them. For barometric pressure headache treatment patients should take the OTC or prescription drug as soon as they start to experience a migraine or a headache like symptoms. A patient should also stick to a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid headache episodes. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours daily helps patients manage their headaches and live comfortably. Paying attention to other symptoms like nausea or ringing in the ears can help you detect the headache episode even before it starts.