Barometric Pressure Headaches: Cause & Alternative Treatments

A barometric pressure headache is frequently known as an altitude headache or a weather headache and develops when there are changes in the altitude or temperature. Following are the main symptoms of barometric pressure headaches

  • The headache maybe unilateral, i.e. affecting only one side of the head or bilateral, i.e. both sides of the head.
  • The person experiences a sensation of a tight band of pressure round the head.
  • By and large, the pain and discomfort is in the forehead and nasal bridge area, with a pounding sensation at the back of the head.

Cause Of Barometric Pressure Headaches

  • Primarily, the headache comes on because of weather-related conditions – humidity, temperature and barometric pressure.
  • The headache is also experienced by those who participate in activities related to high altitude, like mountaineering, flying or going to places at varied elevations.
  • When there are alterations or fluctuations in the barometric pressure, there also occurs an alteration in the level of oxygen and this results in the blood vessels constricting and dilating in the region of the head.
    Pain occurs due to the swelling of blood vessels that impinge upon the nerve fibres of the brain and also from an inflammation of the brain tissue due to different chemicals that are released in this process.
  • There may also occur changes in neurotransmitters of the brain, and this too contributes to the headache.
  • This pressure differences concerning the blood vessels, sealed chambers and cavities filled with the fluid or with air inside the inner ear, head region and brain is the chief cause.

Alternative Treatments For Barometric Pressure Headaches

  • Keep a headache diary to ascertain under what conditions they occur.
  • Use a painkiller to subdue the pain. You may opt for over the counter analgesic after conferring with your health care provider.
  • Homeopathy drugs yield wonderful benefits for barometric headaches. Consult a homeopathy practitioner and embark on treatment. Drugs that have proved o be decidedly beneficial include – Bryonia, Glonoine, Arnica, Mag Phos, Kali Phos, and Sepia.
  • Herbal remedies provide immense relief too. Ginger is the best home remedy to deal with most headaches. Gingerols in ginger help battle inflammation and swelling and consequently help assuage the pain and discomfort. Have a glass of ginger tea daily, it’ll help reduce your susceptibility to the headache.  More so, when you are traveling to an altitude carry ginger supplements with you. It will stave off an episode of headache.
  • Music therapy has been recommended as well to deal with headaches.
  • Aromatherapy is another wonderful natural treatment to ease headaches. Essential oils that are especially recommended are – Clove essential oil, Ginger essential oil, Lavender essential oil and Nutmeg essential oil.
  • Pressure point, Acupressure therapy and Acupuncture proffer excellent results as well. Book yourself for 10 to 12 sessions.
  • Massage therapy by a licensed masseur offers great benefits. Slow, gentle kneading of the neck eases out knots and swelling in that area and improves blood flow through the blood vessels.
  • Applications of heat and cold compresses to upper back, neck, face and head have been advised too.
  • Nasal irrigation using saline water to clean and flush away the build up of mucous and pollution is an excellent way of managing barometric headaches. It helps decrease pressure imbalances in this region and successfully allays headaches.