About one in seven people suffer from weather-induced headaches (Picture: Getty Images)
We’ve had a rough ride weather-wise these last few months.
Three major storms and all the wind, rain and even baseball-sized hail they’ve brought with them since only September have given Britons quite a headache.
Literally, according to the Met Office.
‘Feeling a headache or joint pain as Storm Ciarán passes through?’ he said on X, formerly known as Twitter, on November 2.
Sharing an article from the San Diego-based medical practice Sharp HealthCare, Petagna said science suggests ‘it could be down, at least in part, to the rapidly changing air pressure’.
Nine million people in Britain – or one in seven – suffer weather-triggered headaches every year.
Among them was Rand, a London-based user. ‘I’ve had a headache and felt generally very weird today,’ they told Petagna.
Air pressure, sometimes called barometric pressure, simply means how heavy the air around us is.
Differences in air pressure because of the weather can affect the human body, though some people are more sensitive than others to shifting pressure.
Our sinuses are filled with air, so when the pressure inside them doesn’t match up with the surrounding atmosphere, it can cause sinus headaches.
The pressure mismatch also applies to our heads and brains, leaving some people with pounding headaches.
Storms whipped up by low pressure can cause headaches and aggravate joint pain, researchers say (Picture: EPA)
Dr. Joseph Aquilina, chief medical officer of SharpCare Medical Group, said: ‘The blood supply to our brains is very sensitive to changes in oxygen.
‘To increase oxygen delivery to the brain, the body naturally dilates cerebral blood vessels. This increases blood flow to the brain but can trigger a headache.’
Stormy weather – especially when coupled with humidity and excessive heat – can be a trigger for migraines as the lopsided pressure gets too much for the body.
So the rare low air pressure of up to 50mb below normal in recent weeks – with 961mb in Domingos and 953mb in Ciarán – has led to a flurry of weather-induced headaches.
As the NHS says: ‘If you’re prone to getting headaches, you could find that storms can bring on head pain.
‘Pressure changes that cause weather changes are thought to trigger chemical and electrical changes in the brain. This irritates nerves, leading to a headache.’
Why bad weather can bring on headaches and migraines has for years left scientists with, well, headaches.
Everything from genetics to how the dreary weather causes brain chemical imbalances is thought to be behind it.
Low pressure associated with a coming storm has, researchers say, been found to aggravate joint pains too.
Some weather services even include ‘pain forecasts’ for those suffering from migraines or arthritis, warning them when to take it easy or to pack some painkillers on top of their umbrella.
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‘That explains it.’