Weather and Migraine: Barometric Pressure Headache

Do weather swings trigger migraine?

Weather and migraine, it’s something I can never control. I wish weather swings were as fun as real swings.  The way my kids laugh going up and down, back and forth looks fun.  Instead, the temperature goes up and down making my head sway back and forth and it’s no fun at all!

Weather is a huge trigger in My Migraine Life!   Living in Cleveland is not ideal for this!  From what I’ve read, I’m not the only one.

This week, we had a 30 degree shift in two days!  There goes my head.  The weather triggers my migraine every time! The barometric pressure squeezes me like a vice.  I have a barometer in my kitchen but I don’t need it because I am triggered before it registers.  My allergies kick up and my head gets so much pressure in it I feel like my eyes are popping out.

The wind, hail and lightning against my windows gives me generalized pain EVERYWHERE.  The migraine symptoms, my joints, my stomach, the fatigue all revolve around the weather.  The cold weather and swings hurt my sinuses making things worse. I’m so much better when it just stays the same.

Barometric Pressure Migraine

Can barometric pressure affect migraines? Oh yes, I feel like a human barometer most days feeling it increase and decrease.  I weather sense swings long before they happen. Heat, thunderstorms and all barometric changes trigger my migraine. I have no ideas on how to even prepare for the swings when I know it is coming.  I don’t like to take meds to prevent them because I would be doing that several times a day with the amount of triggers I have and the pain state I live.

Weather Headache and Migraine Relief

  • I drink lots of water
  • Avoid being out in the elements
  • Keep my rescue meds close by
  • Eat anti inflammatory foods
  • Stay on my sleep schedule
  • Try to take stress in stride while doing a bit of yoga or meditation
  • Take benedryl or allergy medicine
  • Take an Epsom bath with essential oils
  • Continue to do what I can to brace the not so fun swing I’m about to ride

How do you Deal with Weather Related Migraines?

mymigrainelife

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. I'm a mom, wife, teacher, and chronic migraine sufferer. I tell my stories and advocate in my life searching for health in a positive honest way.
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25 Comments

  1. mymigrainelife on October 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Reblogged this on My Migraine Life and commented:

    Does anyone else get triggered by weather swings? I wrote this in the spring yet it happens year round. Fall is just the beginning of my weather related migraines.



  2. Sandy Wicks on December 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Oh YES, I do have a ton of trouble with the weather swings. I live in Calgary, Alberta and our weather changes by the minute due to our beautiful Rocky Mountains. I have not found anything at all that helps me. I have been accepted into the Chronic Headache Program CHAMP, here in Calgary and it will take over a year to see a neurologist. There are days and today is one of them, that all I can do is barricade myself in my house and just try to deal with the pain. The pressure in my head is unbearable, there are times I just want to drill a hole in it just to release it all, so horrible to say. I get many many different types of headaches/migraines and have come to the conclusion that my pain is CLUSTER HEADACHES. It changes from day to day and sometimes on an hourly basis. I am not a pill pusher because I have been down that road before and caused medication induced HEADACHES. Now, I am more or less paranoid of taking anything. I have a headache everyday and most of the days my pain range is between a 7-10. On the rare occasion, when I can no longer take the pain sometimes OxyContin helps me, but not always. When I am sitting at a pain level of 10+, I get really really tired and very cold. It could be 30 degrees Celsius out side and I am curled up in a heated blanket with my hot compress around my neck and in bed in the dark. I have been suffering from headaches for most of my adult life 40 years. This year has been the absolute worst for me. I have missed close to 80% of my work due to these headaches this year and I LOVE my job. So as many others of you feel at times, I am going through a lot of GUILT and trying to deal with this feeling. I am now at the stage of DEPRESSION and total EXHAUSTION. There are so many triggers and it is so difficult to pinpoint them all.
    These are what I have come to realize by doing my headache journal:
    1. Stress ( this is a buggy for me )
    2. Weather ( another big factor )
    3. Exposure to light, noise, any form of odor – from cigarette smoke to gas/diesel fumes,
    4. Health Issues- sinus colds especially
    I am trying some preventative supplements :
    Vit B2
    Citrate Magnesium
    CoEnzyme Q10
    Just started these, and the effects will take about 6 weeks
    Journaling is one of my most helpful tools right now.
    I write down absolutely everything about my day from beginning to end. What I eat, what I do, what I cannot do, who I am with, where I am, the weather, my feelings EVERYTHING.
    Hopefully, this will help to determine what is causing all of my pain and when that is determined I can then get RID OF IT FOREVER.
    I am so tired of this CONTROLLING MY LIFE.
    I just want my life to be back to normal so I can become a NORMAL HUMAN BEING again.
    I hope my story resinates with many of you, and that you do realize that we are all in this together and that one day we all will be able to manage our pain and get on with our lives.
    I truly hope that I have not rambled on too much and bored any of you.
    I have never written on a blog or whatever this is, so please forgive me if I have.
    Take care and I do look forward to hearing your story.
    S:-)



  3. mymigrainelife on December 2, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! It will resonate with many readers & definitely me! We are all on a journey yet have so much in common and so few answers. I wish I could help, when in fact I can’t even help myself. The best thing we can do is keep sharing our stories so others can learn from us while growing ourselves. I appreciate your story and wish you wellness and peace In your your battle.



  4. mpoh88 on May 14, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I hear you. Anything above 60 and I feel it instantly, the second I awake. Regardless of temperature, London can be pretty horrific for humidity levels. It was 90% humidity for several days this week and I swear I thought my brain was just going to start pouring out my ears. In one way, it worked out well because I had a neuro appointment on one of those days and he got to see me on a “standard day” ie. not even in the middle of a migraine. I hope your week isn’t too hellish x



  5. mymigrainelife on May 14, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you get some relief soon!



  6. Wendy on November 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    the weather is a huge trigger for me. Yet sometimes it can change and it doesn’t seem to bother me at all, I have no idea why? How odd, don’t you think?
    The weather is definitely something we can’t do anything about. Hard to know a trigger and know you can’t do anything to help it.
    One thing I found that helps sometimes is wearing a hat. Sometimes I’ll put on a pull on hat and it seems to help ease the pressure a little. Staying inside as much as I can during the weather change helps too. This would be in addition to the normal things we do, as you listed. We’d be much happier if the weather would just stay the same.



  7. mymigrainelife on November 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve never tried the hat trick, I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the comment!



  8. Wendy on November 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hope it helps. I also use a hoodie, seems to help some. 🙂



  9. mymigrainelife on November 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I live in hoodies!!! I love them for sound, peripheral light and more!!



  10. Valerie on November 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I can identify! The weather is often my enemy. Hope you get some relief soon.



  11. mymigrainelife on November 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks Valerie!



  12. ejrebel on February 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I live in Oregon in the willamette valley. Weather is a constant change and a horrible trigger for migraines.



  13. mymigrainelife on February 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    It’s so hard to deal with!



  14. Jayne on February 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Yes I can identify Sarah. Hot weather is my enemy and I live in the worst part of the world for that – Australia. I am hiding in the aircon as I write. Leaves with me with a thick, burning head and dreadful fatigue. I need one of those headache hats!



  15. Sheryl Chan on February 28, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Interesting. I had severe migraines over a period in my life, but they have disappeared for now. I live in Singapore, where there’s only summer, although it varies between rainy and dry seasons. Wonder what it’d be like for you here 🙂 During that period there were no triggers, i.e. the episodes were totally random and hit me like a truck anywhere. I hope the weather eases up soon over there!



  16. mymigrainelife on February 28, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Interesting. I’ve never been to Singapore. Sounds like I need to visit 🙂



  17. Tania Jayne on March 4, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Weather definitely affects my migraine symptoms too. I can tell when a storm is coming (thankfully that doesn’t happen too often here). Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks



  18. fibrofly73 on March 7, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I live in North East UK and the air pressures change a lot because I’m by the sea, and yes those changes cause a heavy head and ears that feel like they will burst off the side of my head. I end up with a migraiine curled up in the dark waiting for it to passover.



  19. fibrofly73 on March 7, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I sometims feel like a human barometer 😮



  20. mymigrainelife on March 7, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    That’s what my husband tells me ????



  21. Amy Ewald on October 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Yes! When spring starts, there is an uptick of migraines. Summer is usually the worst for me. Then Fall starts and an uptick in migraines. The barometric pressure of every storm coming is a trigger. Being too cold (like in the wind in the winter) boy is that a trigger!!!!! Being too hot in the sun is a trigger. I used to love the outdoors and now I’m an indoor kind of girl!!!



  22. mymigrainelife on October 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Me too! It seems like all weather hurts!



  23. Invisibly Me on January 17, 2019 at 1:29 am

    My body struggles with the cold a lot so I can find that quite triggering for pain and migraines. In terms of weather swings, I’d say pending storms (where it can feel quite heavy) are more difficult to deal with. An interesting topic as it’s not always something we give much thought to when we can’t change the weather, but I like your tips for better coping with it! xx



  24. mymigrainelife on January 17, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Rain storms are the worst for me. But any drop or sudden raise in temps makes me so sick. I struggle with the cold too. My bones hurt like I’m 100 just from the pain and chill.



  25. Migraine Triggers - My Migraine Life on August 25, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    […] Weather changes […]



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