You're not making it up. The weather really can be a headache!
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 22:23:00 GMT —
If you suffer from headaches, as I do, when there are big changes in the weather, you are not alone.
In fact...there is even a medical term for the problem. It's called "Barosinusitis".
Pilots, military personnel and frequent fliers can suffer from a similar affliction known as "Aerosinusitis". (Technically, they are the same thing, but we'll make a distinction here based on high altitude vs. ground dwellers.)
The frontal sinus cavities in your head are described as having multiple purposes. Everything from giving our voices a more tonal quality...to pre-warming and moistening the air we breathe in.
Most of the time the do their jobs and we don't notice them. But for a select few...ongoing problems with sinus cavities, and more specifically the tiny openings that connect them, can lead to all sorts of problems. Anything from frequent headaches and congestion...to full blown migraines.
And the weather can play a big part in all of it.
The tiny openings that connect our sinus cavities are called Ostia. And for some people they can be a chronic problem. They might be too small...be susceptible to inflammation...become filled with thick mucus, or have too many tiny hairs in them for their own good.
When these little vessels close up, the ability for air pressure within the sinuses to equalize from one chamber to the next can be restricted or even impossible.
As the ambient air pressure outside fluctuates...sometimes quickly and sharply with some weather systems...the air inside one or more of the sinus cavities can't meet the outside changes.
Pressure can push from the inside out...or the outside in.
Either way...it can get quite uncomfortable.
That pressure can lead to a sinus headache. And in some unlucky folks, intense sinus headaches can trigger a subsequent migraine.
So the next time someone tells you they can predict the weather with their head...they might not be talking about using their brains. They just might be talking about their sinuses!
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