Put a Stop to Barometric Pressure Headaches


Since I was in my early teens I’ve been prone to headaches. I have tried all kinds of headache remedies, from prescriptions to essential oils and everything in-between. Avoiding my headache triggers, and therefore avoiding the headaches, has been my preferred method by far. But there have always been nasty migraines that would wake me up in the middle of the night and I struggled to prevent and treat them for years.

That is until I learned about barometric pressure headaches.

These headaches would usually come on in the middle of night and I couldn’t stand to lie down anymore. Standing up helped relieve them some, but sometimes I would be so tired I would stay in bed only to wake up an hour later with a full-on migraine. These headaches were totally robbing me of entire days where I couldn’t stand noise or light, as I was forced to lock myself in a dark room.

Barometric pressure headaches are headaches that occur when the barometric pressure falls.

That pressure drop is also a change in the force of air against our bodies. This drop on the outside of our sinuses can make our sinuses hurt because they too are filled with air. Pressure changes on a flight can cause the same thing. As a disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I can’t diagnose you, treat you, or counsel you, unless you want breastfeeding help, because I am a lactation counselor. I am just a busy mom who wants to help other busy moms. I have figured out a few things to keep my barometric pressure headaches from turning into full-fledged, vomit-inducing monsters that last all day. What works for me may not help you a bit, but none of this will hurt you, either, so what have you got to lose?

How do you know if you are getting barometric pressure headaches? Keep a headache journal and be as detailed as possible. Log your fluid intake, foods, stress level, activity, sleep info, and the weather. Be sure to note the time they occur, the duration, and what helps to relieve them. You will hopefully start to see patterns and find your triggers this way. Then take the journal with you to your doctor and talk to them about your headaches. If you and your doctor believe you are suffering from barometric pressure headaches, talk to him/her about your next steps.

Now that I know I suffer from headaches when the barometric pressure drops, I have learned how to (usually) avoid them altogether. First things first: I watch the weather. They have great apps that will actually warn you of an upcoming barometric pressure drop. Just google it or look in the app store. The pressure only has to drop a tiny bit to cause headaches. But by knowing the drop is imminent, I can usually avoid the headache. Secondly, if I know there will be a drop in pressure, the day before the expected drop I hydrate with water. This is one of the best things to avoid all types of headaches for me. Thirdly, I use a humidifier in my room at night with some essential oils, and I take an allergy antihistamine before bed because this helps open up my sinuses. Taking these simple three steps the night before is usually enough to avoid the headache.

If I miss it or forget to look at the weather and I wake up with pain between 2-3am, I get up and immediately drink two glasses of water and kick myself for being so oblivious. If this doesn’t work within 30 minutes, I usually take two things: an over-the-counter headache remedy and an allergy medication (antihistamine). This typically takes care of the bulk of the pain within 30 minutes, but if it still doesn’t work, I put a hot compress on my face. This helps to speed up the pressure change in my sinuses. Sometimes I still have a lingering headache and nausea, but I am at least able to function.

The best nuggets of knowledge I have learned over the years about my body are that it needs lots of water, good nutrition, sleep, and regular exercise. I know this is all common sense, but the better I am to my body, the better it is to me. If I had learned this sooner, I could’ve avoided a lot of headaches. When I don’t hydrate, I get headaches. When I skip the gym, I get lethargic and depressed. And when I eat junk, I feel like junk.

Bottom line: you can’t control the weather, but you can control your headache triggers! What are some things you have found that help you avoid and treat your headaches?


  1. Thank you so much for writing about your personal experience with migraines.
    I really appreciate the hope you’ve given me, along with a “trial-game-plan”. (You would not believe how much time I’ve wasted, rummaging the internet for a solution to my current migraine. There are all sorts of wishy-washy ramblings out there, of things most people generally know. I.e. like, go to your doctor, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, etc…)
    I’m very happy to have found your website.
    And, I’ve subscribed to your newsletter.
    Thank you for being so authentic, as well as practical!
    You Rock!
    Sara :0)


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