What is a Barometric Pressure Headache and How to Get Relief

Barometric pressure fluctuates up and down based on weather conditions.

This type of pressure is also known as air pressure or atmospheric pressure. If you’ve noticed that you experience headaches when the weather changes, you should know that you may be suffering from a Barometric pressure headache! These headaches may also be called “weather headaches” or “altitude headaches”. Those who are prone to them are quite sensitive to weather shifts and/or to altitude shifts.

These headaches range in frequency and severity. Some people get milder headaches, some experience moderate pain and others find that their Barometric pressure headaches are debilitating. The key to finding relief is learning what a barometric pressure headache actually is and discovering which treatments are most effective.

What Triggers the Pain?

It’s believed that pressure changes shift oxygen levels and that these shifts trigger these sorts of headaches. Blood vessels within the head may increase or decrease in size in order to adjust for differences in oxygen levels. This type of headache may strike during changes in weather or when you’re on a plane. Sometimes, it may occur when you’re hiking at higher altitudes or going to new places.

We’ve already defined Barometric pressure headaches in our first paragraph, so let’s talk about the symptoms of these particular headaches and then review some treatment options.

Barometric Pressure Headache Symptoms

Headaches of this type may cause pain on one or both sides of the head. They may also give a sensation that a tight band is pressing down on the painful areas.

It is possible to get migraines from shifts in Barometric pressure and these headaches usually afflict both sides of the head. If your headaches are of migraine intensity, you should definitely talk to a doctor. Migraines are extreme and they aren’t as easy to treat as typical headaches. They require special care and treatment.

What are the Best Treatment Options for a Barometric Pressure Headache?

Some doctors treat these types of migraine headaches with beta blockers or antidepressants. There is a range of medications which may be prescribed. In terms of alternative therapies, homeopathy and herbal remedies may provide some relief. People who get non-migraines may want to try Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen and avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks.

For migraine or non-migraine headaches which may be related to air pressure changes, experts recommend that people create and maintain “headache diaries”. These diaries should list the dates the headaches happened, their duration and their severity. When you start keeping a diary, you’ll be able to take it along to the doctor’s office and it will assist your doctor in coming up with a treatment plan for you.

Some countries provide toll-free hotlines which give out information about weather shifts which are anticipated and which may cause these headaches. Canada is one example. Preventing headaches of this type by trying to stay in, with the windows closed, when air pressure shifts are expected or already happening may be helpful.

While busy people may find this challenging, there may be at least sometimes when you are able to avoid the negative impact of weather shifts.

See Your Doctor Today

Hopefully, our guide to dealing with barometric pressure headaches will assist you with getting the help and care that you need. These headaches are fairly common and knowing how to handle them is important.