– App for weather-dependent & meteoropathy people

Weather headache: How does rain and barometric pressure may affect health

Weather headaches often bother even the most physically fit people with good immunity and health, not to mention that it is the most common complaint in weather-sensitive patients.

Why does this happen? When there seems to be no apparent reason for a headache, pay attention to the weather outside - it can cause a headache.
To be more precise, not from the weather itself, but from its change.

– How do we adjust to the changing weather?
– Is it possible to "teach" your body not to react to climatic disasters?
– Why are we so dependent on them?

Let's try to get to the bottom of these difficult questions.

The information presented in this article is by no means a substitute for a personal visit to the doctor!

If you feel that your body responds to changes in the weather

– you need to consult a qualified medical specialist!


Every seventh adult in the world complains of migraine. The exact reasons for its occurrence are still unknown, although there are suggestions that the headache is associated with congenital features of the structure of the nerve cells. Nevertheless, many patients tend to believe that their headache is caused exclusively by a change in the weather.

German scientists showed back in 2010 that this belief had a rational basis. They tracked 20 migraine sufferers in Berlin for a year and compared their records of pain attacks with the weather conditions in the city. About a third of the subjects (six people) had more pain on cold and humid days.

Japanese scientists similarly tested 34 volunteers with chronic migraines. Indeed, all of them began to complain of severe headaches even with a slight decrease in barometric pressure.

According to a Canadian study involving twenty migraine patients, the headache, on the contrary, made itself felt on days when barometric pressure was elevated.

According to Taiwanese experts who analyzed the records of 66 patients, migraine attacks are the result of cold weather. Half of the volunteers had more headaches in winter than in summer.

American specialists, on the other hand, believe that migraine attacks are more frequent on warm and humid days.
Weather headache – is one of the most common unspecific symptoms of a variety of diseases and pathological conditions, provoked by the body's weakened adaptation to the changing weather and represents pain and other painful sensations in the neck and head
Weather headaches are most common among people who belong to the following risk groups:

  1. Age factor. Sensitivity to the weather is possible even in infants and toddlers, young men and women. However, the most pronounced and severe manifestations are typical for the elderly. Older people can predict a change in the weather even a few days or hours before inclement weather.
  2. Gender factor. Women are more sensitive to all external stimuli, including the weather factor. That is why they suffer from weather change headache more often than men do. Scientists hypothesize that this is due to hormonal factors.
  3. Immune System Functioning. Although the data needs to be confirmed and studied, doctors have observed that people whose immune systems are malfunctioning are more sensitive to changes in weather conditions.
  4. Existing chronic "sicknesses". Because many different health problems have been acquired over a long life, the body does not have time to timely and adequately readjust to the new environmental conditions. As a result, various manifestations of meteoropathy are formed.
Diseases that can provoke headaches during the weather:

● cardiovascular diseases;
● vegetative-vascular dystonia;
● all types of asthma;
● osteoporosis or arthritis;
● hormonal imbalance;
● other chronic diseases.

Most of all weather changes affect the well-being of people suffering from cardiovascular disease - with a sharp change in the weather there may be strong vasospasm, which can entail not only a hypertensive crisis but also a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke.

Causes of weather headaches

One or more weather factors can cause weather headaches

Headache caused by barometric pressure changes

For example, sudden changes in pressure can affect the oxygen content of the blood. Thus, the blood vessels in the head react to changes in barometric pressure by dilating or contracting.

Before the rain, barometric pressure decreases, and for people with vascular problems, this adaptation is more difficult. That causes venous stasis in the veins of the brain and leads to headaches when the weather changes.

Barometric pressure can also affect the baroreceptors in the sinuses. When the external barometric pressure decreases, it creates a difference between the pressure in the outside air and the air in the sinuses. It can lead to pain in persons with certain diseases or a predisposition to them.

By the way, barometric pressure does not necessarily have to change drastically to cause a headache. It is especially true for those who suffer from migraines.
A 2015 study shows how even a slight decrease in barometric pressure can affect people with chronic migraine.

Another study conducted in Japan showed similar results. In it, 28 migraine sufferers kept a headache diary for one year. Migraine frequency also decreased if barometric pressure was 5 hPa or higher than the previous day.

Headache before rain and cold weather

Headaches are one of the most common problems faced by people during big temperature spikes. Ambient temperature fluctuations are associated with an imbalance of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the pain centers of the brain.

Rain headache is a type of headache that some people get when the weather changes.

Overcast weather, rain, and lack of ultraviolet rays force the body to work in an increased mode and deplete it faster. If a person continues to work intensively, their natural biorhythms are disturbed, which is the cause of headaches (which are most common among residents of large cities).
Other triggers for weather change headaches may include:

● geomagnetic conditions ("solar storms");
● high humidity;
● dry air;
● extreme heat or cold;
● bright sunlight;
● windy or inclement weather;
● changes in barometric pressure;
● being at altitude;
● the level of oxygen in the air;
● smoke.

People, who suffer from this health problem, note the varying degrees of severity of meteoropathy. In mild cases, there may be headaches, drowsiness, general disorganization, absent-mindedness, and chills. In more serious cases, there may be migraine attacks, pain in the joints and heart area, and sharp blood pressure fluctuations.

With age, signs of meteoropathy increase, which is associated with a weakening of compensatory and protective abilities of the body, and the presence of chronic diseases, which can weaken the adaptive capacity of the human body and increase its pain in the weather.

Symptoms of Weather Headaches

Weather-related headaches usually occur after a change in the weather (except for solar storms).

Depending on the severity of symptoms, headaches can be divided into three stages:

  1. Mild - the pain is felt, but does not cause discomfort.
  2. Medium - the pain is felt and gives discomfort.
  3. Severe - the pain is felt and delivers unbearable discomfort that interferes with daily activities.

Weather headaches feel like sharp painful sensations in the temples or back of the head.

They are similar to a typical headache or migraine, but with additional symptoms:

● nausea and vomiting;
● hypersensitivity to light;
● drowsiness and apathy;
● dizziness,
● numbness of the face and neck;
● ringing in the ears, noise in the head, darkness, and "clouds" in the eyes
● pain in one or both temples.

Weather Headache Relief

Getting rid of a headache or reducing its severity will help to observe simple recommendations.

The first thing to do is to get rid of the aspects that contribute to the pain, which include:

  1. a disease that provokes pain.
  2. consumption of foods (coffee, red wine);
  3. sleep deficit;
  4. low physical activity;
  5. emotional tension.
Only after reducing the influence of these factors you can move on to other methods of weather headache relief.
If you are experiencing any type of headache, consult your doctor immediately! This pain may be a symptom of a more serious illness
1. Medications intake

Taking sedatives and painkillers relieves weather change headaches, but you should remember: abuse of self-administration of drugs is unacceptable.

All medications for headaches are prescribed only by doctors!

2. Pain point massage

Strain pains are caused by blood stagnation in the collar area and because the muscles get stiff and "stony". Massaging the occipital, temporal, and frontal areas and the muscles of the neck will help to get rid of weather change headache.

It is simple! You knead your neck by lifting your head up, then lowering it down, then right-left, and finally making a circular motion with your head.

At the end of each movement, make a pulling motion with your neck and fix your neck and head in that position for 10 seconds. Then rest for five seconds and proceed to the next movement.

3. Contrast showers

Contrast showers are also good for alleviating headaches that have already caught up with you.

You can do it outside the home. Your wrists, which have many receptors, are fine for this purpose, so immersing your hands in water will also help to relieve the pain or may stop it altogether. It is enough to immerse your wrists in as much hot and cold water as possible for two seconds at a time. After one minute of such mini-shower you'll feel better.

Prevention of Weather Weadaches

The most important advice of doctors is that during days of weather instability, it is better not to plan anything grandiose. It is necessary to rest more, get enough sleep, drink more fluids, and have less stress. So as not to provoke a strain on the already tired body from adapting to the weather.

On such days, it is very important to oxygenate the body. Therefore, regardless of the weather conditions, go for a walk for at least 10-15 minutes and breathe fresh air. If this is impossible, at least ventilate the apartment properly.

At high barometric pressure fluctuations, it is especially important for weather-prone people to drink a lot of water - at least one and a half gallon a day.
  1. Take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
  2. Drink plenty of water.
  3. Apply a cold or warm compress to your forehead, temples, or the back of your neck.
  4. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery.
  5. Get some rest.
  6. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  7. Massage your head and neck.
  8. Try essential oils, such as lavender or peppermint.
  9. Avoid bright lights and loud noises.
  10. Exercise regularly.
Running, fast walking, swimming 2-3 times a week

With intense physical activity, the heart rate and blood flow increase.
Vessels dilate so blood can circulate normally. At the end of the workout, blood flow decreases, and the blood vessels shrink. In this way, both blood vessels and muscles are trained.

Keeping a headache diary

It is the first and most important step. You need to list each attack: when it happened, how long it lasted, and what could have caused it. It can help determine if there is definitely a correlation with the weather. It may not be the case at all.

Monitor weather changes and avoid provocateurs if possible. For example, stay home during very cold and windy times if you know it will not do any good.

Consume foods containing succinic acid - bananas, sauerkraut, grapes, apples, brussels sprouts (check for allergy tolerance), herbal tea with a sedative and tonic effect (chamomile, oregano, mint, St. John's star, etc.).

Eliminate fatty, spicy, and fried foods from your meals.

Rotate work and rest. Learn not to work too late, and not to open working chats, for example, after 8:00 pm. Do not work on weekends without an urgent need.

Choose a healthy lifestyle. It is not just about nutrition, but also about adequate sleep hours and stress control.

Taken together, all of this will help reduce the number of episodes and severity of headaches when the weather changes.


Intermittent headaches with sudden changes in weather are quite common and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent them.

With the proper approach, headaches and weather dependence can be taken under control, gradually treating the diseases that are the source of discomfort during a change in the weather.

As clichéd as it sounds, lead a healthy lifestyle! Millions of doctors around the world advice to strengthen your health, do morning exercises, get enough sleep, eat right, and give up bad habits. Only a few people follow these simple recommendations, forgetting that all brilliant is simple!

By following these simple rules, you can not only remove headaches because of changes in the weather but also improve your body, and improve your health.

Meet a competent neurologist who specializes in headaches. Upon the recommendation of the neurologist, an ultrasound examination of cerebral vessels may be performed to exclude anomalies in the structure of veins, and their dilation, as well as visualization of arteries, to exclude signs of atherosclerosis and their narrowing.

In some cases, after examination by a neurologist, imaging of brain structures is also performed to rule out tumors, aneurysms, hematomas, cysts, and other pathology.