If you often get headaches after flights or heavy storms, it may be due to atmospheric pressure. These migraines are the result of a sudden change in the air pressure around you. Fortunately, you can treat them like any other type of headache with non-prescription drugs and natural treatments. To prevent the problem from recurring, change your habits slightly and be aware of changes in air pressure.
Method 1 of 3: Use natural and over-the-counter treatments
Step 1. Identify the symptoms of these headaches
Symptoms can appear up to two days before climate change. You may have pain in your temples, forehead, or neck. Here are other signs of a headache due to air pressure:
- stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea
- sensitivity to light,
- numbness or tingling in the face or on one side of the body
- shooting pains.
Step 2. Take over-the-counter medications
You can buy different kinds of medicine at the drugstore to treat headaches caused by air pressure. Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Try taking non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen.
- Always follow the dosage instructions on the package.
- For migraine headaches caused by atmospheric pressure, you should take an over-the-counter combination medicine specifically designed to treat them. Usually, these headaches start with an aura and cause severe throbbing pain.
Step 3. Apply pain reliever to the painful area
Severe headaches can slow digestion, so oral medications (like aspirin or ibuprofen) take a little time to work. If you need quick relief, buy a pain reliever cream or gel. Follow the directions for applying the ointment to the temples, head, neck or forehead.
- Another option is to use a nasal spray containing capsaicin. Studies have shown that these sprays help in pain relief if used with care and according to the package insert.
- You can use a natural topical pain reliever, such as a product that contains capsaicin.
Step 4. Take anti-nausea medication
You may want to consider taking these medications if the headache is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. This will prevent you from vomiting, so oral pain relievers can work faster to relieve the discomfort.
You can take more than one medicine. For example, take the anti-nausea medication and after 15 minutes take the painkillers
Step 5. Massage your scalp
Massaging your scalp helps relieve muscle tension, circulate blood, and reduce pain. A week of regular massages is enough to reduce the frequency of headaches.
If you still have headaches when the air pressure suddenly changes, perform this massage daily
Step 6. Inhale the scent of peppermint
Pour a few drops of peppermint essential oil on the temples and wrists and sniff the scent. The aroma of this herb will help relieve pain within 15 minutes. You may notice that the intensity decreases within 15 minutes of applying the oil.
Step 7. If the problem persists, see your doctor
If you've taken an over-the-counter pain reliever or changed your lifestyle and the migraines don't go away or get better, call your doctor. This measure is particularly important if they are intense or interfere with your daily life. You should also get medical attention if you have the following signs:
- symptoms that are severe or appear seconds after pressure changes
- the presence of blood in diarrhea,
- memory loss or impaired vision
- weakness or numbness.
Method 2 of 3: Manage headaches at home
Step 1. Apply ice to the painful area
For quick pain relief, you can wrap an ice pack in a cloth or towel. Put your cold compress on the part that hurts you. Leave on for 20 minutes.
Reapply the compress during the day if the pain returns
Step 2. Take a hot bath or hot shower
Some people find that relaxing in hot water can relieve barometric pressure migraines. If desired, use hot water, as the steam can help open the sinuses.
Take a bath or shower for as long as possible
Step 3. Practice deep breathing and relax.
Allow yourself to relax and breathe calmly and slowly. After inhaling as deeply as possible, breathe out slowly through your nose. Repeat this exercise or your favorite relaxation technique to manage migraine. Here are other examples of relaxation techniques:
- walking and swimming,
- meditation or guided visualization.
Step 4. Avoid other factors that can make the problem worse
If you know that other factors can cause migraines as well, avoid them during the seizure caused by the change in air pressure so as not to make the pain worse. These include:
- alcoholic drinks,
- saturated and trans fatty acids,
- bright lights,
- foul odors.
Method 3 of 3: Prevent Headaches Caused by Air Pressure
Step 1. Eliminate gluten from your diet
If you have undiagnosed celiac disease and are on treatment, you may have migraines or severe headaches. To know for sure if this may be contributing to your problem, you need to get checked out by a doctor. If this is your case, it is enough to eliminate gluten from your diet to try to avoid such pains.
Even if you don't have such a condition, gluten sensitivity can lead to headaches if you eat it
Step 2. Take vitamin B
Group B vitamins can alleviate the effects of stress and can prevent headaches. Take a multivitamin B complex every day to see if it helps reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines caused by atmospheric pressure.
Step 3. Purchase a barometer to monitor pressure changes
It is important that you can set up a small model at home to know when the air pressure drops or increases sharply. By knowing when this change occurs, you can take preventative medication to help prevent migraines.
- Check if your phone has a barometer app, which can alert you if the pressure starts to rise or fall.
- Also, check the weather forecast regarding pressure changes.
Step 4. Drink more water than usual
Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, and staying hydrated is a great way to manage them. Therefore, men should drink 15 glasses of water (3.5 l) per day and women 11 glasses or 2.5 l.
Staying hydrated will be essential, especially if you are very sensitive to changes in the relative humidity of the air
Step 5. Eat foods rich in magnesium
This element can be useful in treating and preventing migraines because it promotes muscle relaxation. If you already know the weather forecast, eat foods high in magnesium or take a supplement. Magnesium has the ability to block sensory pain receptors and prevent narrowing of blood vessels. If you want to take a supplement, discuss with your doctor whether you can start taking 400-500g of magnesium citrate per day. Among the foods high in magnesium are:
- dark vegetables,
Step 6. Avoid glaring lights
Watch out for weather changes if you notice bright light, glare, or sensitivity to fluorescent light triggering or making your migraine worse. For example, if the weather is cloudy and the weather is nice and sunny, you should be prepared to take your medication, stay indoors, or wear sunglasses.