Barometric Pressure

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Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:34 pm

Some people are affected by barometric pressure more than others. Anna head pain seems to be greatly affected by it. So I wanted to start a thread to share experiences and information.

I found this interesting, though it's not about head pain:

http://www.robsworld.org/barometer.html

The human barometer!

I was digging around on-line to see if I could come up with some numbers. A meteorologist shared this:

High Pressure 30.20 and up
Normal Pressure 29.80 - 30.20
Low Pressure 29.80 and lower

The highest pressure recording in Minnesota was 31.11
The lowest pressure recording in Minnesota was 28.43

I found a site on-line which gives the pressure reading in my little town. Right now it is 29.50, and it is raining.

One day this week we had pressure as high as 30.11. Anna felt better that day than today.

Anna was never bothered by weather or weather changes until she had oral surgery to remove her wisdom teeth in 2003. Prior to that, she had HA's every day, but bad weather nor low pressure/pressure changes didn't make her HA pain worse.

Cheryl

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:36 pm

Here is a site where you can check your barometric pressure throughout the day:

http://www.wunderground.com/

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  HeelerLady on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:46 pm

Well I know I'm a human barometer. I'm getting to the "please run me over" stage today and there's a massive low just to the west. Ugh...have to go find my meds and glad I ate decent at lunch because I'm betting it's going to be Ensure for dinner. pale

I do wish I knew why I was so sensitive to low pressure...it sucks!

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Brent on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:58 pm

I am also interested in it's role in migs. That was my only trigger and it turned out to be seriously blocked sinus cavity. But it seems too many mig patients are affected by it and it can't all be sinus related.

Or maybe it is...... directly or indirectly. Maybe someday they will find out pressure changes can affect our neuro-chemical systems in our bodies.

I lean more towards the simple physics of pressure differentials.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  lesherb on Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:27 pm

Rainy weather was always a trigger for me. I think it is the change in barometric pressure more than the actual reading that gets to me, though.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:58 pm

A couple mentions of barometric pressure and HA here:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54368

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:04 pm

And another:

http://health.msn.com/health-topics/pain-management/headaches/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100183764&imageindex=8

"We don't know why..."

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna on Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:28 pm

Cheryl, this is a big one for me- probably my major trigger- it's the drop in pressure that ensures I'll have a major migraine. It has nothing to do with my sinuses because the pain originates in the region where almost all my migraines originate- in my right temporal area. If the pressure stays low for a while, then I seem to adapt. Usually. But when it drops I know before I check the barometer or the weather service.

I don't have a barometer that gives a number reading (thanks for that information) - instead I have one of those old fashioned glass things shaped like a teardrop that hangs in a stand with a spout on one side. I partially fill it with water and add a couple of drops of food coloring (to look nice and so you can see where the water level is). Water in the spout that is higher than the water in the chamber indicates low pressure. I always can feel it in my head before I check the barometer. But it's nice to have confirmation. Well, sort of nice. . .
Sad Sad Sad

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Guest on Sat May 01, 2010 12:38 am

we had a warm front move up over the last day....head feels like it's being squeezed, lol.

not pleasant but these pressure changes really are brain ache machines.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Sat May 01, 2010 1:14 am

Anna, I was telling my hubby I wanted one of those from Cabella's--a sporting goods store near us.

I have heard my Anna say a hundred times...the pressure...the pressure.

She tells every doctor we see about her weather triggers, which are some of her worst triggers.

No real answer for it.

Anna used to have a shunt, and we had the programmer for it here at home. Some of the other moms I know told me they adjust their kids' shunt pressures when the weather deteriorated. That was "allowed." But no shunt now for Anna--it was removed.

I never found it helped Anna to change her shunt pressure. But I don't think her shunt was ever really working properly so that such a change would have helped.

I suppose you could experiment with Diamox or Lasix (if you're on Diamox or Lasix), to change your intracranial pressure. Just my musings on intracranial pressure and weather changes--if there's any big link there. The Chiari/IH moms I know seemed to think there was.

I wish doctors could figure it out.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Brent on Sat May 01, 2010 2:48 am

I have also thought about the fact that our blood has gases in it. O2 and CO2 that do expand when the external pressure drops. We may see it as a liquid, and liquids do not compress. They do expand and contract according to temperature. Most of us have a sensitive compensatory system that quickly adjusts our blood pressure. And maybe some of us don't have an aggressive BP regulator.

What if some of us have less tolerance for blood expansion vs a pressure increase from cardiac and muscular contraction? There is a difference. If the gases in our blood expand then the total volume of blood will also expand.

If you read about the symptoms of decompression sickness (the bends) you will see some interesting parallels with migs. Certainly not as pronounced but very similar.

What if a lower pressure causes micro CO2 or O2 bubbles to form. They would block circulation in smaller capillaries and it would be very obvious first in our brains and nervous system.

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/decompression_syndromes_the_bends/page3_em.htm#The%20Bends%20Symptoms

"Occasionally someone with decompression illness may have symptoms suggesting an inner ear problem, such as a spinning sensation, deafness, ringing in the ears, or vomiting. This group of symptoms is called the "staggers."

This is just my brain musing. I don't claim any of it as fact, just theory. But I really think it would be worth it to have some research done.

So there are two possibilities:

-Blood volume (not pressure) expansion causing neuro-chemical changes in some people.

-Artery occlusive CO2 and O2 bubbles forming from lower pressure. It's fact that nitrogen aggressively behaves that way from rapid pressure decreases.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Sat May 01, 2010 3:32 pm

Yes, there has been quite a bit discussion on CSF leak forums I read about blood volume.

Poor understanding of it all--even the best of doctors can't figure it out.

Some of the posters on the CSF leak forums I read are themselves doctors (and other medical professionals) who have CSF leaks. How they ponder it all...

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Brent on Sat May 01, 2010 3:47 pm

Even if some migs were a type of decompression sickness it would be challenging to then try to come up with a treatment. I doubt our medical insurance would allow us to have our own hyperbaric chambers at home. But when the barometer starts to rise that is the same thing. It's just not in a controlled structured way that a Hyp chamber equalizes.

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  Anna's Mom on Sat May 01, 2010 4:27 pm

I think I may have asked you this before on the old forum...I can't remember...but do you think an altitude tent could help at all???

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Re: Barometric Pressure

Post  alli on Sat May 01, 2010 5:15 pm

Brent, That is an interesting idea. I agree with you. I am extremely sensitive to barometric changes. I used to think it was just when the pressure lowered but as I've aged it's become more apparent that it is any change, up or down, that affects me. It really sucks. Air pressure is PRESSURE against our bodies, so it will have an effect on all our tissues including our blood gases. Every one is so variable so finding something to help along those lines probably isn't even being researched.

A hyperbaric chamber would be great but wouldn't we have the same problems as soon as we left it? We can't live in one forever as tempting as that may be. I don't know very much about them other than they are used to equalize divers blood gases after being at deep pressure or for oxygen therapy for burns. Maybe they would equalize our pressure slower so that BarP wouldn't be as big a trigger?

I am going through my Spring dizziness period. I feel like I have motion sickness all the time along with a low grade headache when it isn't a full blown migraine. I have to take Dramamine for several weeks every spring. I'm not sure if it is the pressure changes, as they are numerous, or allergies making my inner ear swell or fill. But Dramamine helps.

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