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Sensitive to barometric pressure? What are your symptoms?

 
pollinator
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We are getting our first real typhoon of the season, and I can feel the pressure dropping.

I can feel it in my sinuses starting to throb and my head feeling like a balloon expanding. It's hard to focus my eyes all the way. I feel foggy, almost high; it takes a bit longer to answer questions much to the frustration of family and co-workers. And so sleepy, I feel like I took an antihistamine. There is an urge to clear my ears, like you would scuba diving.

Taking a decongestant helps.

Every once in a while I take a dive through Google scholar looking for evidence that barometric pressure sensitivity is a thing, not much luck so far. I've never met anyone who has similar symptoms or any doctor who had heard of this sensitivity...

Are you sensitive to barometric pressure changes?

What are your symptoms? How do you treat them?
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Typhoon
Typhoon
 
master pollinator
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I experience issues, but just not like that.

I have had knee surgery and when the barometer falls, my knee aches, but only where they did surgery, which was where they removed some offending cartilage that was scraping along my knee joints. I also feel it in my throat where they removed my Thyroid.

Again, this is much different than what you experience, but I do not think you are crazy at all. In fact I think if longer studies were done, they might connect a few dots on barometer and health.

Myself, I have an inoperertable tumor on my Pitutary Gland that is pressing on my brainstem. Considering that is the epicenter of the brain (energy levels, emotion, and cardiac control), it would be interesting to do a study and see how my body responds in terms of barometeric pressure changes. I say that because my Thyroid (now removed) used to take out the highs and lows of stress, but now that is replaced with medication, but since it is a set amount, as stress in my body rises and falls, I cannot cope in time to the stress I experience. In short, I have good and bad days, so it would be interesting to see if my bad days coincided with certain atmospheric conditions.

But I realize, this is kind of off-topic from what you were hoping to discuss. I do apologize for going semi-off topic.
 
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(not answering your question, but I just heard about the storm coming on the radio. I've lived with hurricanes and tornadoes, but typhoons in Japan were the most mind-blowing storms I have ever seen in real life-- and I lived up north away from the water, where they aren't even all that. Stay safe.)
 
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Hi Amy,

Yes, you are not alone. I often get a nasty sinus headache when a thunderstorm is in the works, or a low pressure system is approaching. Not always, but often enough to at least correlate.

No fun!
 
Amy Arnett
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Travis Johnson wrote:
But I realize, this is kind of off-topic from what you were hoping to discuss. I do apologize for going semi-off topic.



Not at all! Thanks for sharing, Travis. Scar tissue can be extra sensitive and take years to really heal. Pituitary and thyroid effect everything, and pressing on your brain stem! That's gotta make for a vague and frustrating mix of symptoms.
 
Amy Arnett
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Artie Scott wrote:Hi Amy,

Yes, you are not alone. I often get a nasty sinus headache when a thunderstorm is in the works, or a low pressure system is approaching. Not always, but often enough to at least correlate.

No fun!




Thank you! It's funny you mention correlation. I actually tracked my symptoms against weather conditions on an excel spreadsheet for a while.
 
Amy Arnett
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Tereza Okava wrote:(not answering your question, but I just heard about the storm coming on the radio. I've lived with hurricanes and tornadoes, but typhoons in Japan were the most mind-blowing storms I have ever seen in real life-- and I lived up north away from the water, where they aren't even all that. Stay safe.)



Thanks Tereza! The actual storm is pretty mild here. We have a few mountains between us and the ocean.

It's more the secondary risks of flooding and landslides that cause problems for our area. We were very picky in choosing a neighborhood not in the hazard zones.
 
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These cyclones are massive electrical systems and their behavior is directly influenced by the electrical charge in our ionosphere due to solar activity and cosmic rays. Since this connection was made some years ago, there has been a lot of research on the direct biological effects these electric fields have and a number of things have emerged.

Instances of heart attacks increase. Chronic pain and other nervous system issues increase (your nervous system is electrical). Rates of depressive episodes, psychosis, and suicide increase (the brain is electrical). It is starting to emerge that autoimmune issues may also be more acute during these periods.

It's entirely possible that SOME symptoms experienced when barometric pressure drops may actually be triggered by the electric field conditions associated with the pressure drop.
 
Amy Arnett
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Nick Kitchener wrote:These cyclones are massive electrical systems and their behavior is directly influenced by the electrical charge in our ionosphere due to solar activity and cosmic rays. Since this connection was made some years ago, there has been a lot of research on the direct biological effects these electric fields have and a number of things have emerged.

Instances of heart attacks increase. Chronic pain and other nervous system issues increase (your nervous system is electrical). Rates of depressive episodes, psychosis, and suicide increase (the brain is electrical). It is starting to emerge that autoimmune issues may also be more acute during these periods.

It's entirely possible that SOME symptoms experienced when barometric pressure drops may actually be triggered by the electric field conditions associated with the pressure drop.



Thanks Nick! You bring up an important point, that barometric pressure is not the only variable associated with storms.

After years of SCUBA diving, I feel sensitized to pressure changes, so it was the most obvious to me. Having a "highly sensitive" nervous system, I often find that what I thought was normal for everyone is in fact a symptom of my "highly sensitive person"-hood.

A nervous system and sensory organs with lower than average thresholds for stimulation would be triggered by a wider range of environmental stimuli.
I'm always dimming lights, turning down the volume, noticing earthquakes first.

I once stayed in a vacation house where the AC unit would make a high-pitched whine when not in use. I ended up switching off the breaker.

Another aspect of storms I hadn't thought of is the noise. All that rain, thunder, and wind blowing everything around. Lots of sudden bangs and escalating gusts.
Prolonged loud noise exposure elevates stress hormone levels and can trigger flight, fight or freeze response.
 
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I also sometimes get sinus headaches during a big pressure change. I get them sometimes even when there is a change to high (and very dry in Utah) from low system moving in. That is really annoying, when everyone else is enjoying a gorgeous October day, and I'm down with a head splitter. I'm new to this site, so I dont know if its allowed, but the only over the counter meds I take for anything is Advil sinus for those pressure change headaches. I don't get any of the nasty side effects like other meds. But I do have to sign my life away buying them....breaking bad an all.

I used to get them a lot more when I lived in a humid climate in the great lakes region. High Altitude takes getting used to, but it has its advantages.
 
Amy Arnett
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Hi Daniel, welcome to Permies!

I agree that the changes in pressure are the trigger. I was fine all through our rainy season, which is pretty constant. But now that it's summer, the pressure is all over the place with thunderstorms and typhoons.

I'm new to this site, so I dont know if its allowed, but the only over the counter meds I take for anything is Advil sinus for those pressure change headaches.  



I think the only rule on this site is "be nice". I take advil and used to take sudafed when I lived in the states. Here I get a fun herbal powder from the pharmacy, recommended by the pharmacist. I think it contains the actual plant, ephedra.
 
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Yes there is also a rule here not to discuss "toxic gick" but that's more about GMOs and herbicides and stuff like that. I think common over-the-counter medicine can be discussed
 
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Adding my $0.02 (which is probably worth less than that ;) )

I'm sensitive to storms.. I get anxious, fidgety, pace more.. and get munchies - my body stocking up calories - a couple of days before /big/ storm fronts come through. The bigger/stronger the front, the more I react.

I've been able to stand out in severe weather and tune into and point out the direction/path of an F2 tornado 20 miles away, because of how it "felt" in that direction..


And sometimes I'll get asked "is there a storm coming? You're being a d!ck right now" when the anxiousness exhibits as a short-temper ... Friends recognize it in me, so I know it's not just my imagination.

Doctors - what do they know, anyway.. :D
 
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Barometric pressure drop/instability messes with my sinuses, arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and old bone injuries - and it affects my mood & Makes me foggy(but, that could be at least partly because of the fibro & lupus, that are affected by it, too). My left eardrum has had a few injuries, resulting in ruptures, so I can actually feel the wobbles in pressure. It's kind of weird, and I used to tell my kids, 'look up - look for the lightning!' They thought it was magic, lol.
 
Amy Arnett
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Tom and Carla, Thanks for sharing!

Tom Shep wrote:
I've been able to stand out in severe weather and tune into and point out the direction/path of an F2 tornado 20 miles away, because of how it "felt" in that direction..



Carla Burke wrote: I can actually feel the wobbles in pressure. It's kind of weird, and I used to tell my kids, 'look up - look for the lightning!' They thought it was magic, lol.



Cool super powers! You both have honed your symptoms into cool abilities, which reminds me that there would have been a huge benefit to being able to predict storms in the days before weather forecasts, even still for tornadoes I would imagine. 

Your descriptions remind me of a paper I read years ago about the evolution of consciousness. It argued that consciousness was an adaptation to deal with all the information about our environment that brains receive. That is was easier and more productive to "get a feeling" about something than to feel every single triggered nerve ending.  
 
Tom Shep
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Amy Arnett wrote:
Your descriptions remind me of a paper I read years ago about the evolution of consciousness. It argued that consciousness was an adaptation to deal with all the information about our environment that brains receive. That is was easier and more productive to "get a feeling" about something than to feel every single triggered nerve ending.  



Oh no. don't tell my wife I've evolved to become more productive. I'll never hear the end of it! :)

Seriously, though : I think it might actually be contagious - or at least learnable. 20 years ago she had no ability to sense storms or the like. Now when one's coming SHE feels them too, but looks to me to confirm "Hey. Is there a storm front coming? I'm feeling a bit odd today".
 
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I dislocated my shoulder in High School and can definetly tell when the barometer is dropping or rising, quite a bit more accurate than the local weatherman.
 
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Amy ~ Hi, regarding your Barometric Pressure Sensitivity, you might Google "vasomotor rhinitis" and see if the symptoms fit what you commonly experience (are you also a super-sniffer? do you pick up on smells that other people don't, or find yourself hypersensitive to "fumes", smell the diesel that's 10-cars ahead of you, etc? those are also characteristics of vasomotor rhinitis). Basically this is a bit like a human being gifted with some of the heightened sensitivity of a dog's nose. That's an exaggeration of course, but putting it in terms of maximum positive spin, so you can lean-in to it as a Super Power if vasomotor rhinitis proves to be what you have. The blood vessels inside the nose (for everyone) are Many and Sensitive and they are that way in order to responsively perform several respiratory system regulatory & protective functions. Swelling up is one such response and triggering the production of mucus is another.

People with vasomotor rhinitis are thought to have a more sensitive vascular network in the higher/deeper reaches of the nose. Perhaps this is due to having more of these little veins, or perhaps some are Larger, or perhaps the membrane walls are thinner/more sensitive. There can be subtly different structural "causes" from one individual to another. In my case, I discovered this diagnosis after years of searching for the root-cause of my barometric pressure triggered migraines. I noticed I'd get these horrible headaches whenever I Smelled Mold in the air (only later learned they were actually migraines). I went through a lot of extreme environmental purification of my home and yard, etc, to find and kill mold that I had concluded I must have been allergic to. But to no avail. Finally, I lucked upon quite an excellent allergist who rather quickly ID'd vasomotor rhinitis as the culprit (diagnosed this based on symptomology rather than tests per se).

I was prescribed Flonase which is now available OTC (though it wasn't at the time I started taking it). I really avoid taking drugs but am thankful that I did give the Flonase a try. To be effective it is best used as daily prophylactic not episodically, as it seems to work by toughening up the hypersensitive veins & membranes. Ten years later, this remains one of the very few pharma meds that I use. I was amazed by the dramatic difference Flonase made in reducing the frequency and intensity of the otherwise crippling migraines I will be hit with before/& during every big weather event or change in a major front. Of course, I'm still a little more sensitive than average to barometric pressure changes (& smells & chemical fumes) but this is toned down now into the "useful" level of weather prediction rather than producing crushing migraines or pressure headaches. So, even for those who are not big on pharma, if your discomfort is enough to be life-limiting or the headaches are truly mind-numbing then Flonase might be worth a try. I'd give it a month to 6-wks of daily use though, before passing judgment on efficacy.

And if you do conclude your symptoms fit vasomotor rhinitis, the next time you're out with the dogs you can give them a knowing wink & nod as you now have a bit of insider insight into the world of data they're constantly slurping up through their extraordinary noses 24x7 (still thousands of parts per million more sensitive than ours... as we humans with SuperSniffers just get a little taste of what it's like to be Born with a Dog's Nose!)
 
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