Why Seasonal Pressure Causes Headaches in Winter
Drastic changes in pressure, especially during the winter, are common causes of headaches this time of year. The weather has a profound impact on headache pain, especially among individuals who are most susceptible to seasonal pressure.
Here is some information about why seasonal pressure changes cause headaches and why some people are more sensitive to them than others.
Winter Pressure and Headaches
Individuals who have chronic headache conditions sometimes claim that they can tell a storm is coming before the local meteorologist can. That’s because headache sufferers tend to be more sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and are negatively impacted with drastic pressure shifts.
When pressure changes are paired with the other ways that the winter season affects the sinuses, sinus headaches become increasingly common. Winter causes of sinusitis can be due to allergies caused by mold, food, artificial fragrances, and alcohol, as well as nasal polyps.
Biological Sensitivity to Pressure
Changes in the seasons bring about subtle changes in the body, but these feelings are more pronounced in some people than in others. Some people have a naturally heightened sense of sensitivity to weather changes that can be attributed to genetics. However, few scientific studies have been conducted on this subject to determine the exact causes of barometric pressure headaches.
Possible explanations for these headaches include the idea that changing oxygen levels make the blood and cranial vessels compensate by contracting and dilating in the head region. Therefore, headache pain can be caused by inflammation or swollen blood vessels that press on nerve fibers inside the brain. Other theories suggest that barometric receptors in the brain activate the dilation of blood vessels in the brain to cause pain and that the atmospheric ionization of air particles may trigger headaches as well.
Determining Factors for Seasonal Pressure Headaches
The activities that one engages in also has an impact on susceptibility to seasonal pressure headaches. For example, individuals who participate in high-altitude activities like flying and mountaineering are often more prone to these types of headaches.
Those who travel to destinations with higher elevations for the holidays may experience barometric pressure headaches as well. In addition to barometric pressure changes, other winter-related headache triggers include sun glare from snow, dry air, high wind, and extreme cold.
Treatment for Winter Pressure Headaches
The winter season has become synonymous with the holiday season, which leaves no time for headaches. In spite of tempting holiday treats and ample alcoholic beverages, it’s important to continue to consume a healthy diet to reduce the risk of pressure-related headache triggers. Individuals prone to headaches should also ensure that they are getting enough vitamin D through food and sunlight because a deficiency of this vitamin is linked to depression and headaches.
Other preventative measures include getting enough sleep, staying warm, managing stress, exercising, and staying hydrated. And for tough seasonal pressure headaches in the winter and all seasons of the year, try Vanquish, indicated for tension headaches.
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