Headaches When It Rains

Headaches can be felt anywhere in your head, face, scalp, or neck. They can also be caused by a number of factors. When you have a headache, you may not feel like working or doing anything. Many people suffer headaches when it rains, or get headaches due to weather conditions. This article will help you understand why headaches occur when it rains and some helpful tips on how to deal with them.


Why do You Get Headaches When It Rains?

Rainstorms are a beautiful thing, but for headache sufferers it could mean hours of pain. You may even be able to tell what kind of weather is coming by the onset of a headache. People who suffer from weather related headaches notice a 31 percent increase in headaches during thunderstorms within 25 miles of their homes, according to a study done in 2013 by the University of Cincinnati.

There is always the question, why do people suffer from headaches when it's raining? The answer is in the sensitive nature of your brain. Weather changes cause:

  • Serotonin imbalances that can trigger headaches and migraines
  • High rates of humidity that can pull fluids out of the body
  • Sun glare against dark clouds that can cause light sensitivity

Then there is the issue of barometric pressure which researchers aren’t completely sure why it affects headaches, but it seems to be an issue. What they think is that when the barometric pressure drops prior to a rainstorm, it affects the part of the brain that blocks out headache pain. Studies do show that most headaches occur when it is cloudy and overcast.

What Can Be Done?

There are a few things you can do next time there is a rainstorm on its way to prevent those headaches when it rains. These include:

1. Buy a Barometer

Learn to keep track of barometric pressure changes and at what number your headaches are triggered. When you see the pressure dropping you can do other techniques to prevent the headache from happening before it even starts. Some weather apps even have barometer readings installed into the app so you can watch it on your phone anytime.

2. Start a Journal

When you notice headaches when it rains, write them down. Write down the barometric pressure, what the weather was like that day, what you ate and drank, and how long the headache lasted. Also write down what you did to treat the headache and if it worked or not.

3. Increase Your Fluids

On days that you expect a headache and the weather isn’t looking good, start drinking extra fluids early on before the headache hits. The increase in humidity that comes with a storm can cause you to become dehydrated and that is a huge headache trigger.

4. Try to Rest

If you notice the barometric pressure falling and humidity rising, stay inside and stay cool. Rest if you can to avoid bright light and too much noise. If you have to go to work, pack a lunch and stay in during your workday.

5. Get Good Sunglasses

Keep the bright light and sunlight out of your eyes during barometric changes. These two things together can bring on headaches when it rains and even a full blown migraine. Also, it helps to turn down the lighting in your home and use incandescent bulbs.

6. Avoid Other Triggers

If you have other headache triggers (listed below) try to avoid them when a rainstorm is coming. Try other things other than your favorite vices for the day. Chew on hard candies, drink a nice cup of tea in the morning, and remember to eat!

More Triggers of Headaches Besides Weather

1. Stress at Work

Stress at work and a boss that is too hard on us can cause headaches. Stress may make the nerves in the brain more sensitive and cause changes in the brain. We also tend to "furrow" our brows and squint when dealing with people who are harsh. This can increase tension in the head.

2. Tight Hairstyles

Pulling your hair back in tight styles can cause headaches. Wearing things like hats, headbands, and hair clips can also make your head more sensitive.

3. Food and Beverages

  • Chocolate can be a headache and migraine trigger. Try to avoid chocolate and eat some fruit to satisfy your sugar cravings.
  • Smells can be a headache trigger. Things like heavy perfumes, cleaners, even nice smelling flowers can cause problems.
  • Red wine and even champagne can trigger headaches. Some people are allergic to the sulfites in wines and can suffer headaches from drinking it.
  • Meal skipping can cause a lot of issues and one of them is headaches. Drops in blood sugar and other nutrients can bring on a headache. Even if you don't feel like eating, try to nibble on something throughout the day.
  • Drinking too much soda with caffeine or too much coffee can cause headaches instead of helping them. One or two caffeinated beverages can help keep headaches away, but overdoing it with caffeine can make them worse. You can also get headaches from quitting caffeine cold turkey.
  • Lunch meats and aged cheeses contain tyramine. This is commonly used in processed foods and found in aged cheese like Swiss, blue cheese, parmesan, and feta. They are common headache triggers. Hot dogs also contain nitrites which can trigger headaches.

4. Too Much Activity

Besides headaches when it rains, you can also experience a headache from too much activity. People who run or do heavy work suffer increased headaches. Some people even get headaches after sex.

5. Slouching

Not sitting up straight or standing up straight can strain your neck muscles and cause headaches. They can also be caused by an improper workstation i.e. computer screen at the wrong level, desk chair, and using poor body mechanics when working.

6. Smoking

Nicotine makes the blood vessels in the brain constrict and can cause headaches. You can also get headaches from breathing in someone else’s secondhand smoke.

7. Not Drinking Water

Sure you drink six sodas a day, but your body needs water. Not only are sodas laden with sugar, but caffeinated sodas can lead to dehydration.

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