So…what do Migraine Headaches induced by Barometric Pressure have to do with www.securevideo.com? A lot, if you’re a clinician who suffers from these nasty pressure-induced Migraines, and you’re considering relocating away from your client base.
I was recently talking to one of our new clinicians, and we discovered that we both happen to suffer from pressure-induced Migraines. When she told me she lived in Redding, California, which has among the higher atmospheric pressure variations in California, I asked if she had ever considered moving to San Diego, one of the major U.S. cities with the most stable atmospheric pressure. She told me that indeed she had, and that her hope was that www.securevideo.com could help her transition her practice from her office in Redding, to a virtual practice based in San Diego, where she could see anyone within the State of California, and be free of the migraines that cost her so many days of work and so much misery.
Since I’m here to help, and the internet contains a very high ratio of raw to processed barometric pressure information, I decided to compile some lists for her (and me) on best and worst U.S. cities and states for atmospheric pressure change. For me, a .20 change in the barometric pressure (e.g., from 30.05 to 29.85, or vice versa) triggers a migraine nearly every time, so I used .20 as the threshold, and looked at the number of days per year a city reported a .20 pressure swing in either direction. I used data from May, 2007 through May, 2013, from 966 USGS weather stations. The following lists summarize the results, cut in some interesting (and hopefully actionable) ways.
Update: in March 2016 I published a Global List of Barometric Variation
(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and am in no way qualified to give medical advice. I organized this data for myself and for the benefit of those who believe that living in a place with less barometric variation could be good for their health, so that they could see which cities have more or less barometric variation.)
20 Major U.S. Cities with the Least Barometric Variation (days per year of >= .20 changes)
- Honolulu (0 days per year)
- Miami (4)
- San Diego (7)
- Los Angeles (7)
- Tampa (11)
- San Jose (14)
- Sacramento (18)
- San Francisco (18)
- Phoenix (22)
- New Orleans (22)
- Jacksonville (22)
- Birmingham (29)
- Houston (29)
- Atlanta (37)
- San Antonio (37)
- Austin (37)
- Memphis (44)
- Las Vegas (47)
- Little Rock (48)
- Charleston, SC (48)
Not surprisingly, it is the southern cities which have the fewest days of variation. The “worst” list reinforces this theme:
20 U.S. Cities with the Most Barometric Variation (days per year of >= .20 changes)
- Augusta, Maine (128 days per year)
- Rapid City, SD (127)
- Montpelier, VT (117)
- Bismarck, ND (117)
- Boston (116)
- Colorado Springs (113)
- Denver (110)
- Billings, MT (109)
- Providence (109)
- New Haven (105)
- Cheyenne (105)
- Anchorage (104)
- Detroit (102)
- New York City (99)
- Buffalo (98)
- Minneapolis (98)
- Omaha (94)
- Chicago (91)
- Philadelphia (90)
- Baltimore (87)
At the U.S. State Level, here is the complete list:
- Hawaii (0)
- Florida (14)
- California (18)
- Alabama (27)
- Louisiana (27)
- Mississippi (28)
- Arizona (33)
- Georgia (35)
- Texas (45)
- Tennessee (46)
- Arkansas (46)
- South Carolina (48)
- Nevada (59)
- North Carolina (60)
- Oregon (61)
- Kentucky (62)
- Missouri (68)
- New Mexico (72)
- West Virginia (73)
- Oklahoma (73)
- Washington (75)
- Illinois (78)
- Virginia (78)
- Indiana (80)
- Utah (81)
- Ohio (82)
- Kansas (84)
- Maryland (85)
- Iowa (85)
- Idaho (86)
- Pennsylvania (89)
- Delaware (89)
- Wisconsin (92)
- New Jersey (96)
- Colorado (99)
- Michigan (101)
- Minnesota (101)
- Alaska (101)
- New York (102)
- Nebraska (103)
- Connecticut (106)
- Rhode Island (107)
- Wyoming (107)
- Montana (108)
- Massachusetts (111)
- Vermont (112)
- New Hampshire (115)
- South Dakota (119)
- North Dakota (120)
- Maine (127)
Looking more deeply, we also see major differences by season. From April 1 to September 30, the national average is only 18 days of high barometric variation. From October 1 to March 31, the average is 50 days. This data is consistent with much higher reported incidence of migraines in the winter months.
Here’s a sample distribution of barometric pressure variation for Austin, Texas. The number of days is the average number of high variation days for that month of the year, from 2007 to 2013.
- January – 6 days
- February – 8 days
- March – 5 days
- April – 4 days
- May – 2 days
- June, July, August, September – 0 days
- October – 3 days
- November – 4 days
- December – 7 days
So, if you live in Austin, more than half of your bad migraine days will be in the three winter months December to February. This seasonal pattern seems to hold true for most of the country.
The final cut of the data I looked at was to answer the question, “is this getting worse?” The answer is no, the data appear from year to year within the bounds of normal random variation.
So, what does it all mean? Mostly, that if you suffer from pressure-induced migraines, and you live in the northern U.S. states, you may be able to significantly improve your quality of life by relocating to one of the southern states, especially to southern California or Florida. And, that if you do that and work in a medical field, www.securevideo.com is standing ready to help you telecommute in a HIPAA-compliant way.
Full list of cities is here: https://securevideo.com/2014/09/23/u-s-cities-barometric-pressure-variation-full-list/
148 thoughts on “Avoiding Migraines Resulting from Changes in Barometric Pressure”
OMG! I love you for this…can’t wait to show my husband and get the hell out of NJ!
I’m SO with you on that one! Did you move yet?
Depends on states like Az
Daily Barometer changes from Southern Az to Northern Az
a huge difference
i disagree with above graph
In N.AZ it changes hourly to minutes 29.8 to 30.18
matter of seconds
need to separte States by sealevel
also Oxyen is key for the body
when pressure pushs you to the ground yuck hate it when I have to lay down because my body cant get air
Ps i have thick blood Niacin helps a bit
ps do not move to N.E. Az if the BP gets to you
plus being 6500 ft above sea level its a killer
I am the polar opposite. I moved to N AZ from VA specifically because the barometric pressure doesn’t have big swings. I must have been born on opposite (or obstinate?) day. I was almost at sea level in VA, now I am in Prescott Valley.
did it help?
Did you driven or did you flew ?
How interesting… I live in Little Rock (#18 for “least barometric pressure variation), and I’m pretty sure my migraines are often triggered by rapid changes in barometric pressure. When I lived in Los Angeles (#4, though technically tied with #3 San Diego, it appears, for “least barometric pressure variation”), I would get a migraine maybe once or twice a year. Now that I live in Little Rock, I get them so often that I had to get on Topamax as a preventative, and I’m still getting them several times a month. I get them more often in the summer as the heat/humidity combination, while not a trigger per se, makes me more likely to have them. I can tell when a big weather system is going to hit 24 hours before it rolls through because I get a migraine. Again, just to be clear, it’s not the change in barometric pressure but how rapidly the barometric pressure changes, such as one sees when a strong thunderstorm passes through, that triggers the migraines.
While this is just my personal experience, I recall seeing one study that indicated that there were more migraine sufferers in the mid-South and mid-West, with Little Rock having the most per capita, than other areas of the country (other top five cities were Memphis, Tulsa, Jackson, and Oklahoma City). Data was collected from ER visits, prescriptions for migraine meds, etc. The researchers believed migraines were more common in this area of the country due to weather patterns, allergens, and types of food eaten.
You describe my experience perfectly! I live in Memphis which they list as one of the barometric pressure stable places. NO. I am sitting here waiting on rain right now with a huge headache and called in for tomorrow because I know it will get worse. I don’t think I trust this
Fair enough. I don’t know if my 24-hour pressure measurements do a good enough job capturing weather in places like Memphis. I did some more study correlating 24-hour measurements with hourly measurements (see Daily vs Hourly section here: https://sv2021.wpengine.com/blog/2016/03/18/global-barometric-variation-annual-maps-and-monthly-raw-data/), and didn’t find a significant difference, but that study had very few data points and so may have missed the boat. For example, when I lived in North Carolina, I got a lot of migraines. Maybe more than I would think looking at my own maps.
I will say this, though: even though Memphis is #18 on my list, it still has 6.2 times more “bad days” each year than Los Angeles (44 to 7), where I grew up and got relatively few migraines. That’s actually a really big difference. And if you get triggered by smaller changes in air pressure (which it sounds like may be the case), then you might be looking at Memphis having 80+ “bad days” to maybe 15 in Los Angeles. That would be nearly 1/4 of the days in the year!
I think the really good places to live for air-pressure-triggered migraine sufferers are all in California, Florida, or Hawaii. But many of us are triggered by more than air pressure changes. I just got back from a week in Hawaii, and had a migraine for 3 days, and Hawaii is #1 on my list! So I’m certain that for me air pressure is one trigger, but I have others as well, possibly humidity or diet or something else.
It’s all still a big mystery that medicine hasn’t come close to figuring out for every migraine sufferer. I just know that for me, if I can help it, I will never live outside California again in my lifetime, since–although I have also lived in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Texas, and Massachusetts– California is the one place where I find my headaches are manageable in number, year in and year out.
I currently live in southeast Florida and would have to disagree. During the summer months, aka “rainy season” we have daily storms, thus daily variations in barometric readings. Throw in a few monthly tropical disturbances and I should buy Advil at Costco and work for the weather channel:) wunderground recently added a graph for changes in pressure and this link is about what my week of headaches felt like..
Well, from the comments I’m becoming convinced that the intraday variations are probably not being captured in places like Florida and the Carolinas. Even though interday seems to correlate with intraday *on average* globally, that correlation may not hold in all places, and I really was not able to get enough intraday data to say conclusively one way or another. If I can find more intraday data, especially from places in the U.S. South, I will see if I can work that into the results.
Wunderground is great! I would think that Florida’s heat and humidity plays a significant role in migraine sufferers in that state. The humidity there is unbearable, which is also a trigger.
I live in Florida also omg with all rain in summer my head kills me 24/7 would love to find place I could live and not deal with this and not be too cold
How do you think the Carmel/Carmel Valley California climate would be for air-pressure-triggered migraines?
We moved from Ft Collins,Co to Boise Idaho and I have experienced more migraine attacks then I did in Ft Collins,I feel the inversions here have made them worse as well as pollens as I do have allergies.. My husband and I are retired moved here partially of family and thinking it would be a good place to retire but I can’t deal with having migraines more often,so we might just start looking around.
I had best overall pain relief in San Diego and the bajas in mexico
I was just about to write this same response!! I live 30 minutes outside Little Rock, and the pressure changes drastically in a split second, leading every migraine sufferer I know to the doctor or home to bed!
I am the same way! I live in kenai, alaska (3 hour drive from Anchorage. AK) and I am sick nearly every day of the year chronically for over 10 years. I have not worked since 2008 because of the severity and frequency. I experienced near instant relief of all chronic pain, fatigue, nausea, diziness etc. the last 5 years that occurred while I was visiting north portland/neighboring areas in washington, and northern idaho (Lewiston). I get very poorly if humidity is high and it is hotter out. I am desperately searching for possible places to live in the continental usa and where my husband can still get decent work since i am unsure if i could srart working again once relocated. I just turned 31 and we have a 9 year old. I have missed my 20s and feel like i have missed so much time being a mom. She will be all grown up by the time i turn 40… that will be in the blink of an eye. I so badly want to do better and stop being in bed sick missing life entirely. So hard!
I lived in Calif most of my childhood and had a headache every month or two. I moved to Seattle in the 1978 for my high school years and had at least 2 a month lasting exactly 3 days each. (horrible pain) Moved back to Calif. in 1982, got married, raised kids, worked and still got migraines although it was back to 1 every month or two. I moved to Kerrville Tx. I have lived her for 2.5 years and have never and I mean never had a migraine headache here. Not one!!! I have been headache free for 2.5 years now and I feel I have a new lease on life.
I live in kenai also and it has made me feel horrible
I felt much better in Las Vegas.
I am in Little Rock and not suffering from migraines but I have arthritis and my whole body feels like a ton of bricks and the dump truck carrying them is sitting on my body prior to these weather changes coming through. Thanks for sharing, I feel like I’m not crazy.
any data from the rest of the world?
I was born and raised in Alabama. I did not have migraines when I lived in Birmingham. Now that I live in Indianapolis, I suffer all year (barometric pressure changes) and the pain is extremely bad October through March – April. Don’t know what to do; cannot take imitrex since I had a severe reaction, and have a friend who suffered stroke from imitrex…HELP P.S. I Cannot take any of the class of drugs known as “tryptophan”
acupuncture may help!
Can you do botox? I also use Fiorinal without codeine, but also has aspirin in it.
I also do a hot shower… making sure to hit my forehead and neck…and when I rinse off I use a hot water towel on my feet, but rinse my head and neck with very cold water. This seems to work sometimes, it is supposed to open up blood vessels and then with cold water close them off. Another natural remedy I do is feverfew, which seems to help for a few weeks, but then I have to stop it for a week or two and then start it over again.
Botox didn’t work for me at all. I believe with other types of headaches it would help but not the type we have.
I suffered for 10 or so years until I found the drug Fioricet. There is now a generic form that is very inexpensive. It is a coctail of butalb, caffeine, and acetaminophen and must be prescribed. If I take it at the early onset of pain, it is completely gone within 15 to 20 min.
I’m also in Indianapolis. Are you seeing a neurologist? Im just starting the treatment journey and have failed two preventatives so far. Just started with Propranolol and the side effects aren’t a problem so far but it’s also not helping much yet (only day 3). Have you tried Botox or WeatherX earplugs? I’m wondering if either of those will help me.
Lotus Flower tea, with Hyland’s Migraine under the tongue, along with mint inhalers! They HELP A LOT.
Wondering as well. Best places in Europe please. 🙂
If you get any data, I’m wondering about Europe too!
I am wondering exactly how you crunched the data. is this just difference between low and high pressure for the day? My friend who gets pressure change migraines swears that it is the rapid change of pressure that affects her, like in less. Han an hour. So I would expect that looking at the pressure change over 1-2 hours might be more valuable. Do you have the data in a spreadsheet that someone could easily play with???
See my new post: https://sv2021.wpengine.com/blog/2016/03/18/global-barometric-variation-annual-maps-and-monthly-raw-data/. I analyzed 13 cities with hourly data available, and did not find any statistically meaningful differences except for Denver, a high altitude city. It appears that 1-2 hour pressure change fairly well mirrors daily pressure change. And all of these fairly well mirror latitude, so in terms of actionability, an unassailable remedy for pressure-induced migraines is moving to a lower latitude!
I think you both might be right about the importance of intra-day changes. Unfortunately, the data set I used from USGS.gov had only daily readings. (There were just under 2 million of those that went into my analysis–the extract program I wrote took quite a while to run!) If someone can find a historical database of barometric pressure that contains hourly readings, I would probably prune it down to, say, the 100 largest US Cities, and then the data set would be manageable once again. I’d love to refine the list based on hourly changes. And, if readings could be found worldwide, that would be great data as well. I haven’t been able to find either of those yet from the free sources I’ve come across, but am more than happy to do the programming and analysis if someone is able to find (or buy) something.
My wife teaches yoga to people in the climatology department at the University of Wisconsin. I will see if they have any more detailed databases.
I found 7 day barometric pressure graphs for airports at GraphBarometer.com. It allows you to see how rapidly the pressure was dropping at a given time. Very interesting to see that for myself, a drop of .1 in a period of about 8 hours on Oct. 27, 2014, at DFW airpot produced a very stubborn sinus headache. Fortunately not a migraine this time.
Most sinus headaches are, in fact, migraines,
Yes, I’m wondering if there is more to consider because I lived in Jacksonville, FL and it was one of the most painful of about a dozen locations that I’ve lived nationwide.
I think that most of us probably have numerous migraine triggers. For me, variation in air pressure is a big one (probably the biggest), but so is caffeine, sugar, stress, diet soda, getting dehydrated, and drinking very hot liquids. It could be that your migraines are triggered by things other than air pressure variation, maybe some other part of your lifestyle in Jacksonville. It has taken me many years to figure out the triggers I’ve listed, and I surely don’t think I’ve figured out all of them yet. Also, remember that air pressure variation is seasonal: Jacksonville in the winter would have more air pressure variation than Washington, D.C. in the summer.
You should see if you have genetic mutations of your methylation genes. Mthfr and cbs gene mutations for myself are migraine and other illnesses triggered… primarily avoiding types of food and drink and all enriched/fortified items… non bioavailable nutrients, sulphured fruits like dry fruit unsulphated issafe… no coffee or most any caffeine is safe for me (cbs mutation). I cannot take vitamins if they are not already activated to bypass the methylation cycle. Tons of auto immune and other illnesses are rooted in these gene mutations. I have really improved my chronic severity in diet change and avoiding certain things environmentally and products that trigger me. Still need to move though to improve triggers from bp, weather etc. But you sound like me and may find mutations are why to a degree. They also cause histamine intolerances. Worth finding out.
Dear Allison, could you please elaborate for me? First of all I currently live in southern N.J. Well actually, I have lived here for most of my life. I have been a migraine sufferer since I was 14. I am almost 59. That’s an awful long time to have to deal with such a destructive pain. It has stolen so many years of my life away already! I should be an expert by now but I’m not. I have studied a lot of things and do know sudden barometric pressure
changes is one trigger and there are only one or two foods as well that I am aware of like moldy cheeses, but I have never heard of genetic mutations of methylation genes. Can you please explain or maybe direct me where to go on the internet to look into this further? However you could assist would be greatly appreciated.
I lived there for 6 months and visited there again…the humidity and heat are unbearable. That in and of itself is migraine inducing. Most if not all of Florida is humid, sticky, and hot.
I recognize this post has not seen any activity in some time, but am fascinated by the data you’ve collected here. I am really interested in seeing the full list of cities ranked by barometric pressure variations, as I am considering relocating due to pressure induced migraines. Do you have the full list of cities, and would you consider posting it or making it available elsewhere? Extremely grateful for the excellent research.
Do you have the full list of cities available? I’ve not seen this information posted elsewhere and would love to see the full list if you could post or make available.
Yes, I’ll work on getting the full list up, and then edit the post to show the full list.
Here’s the full list of cities.
I have looked at a large amount of historical data also related to Barometric Pressure variations. You have quite an impressive list. For those associating warmth and barometric Pressure changes, it truly depends on if your in areas that experience large numbers of storms, hurricanes etc. If you’re in the dry south, you tend to have less fluctuations, if in the south that experiences hurricanes and a lot of thunderstorms than you’ll see more significant fluctuations. You also need to know when you look at data if it is referring to barometric pressures based on sea level or if it is basing it on location level, that can look significantly different. Most weather stations use sea level pressure data, but not all weather data is sea level. When comparing for variations over time periods be sure to use the same type of data.
I can honestly state that I’m affected by a pressure change of 0.1 and a change of 0.15 is excruciating. I’ve had Refractory or Intractable migraines for over 11 years. Not a day without one. I live in SW Virginia, listed as an average daily fluctuation of 0.18 so I’m just doomed. Not only do I have migraines, I have Fibromyalgia, chronic nerve damage in my back, shoulder and arm, Reynauld’s Syndrome, arthritis and difficult to manage Hypothyroidism. Though meds are used to help, they are frequently changed. I handle cold better than heat, but then it sets my Reynauld’s off, the heat kills me, and pressure changes keep me massively ill. I’ve tried everything there is out there for migraines over the past 11 years. Now I’m starting Aimovig. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try the 2nd one that was just approved.
For me, Barometric Pressure plays a significant role in my daily life. I have a weather app that shows me two weeks in the future. It helps me plan and try to clean and do laundry. My migraines are so bad they truly make it where I can’t function. I’ve had migraines since I was 17,they became chronic in my early 20’s. Now all I want is to go back to having them 15 to 20 days a month and not have to be on so many medications.
To all the sufferers out there of migraines, Fibromyalgia, joint pain etc. Good luck in your treatments, keep moving and whatever you do, always stay positive. Life is what you make it and God will never give you more than he believes you can handle. May every day be full of life, love, laughter and happiness ? ‼️
Sea level is Key and SMOG
then you add Barometer pressure
Then you can understand your head aches
I live in N.E.Arizona
phew do not move here if you feel depressed The pressure here on body is Massive like a ton of bricks on body
Cant get enough air then when it presses you down to the ground you got to lay flat on your back to even out
At 6500 hundred ft up
no Migraines Just body pressure out of this world
Happens with in min. not hours
say: a low or high comes in so fast ya dont know what hits ya
one min your yawning next your feel fine
if a pressure stays your in bed for that day
I lived in Cali, no pressure like here but smog etc gave me simple everyday headaches
but my body felt good
Do more data on Sea Level and altitude It changes all your data!
throws it away
N.Az is known for tree allergies Juniper and Pine dust/ rust pollen its a KILLER on sinus
lower half of Az ??? too hot for me only snakes and scrpions should live there *not people
god bless your souls who get headachs Wish i could help ..
make sure they are not stress related Find Some Peace
Coucd you do the same for canada?
Do you know if there’s data for Canada? I once read that something like 90% of the population of Canada resides within 50 miles of the U.S.-Canada border. Is that right? If this is true, pressure variation data for most Canadians could be approximated by examining the pressure variation for their bordering U.S. states (for example, use Washington data for British Columbia, North Dakota data for Manitoba, etc.) It would probably be fairly accurate.
I suffer from Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. Any Chang at all makes me incredible ill from fevers/sweats/nausia or if the weather is going to turn nice and sunny I will have insomnia
I think this also applies for people with ear problems aka vestibular/meniere’s. I live in NJ nd its terrible! Im going to LA for six days; we ll see what happens. I hope there’s hope.
I’m curios as to how you felt when you went to LA. Over the last 8 years or so after some bouts with an inner ear tumor and staff infection. I’ve battled with some uneasy feelings (Vertigo). I feel fine in the summer months but once Oct Nov come around I start getting these Vertigo sensations. They can be very debilitating and I’ve seen all the specialists with no real results. The last 2 years we have traveled to Anaheim and Panama City in Feb and after a day or two I feel as if it were summer here in Wisconsin. I was not scared how I was going to get through the day feeling off balance. I believe I have a stressful job so most times I just figured it was from that but lately I’m not sure. The timing seems to be the same every year. Over the last 3 days the pressure has change from 2.75 to 3.3 and its already affected me.
Dr Kevin R Smith in Houston, Texas may be able to help you. His office is located on Shepherd Drive.
Nick, have you been evaluated for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome? http://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/page.php?ID=30
That Vertigo feeling was Earthquakes I think
many get them even when a small rattle hits Calif
Could you please clarify if it is actually “Charleson” or was supposed to be “Charleston” for number 20 under cities with the least amount of variation and where this exactly is, such as which state? This will help me immensely! Thank you!
#20 on the list is Charleston, South Carolina (and I corrected the spelling, thank you). Charleston, West Virginia has 69 days on average of high pressure variance, which is right on the national average.
Thank you so much for this valuable information. My son suffers from these migraines and I am trying to gather as much information as possible. And I do agree with the other comments that it is the rapid change in which the pressure occurs that will trigger a migraine,
I live in a suburb about 30 miles north of Chicago. I’m 55 and have had migraines since I was in my teens. I also have benn diagnosed with Narcolepsy My migraines have gotten much worse over the past 6 years. I get to the point where I do not make plans, I am late to work or I don’t make it in at.all. I have been put on preventatives, that barely worked and had side effects. I am on my 2nd round of botox (the first didn’t help much). I am keeping a migraine diary to see if the botox is worth another round.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the Migraine Barometer? 85% of my migraines are weather related and i wake up with them.
I’m ready to move to Florida! Does anyone have similar experiences?
I would def venture to looking into allergy testing as well as maybe considering if you’re waking up with them you may have horrible TMJ issues that may need to be addressed or you may have both going on. Good luck!!
TMJ issues- waking up with them may be from that- I have reduced my migraines by half since I got fitted for a splint. TMJ, weather, nitrates, sugar causes mine- as well as bleach and artificial fragrances- it is part of my daily life trying to control.
This is such wonderful information! I have fibromyalgia and was previously living in Washington state and having a lot of pain through the fall, winter and spring. It got to the point that I left the state to live temporarily with family in Tucson AZ to see if it would be any better there. It has been better through the winter and into the spring, but now it is approaching summer and we’ve just entered into 100 degree plus days and the atmospheric pressure is shifting more rapidly and I am again in terrible pain which is not only bad during the day but keeping me up at night. I have been researching San Diego Ca for a while now, I think that might be the best place within reach for me to give a try next. Of course Honolulu HI sounds awesome too 🙂
I have fibro too Amd live in Portland, or. I am thinking of moving. Did you figure anything out? Would love to hear your results.
I lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for over 16 years and I have suffered from Migraines on the average about 8 to 10 a month. In Feb 2015 I moved to South Carolina, to be closer to family, and since being here I have been suffering horrendously from Many Migraine attacks on average about 10 to 15 a month. The air feels so much heavier here, it feels as though I cannot breathe. Feels as though it is closing in around me. Wish I had never left Michigan.
Oh dear, if you’re getting 10-15 a month I seriously suggest seeing a reputable ENT ASAP. In my journey I discovered I had a lingering sinus infection from a year previous tho I had no outward symptoms. I almost got a brain infection. It also sounds like you’re not getting enough air if it’s feeling as if you cannot breathe you may not be. Lack of oxygen to the brain from swollen turbinates, possible deviated septum & or possible asthma may be your torn in your side. Worth looking into, I went to 23 dr’s before my ENT found this major piece of the puzzle. Also, a Oral facial pain specialist is a dr authorized to handle migraine patients & get you properly analyzed for possible TMJ which is often overlooked. Especially if you wake up with migraines but this dr can immediately get going on pain management of your migraines for relief. Also, seeing a Immunologist can possibly figure out if you’re allergic to any trees in your area/property. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
Hi Ellen, my son suffers from these horrible migraines. He went to an ENT and discovered a sinus infection and a deviated septum along with some other nasal blockage. He is scheduled for
Surgery and I’m am hoping this will help him. Which I suspect it will to get more air to his brain.
Go make an appt with an ENT as you have nothing to lose.
I was able tto find good information from your blog
I wish I’d come across this information much sooner. I respectfully disagree with your “is it getting worse” suggestion. Based on historical data of Wunderground.com’s 82 sample cities (may have miscounted; currently projectile vomiting x3 days & unable to sleep thru pain,) the most recent record set for high pressure is 1998 in Sioux Falls. 6 records were set in 1989 for high pres. Alternately, 7 low pressure records were broken in 2010. This data doesn’t necessarily refute your rapid-pressure-change assertions, however I’d argue that average barometric pressures are dropping. In my case, I believe the detrimental pressure changes can be protracted. Roughly 10 years ago my intracranial migraines became permanent – varying only in intensity. I’m now long-term-unemployed despite an excellent skillset. If I can’t find some solution, I certainly will not live with 10 more years of this. Has anyone experimented with a NON-oxygen hyperbaric chamber?
I too have wondered about the non-oxygen hyperbaric chamber. I have fibromyalgia and the weather dictates my life. It has for 20 years. I talked to my doctor about moving. He said that people he had talked to about moving to areas with high pressures seem to do well for about 6 months and then their symptons came back. Does anyone know the facts about this?
My heart breaks for all of you. I do get a lot of good days, but it is very hard to plan anything.
Also, I have noticed that driving thru some areas that my pain leaves and once going into a huge hospital building my pain left…..that’s why I thought about the hyperbaric chamber.
Thank you so much for your hard work and all your documentation. It saddens me that there are so many of us that would even look for these answers.
Praying for you all,
Oh…….a few years back I dated a guy that said if he took extra strength tylenol and excedrin at the same time when he new he had a migraine coming on that he could stop it…..just at the on set of it. I thought he was a nut…..he was, however this really did work for him. An older lady gave him the info….He learned to keep both those items at all times……still a nut though….just one without the migraines
I’m not surprised that guy said Tylenol & an Excedrine work for nipping his migraine in the bud. I used to say 1 beer & an excedrine used to do wonders! Hahahahahaa (I don’t even drink alcohol at all) but for some reason it does work. One caveat, eat first….those Excedrine’s can cause some nasty nausea that can sneak up on you & lay u out. I can’t take them anymore…last time I took Excedrine I vomitted. So beware make sure you have a full tummy. It’s a great product tho for over the counter. Best wishes hope this helps.
also water works great for getting out of pain…..for us Fibro people
A woman I met recently told me she only drinks Alkaline water & that it reduced her migraines. With the way CA water currently is (especially Ventura County being the worst) I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a trigger since ours is literally tasting of dirt & we’re living out of toxic water bottles here despite all efforts. Good luck to you all, intense hydration is key. Here is a great formula I found recently since I’ve always pondered how much water do I need to get. Body weight divided by 2= Oz (ounces) you should drink per day. No caffeines. It helps tremendously. I start drinking it around 7am (when I get up) & keep on until bed time. I swear, I have no room for sugar, coffee, teas or any other migraine triggers & I lost weight too. Hope this helps someone. Best wishes.
What waters are alkaline? I would like to try this as moving isn’t an option for me til my kids graduate
I tsp of lemon in water is alkalizing to the system…
This is fantastic! I live in Minnesota and have known the rapid change in BP to have an awful impact on my fibromyalgia and the occasional migraine. I know I need to move but didn’t know where. I do think the humidity is a pug or my specific illness so I was looking into AZ, NV, or southern UT. I’m interested to see how many more bad days there are in these states compared to southern CA. I need to rethink my plan. Thanks for doing this!
My spinal & skeletal specialist doesn’t know what causes mine, but am receiving botox injections every 3 months for a year, severity has lessened. Also went to Atlantic Florida for Xmas last year. Made sure I took my imitrex w me. Only had 3 migraines in 9 days, and my son noticed that they hit me just before it rained. So he wondered about the BP too. He found you, so thank u. Yesterday I woke up blowing my nose for a 1/2 hour, and it was raining.welcome instant migraine. This am woke up stuffed up and migraine. But it was raining.
I too suffer from with migraines, especially during rapid barometric changes. Extra strength Excedrin for migraine helps when I take it early enough . Another remedy is taking one antihistamine and one antacid at the onset. A friend shared this “cocktail” recipe as an H1/H2 beta blocker combo. It has worked inconsistently for me. It’s been more effective when combined with the excedrin. Please consult your doc b4 trying.
Hi guys, OK so this really does work. I suffered when I lived in Virginia. Moved to Georgia, no headaches, moved back to Virginia, headaches, moved to Delaware, suffered horribly. The worst ever! Found this article, moved back to Georgia, no headaches. I’m so serious, I can live now.
where in georgia
Wow, interesting- and satisfying to to hear variety of experiences. I live in Hawaii and have said for years that I get headaches when there’s a weather shift- which is like, often. 2015 we had 5 hurricanes – coming & going – ouch. Excedrin is my drug of choice, but I’ve had rebound headaches twice and it’s horrible to get out of that syndrome. I try the antihistamines- helps a little, but not a lot. Mostly I try to exercise more -walking- to get endorphines to try to feel good ????.
I’ve told 3 doctors about these barometric headaches; I don’t think it’s covered with n their training.
Thanks for posting this info.
Thank you for posting this! I was curious how you calculated your criteria whether to count a certain day or not. I read above that you did not have hourly data. Did you have a min and max per day and you checked whether the difference is bigger than your threshold of 0.2? Or did you have an average for the day and compared it to the average of the next day?
Good question. The dataset I used contained daily measurements, and I don’t know whether those were captured as maxima, minima, or averages. I would guess averages, and that in my analysis I was comparing averages between 2 days.
I just found a dataset that seems to contain hourlies (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/orders/qclcd/), which could be really interesting. I’m not sure which metric makes the most sense to use–maybe a change of .2 within a 12 hour period?
That said, it’s hard to imagine the results changing too much. I feel pretty sure that Hawaii will still be at the top of the list and Maine still at the bottom, and Southern states will still have lower change frequency than Northern states and states at altitude. When I get some time, I’ll see if I can run the same kind of analysis on the hourly data and see if anything changes.
Fanatastic article! Thank you so much.
I have struggled with migraines since I was a little girl. It got to the point that it was a daily battle and my quality of life was very poor. I was referred to Dr Kevin Rose. He’s a plastic surgeon that does Migraine Surgery. I braved the surgery. It relieved about 80% of my migraines which was a huge relief. I still get migraines with the change in BP. This article and reading everyone’s comments has been very exciting for me. My company has an office in Honolulu. If you are so desperate you’ll try surgery, go to theroseclinic.com or call his office at 1 (801) 235-7679. He’s located in Provo, Utah.
Thank you. I will keep this info on hand. How much was the surgery?
I have been getting severe migraines since I was 12 years old. I have felt completely hopeless since the doctors began telling me to avoid certain foods and I did but the migraines persisted. I still avoid real food triggers (which is mainly processed ingredients like msg amongst many others) and yet the migraines perist and have gotten longer in duration. I used to have a migraine for a day. They were intense and I had to take strong painkillers and other perscription drugs. Now they are at least 2 days in length and have gotten more severe. Sometimes I end up in hospital on morphine. In the last year I have been told about barometric pressure and so have monitored it. Indeed it is the missing link. Having just recovered from another episode I am looking to relocate. My quality of life demands it. Thank you for your information. There is relief in knowing I am not alone. Is there a place in Canada that has a low fluctuation rate in barometric pressure?
Electrolytes can help. Do a google search for Doctor Stanton migraines electrolytes, or something like that. She has a book and Facebook group that have been hugely helpful for me.
Is there anything one can do to minimize the chances of migraine induced by barometric pressure?
My migraines seem to be seasonal as well. Winter into spring mainly.
But mine show up, almost like clockwork at bed time. Times between 9:30 and 10:30 pm. Has anyone else experienced this ? This week, for some reason, they have showed up. It has been about 6 months since my last bout. This round has been very intense.
Mine occur most often in the morning. Hardly ever in the evening.
I have been diagnosed in the past with meniere’s and more recently with possible vestibular migraines by a specialist who says it is sometimes hard to tell which a person is plagued with. I have noticed that changes in barometric pressure has indeed caused me to have vertigo, head and ears feeling filled and heavy and sometimes painful. I take meclizine for the dizziness and when I also take tylinol I find that the heavy fullness and the pain is relieved. Stay away from salt in your diet. This has helped me as well. I appreciate this information on areas where barometric pressure changes are less. I lived in Honolulu for 2 1/2 years and don’t think I suffered as much from these debilitating symptoms there.
I was having vertiginous migraines and visual migraines as well as headaches. I was put on a “migraine diet” that has helped immensely. I rarely have issues anymore. You can find a list at migraine disorders.com. I was told to follow the list religiously for three months, ( I had no events after the first two weeks on the diet) and then to slowly introduce foods monthly after that to find those that ageed with me. I hope this is helpful for others.
Has anyone tried supplementing with zinc? Over the past five years, I’ve had a migraine (no aura) virtually every time the pressure shifts >.25 in 24 hrs. I started taking 22mg zinc picolinate every other day 6 weeks ago, and my migraine frequency has dropped dramatically despite massive barometric pressure changes. Just thought I would share in case it’s useful to anyone else. This treatment doesn’t seem to have any published research behind it so it’s odd that it has been so apparently effective.
I have very similar symptoms to u migraine (no aura) virtually every time the pressure shifts >.25 in 24 hrs which usually strikes very quickly. Is there a reason u take 22mg zinc picolinate?
Dear JT Taylor
From the bottom of my heart Thank you. As a reward I would like to offer u & a loved one a free Holiday in England UK.
I am an English child protection worker & am just about holding onto my job due to the migraines. I have Punjabi Indian DNA which I think is a big factor. My Grandfather was a world war 2 decorated hero & Churchill offered him British Citizenship. After 37 years of agony in silence the pain of trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain) & cluster headaches has ended recently due to successful recent nerve surgery.
However the low pressure migraines have got worse due to the big El Nino causing the wettest windiest dullest winter ever which has left me very debilitated. Could u be kind & send me a list of the best worst places to live in Western Europe. I am hoping your list will identify the best place to live in UK I suspect all of the UK will be bad but I am stuck until I can retire & cant move to Spain or Malta until then. I am not super rich but I am happy to pay u for doing this task. (email [email protected])
Thank u God for guiding me to this site.
Hi, Harry. Motivated by your story of suffering, I have completed my analysis of worldwide cities. Your offer of a reward if very kind but unnecessary. Unfortunately, all of UK is indeed bad for pressure-induced migraines. If you can arrange it, and you believe that changes in barometric pressure are triggering your migraines, I would suggest that you might consider taking a vacation in Portugal or Southern Italy–those seem like the best places in Western Europe.
Try Butterbur in the form of Petadolex supplement. It works on brain excitability, which could be a result of weather conditions. I’ve been taking 2, 75 mg capsules daily for a year and have only had 2 migraines. I’ve suffered from Migraine with aura for over 32 years and have tried just about everything. Lots of things are at the core of migraine, but this supplement seems to be effective.
Thank you for this list. I moved to CO and have been having migraine and vertigo issues and no one seemed to believe me when I said it was tied to barometric pressure changes!
Unfortunately, heat and humidity take a toll on me from an allergy standpoint too. Seems I’m doomed on this!
Where in CO did you move? I am a migraine sufferer and have lived in CO for the last 28 years. I feel mine got worse upon moving here. They are very bad now and I am trying to find a place to relocate to. This is difficult as I don’t know where to move and am older and it is more difficult since my migraine days are so high per month. I feel CO is very bad for migraines, it is hard to have a conversation with a doctor here regarding this. I think it is altitude related. Any insight would be appreciated.
I realize this convo is old, but… I loved in NJ all my life and never had a headache. Moved to CO when I was 38 and thought I must have a brain tumor because I started getting headaches the first fall. Lasted 6 months and stopped for the summer. Came back in the fall and never left. Moved back to NJ after 2 years and still suffer but not as greatly.
I definitely feel that the altitude of CO set something off. There are not enough studies about the crazy effects of altitude and how much worse it makes things.
My wife has been suffering for nearly 7 years straight without 1 day having a headache. Her headaches are not like your typical migraine, instead they generally are a extreme amount of pressure in her head that feels at times like her head will explode. She takes on average of 6-8 excedrine’s a day, does acupuncture, & see’s a chiropractor with very little relief. We live in NE Ohio & our weather changes quite drastically all the time. However, this past January my family & I took a trip for 5 days to Orlando Fl., while there she hardly had any headaches at all. She would take 2 excedrin’s a day in the AM (she thinks because of the mustiness of our room) & she would be good the rest of the day. Even on the day that it did rain (3-4 inches) her head still was better than the best day here in Ohio. I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas about our situation? Thx
Thano you so much for this!! What helpful data for so many chronic pain warriors!!
Thank you so much for researching, compiling, and sharing this information. I have suffered from weather-related migraines for 25 years and the list of cities with the least and most barometric variation is a great tool for me…I knew I felt better when visiting some cities (many on the “least” list), and here are stats to back that up. Btw, I live in Indianapolis and have been especially miserable this past year, with its extra-stormy weather. Thank you again, I accidentally stumbled across your blog while searching for any new information about relieving weather-induced migraines, and I am grateful that I did.
If I wanted to research the best place within a few states where would I get the barometric raw data I can download to run my own report? As Looking for a place when hubby retires – need to account for other factors too that I want to pivot against. (distance to doctors, certain specialist, average temp – heat also triggers my migraines)
This article I published has a United States map, and also a link to the raw data towards the bottom of the article:
I have been having daily headaches/migraines for 5 years now, without any real explanation on why or what causes them. I know theres not really one out there. I recently traveled to niagra falls, NY and was very concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy my vaca because of a bad migraine while there, but the whole 5 days I was there I had no headaches, no vertigo, no migraines! I’m now back in my hometown las vegas NV and have had a bad migraine, vertigo since I returned. Iv tried so many things but only gotten little relief. Could it be the biometric pressure change that caused me to have this bad migraine?
I spent most of my life living in the Great Lakes region and as the years went on, I’d get bad headaches more and more frequently. I’m in my mid 30s and I was getting headaches pretty much every single day to some degree, also in conjunction with horrible sinus problems that waxed and waned directly with shifts in the barometer. I recently took a job in Honolulu and… it has been six months and I haven’t had a single headache or sinus congestion. Talk about a miracle.
Heartfelt warm greetings to all of you fellow sufferers of pressure changes.
I used to get tremendous migraines in Seattle. Now live north of Denver and rarely get any!
But also have a perilymph fistula in one ear, endolymphatics hydrops in both, so neuro-otologist says
no more flying because the pressure could cause fistula to reopen (then six months bedrest for me). He didn’t think Florida would be a good place to relocate because of the possibility of hurricanes, which would be extreme for my ears. Also on a diet of very little salt, no sugar, no caffeine, six small meals a day to balance the pressure in my ears. This seems to help a great deal. Thank you so much for this very informative article!
Thanks for the information! I live in NJ with my * year old son and I am researching relocating to Memphis or Atlanta because of his migraines (25 a month)! The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia suggested neurofeedback. He has gone through a lot of testing/ The studies show good results on chronic migraines. I will see. He also takes migrelief; we have taken him off dairy, all cheese, processed foods; The migraines are getting better. We have good days and bad days. We continue to pray!
Good day. I’ve been checking on the barometric pressure variation ever since I read this article and I think I am also affected by it. Specially when it’s .20 difference. May I ask how you calculate? Is it w/in 24 hours? I tried checking w/in two days, 24 hours and even 12 hours. I am just curious how you do it. Thank you for sharing this information. Very helpful.
Hello from Ottawa Canada.
We are wondering if these stats would also apply to arthritis suffers?
Also just off on a tangent here..what about when there is a full moon,does this possibly affect suffers and or the barometric pressure?
Also thanks for all the awesome information and your hard work.
I have already shared it with a friend.
Thanks for the great information.
I am a lifelong migraineur. Around 2000 after several hundred sick migraines, my trigger connection to weather changes became obvious. Food and weather change triggers combined. After charting my migraines on UW High Resolution Atmospheric Pressure Monitor website found 2.5+ millibar an hour drop in pressure involved in most of my migraines. Add the other factors-temperature change, wind, relative humidity change and you have your full glass just like with food triggers. The more of the change factor the fuller the glass. Barometric change can by itself without food triggers over fill my glass as can spinning low pressure systems–just too much overall change factor for me. The devil is in the details,inside an average baro-day there are extremes that trigger the migraine -like a free fall in pressure for a short time that is invisible to daily averages.
Thanks for taking the time to gather all this info. I suffer from Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. The barometric pressure plays a big part in my headaches. I live in KY and recently went on a trip to Florida. I have a headache pretty much every day of my life. While being in Florida I didn’t have any headaches or visual disturbances. I’m really considering relocating to Florida.
I’m a 5-year chronic intractable migraineur in MN. I’ve also got Crohn’s Disease(15yrs, 8 with ileostomy) and a host of other auto-immune conditions and more. Are you in San Diego, CA? What do you do for work/income? – that’s a question for everyone – Have you started a community migraine support/institute? If so, or not, I’d like to be a part of that!!
I live I Austin and I literally have the worst migraines. After being here for several years you can develop Austin allergies and they can trigger migraines. I haven’t been migraine free In months.
I appreciate the work you put into your study here but I have to disagree. I moved south from CT about 10 years ago. I have RA and thought getting out of the cold would help. Little did I know, I’d be worse. The frigid temps were never fun and could get to anyone with any sort of physical issue but I never had headaches like I did until I came to Charleston, SC. It’s on your good list but I have to tell you, we have some of the worst weather changes. We have storms on a daily basis, not including tropical storms and hurricanes. Winters, even if it gets cold, is better than the summer where it feels like the gates of hell. Hot, humid, stormy and moldy… a recipe for disaster. Swollen achy joints, migraines, sinus and allergies pretty much all year, and vertigo. It’s not fun. Thinking of moving back north just to stop the insanity because every time I leave the area, I seem to have relief. So, places with least amount of barometric pressure? Pretty sure Charleston, SC isn’t one. Sorry! FYI, on almost every weather list, it’s one of the worst. *In the contiguous US, Charleston, South Carolina has the largest range of changes, with a 27.64 to 30.85 inHg (936.00 to 1044.70 hPa) range. And believe me, we can feel it!
N.E Az beats ya your worst
I dont think anywhere in USA is as bad as this place
think its because above us are the Rockies and west is coast below is Mexico and east is the path all this crazy flux of weather goes
It seems not to dip to far south
just this lil area
Anyway go to your local NOAA weather in your town or city
and read your dissucion it will tell you highs and lows coming and going Then you will understand soo much better why you feel horriable or great min to min or hour to hour
Thank you for all this valuable work! It confirms my Ny/NJ chronic migraines triggered by barometric pressure, perfumes, stress, etc. Barometric pressure is crazy here! Hoping to move really soon- need some relief. ?
I want to thank you for the validation with barometric pressure and its relationships to migraines. I have had migraines since I was 8 and my son was diagnosed at 15 and we suffer terribly when there is any atmospheric changes and we live in Maryland. I was beginning to think that this was all in my head or there was another reason for our extreme migraines but this makes perfect sense. My son will be in Orlando to study for school and to hear that Florida is better with pressure than Maryland gives me some reassurance that he will feel better once he moves down there. Thanks again for all of your hard work with this research and making people like myself not think we are crazy for thinking the weather controlled our migraines most of the time, and actually validated it. You are wonderful!!
Here are the places I have lived in order from least headaches to the very most. I lived in Crete, Greece which is an island, Utah, Montana, Georgia, and the very worst is North Carolina for me. We went on a trip to Phoenix for 7 days I didn’t have one headache. This past May we went to Puerto Rico for 8 days and there were no headaches. It’s so depressing, I have tried preventatives, the cephaly, botox, trigger point injections, piercing my daith (inside ear)…. in the spring I started taking allergy medicine and using the Neti Pot that seemed to help some. With fall coming around the corner and winter it’ll just be really bad so I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve lived in North Carolina for 8 years now I haven’t been able to work I couldn’t hold a job if I wanted to because of this condition. My husband has been looking in other states for a job. I know how you all feel and it just breaks my heart for all of us to feel this way. I miss out all way too much with the whole family, moments you can’t get back.
Where can I find Barometric pressure variance in days for a specific city say Spokane Washington. The state averages 75 days but would like to know specific cities.
Here’s a link to my raw data: https://sv2021.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Global-Barometric-Pressure-Threshold-Variation.xlsx
I found that the pressure variations don’t seem to change much within an area the size of a U.S. state. I wouldn’t think you would see much difference from Spokane to Couer D’Alene or even to Kennewick, for example.
This list fits my experiences well. I recently moved from Houston (on the low end of the P variation list) to N. Delaware, on the high end of the P variation list (half way between Philadelphia and Baltimore). My goal is to move to San Diego (if I can find an affordable house) or back to Houston.
I currently live in Houston, but I lived in San Diego and Baltimore prior to moving here.
Since moving to Houston, I have at least 1 to 2 migraines per week. Surprisingly, I never had migraines in Baltimore nor San Diego. Time to move!
I have migraines,but they are controlled currently by topomax. The thing that I need help with is that I have a rare disease called Ehlers Danlos – it is a connective tissue disease. What does that have to do with the barometric pressure, you ask. Because my tendons and ligaments don’t, or aren’t able to hold my bones / joints together w/o excruciating pain. I live on pain meds and still don’t have quality of life. Can someone who is or might happen to be reading this please help me. Whether w/ information, ideas, or 100% knowledge of the subject. This would be so greatfully appreciated. Thank you in advance to whom ever you may be. Thank you, and may God bless you.
Hey Amy, did you ever get any good information on this? I have joint issues and osteoarthritis.
I have lived in Missouri, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, and now North Carolina coast. My migraines are, by far, worse since moving to NC. I’ve been to every kind of doctor and therapist, from neurologist to acupuncture. My ‘Migraine Buddy’ app has been indispensable in tracking my migraines. I have always known they were caused by barometric changes because I could predict rain 48 hours ahead nearly every time. With that app, I’ve now narrowed it down even more to severe barometric drops coupled with humidity above 80%. Now, I just have to figure out where I can move to encounter the least of that weather pattern. :/
Thank you! for this list! Thanks to a fabulous doctor who identified this as my main issue a few months ago, I’m on the path to (hopefully) regaining some normalcy in my life! This is list amazing! Gee …sure wish moving to Honolulu was feasible but it’s clear warmer climates are the way to go. Thanks again
Mr. Taylor – I wanted to thank you also for the collection of information that you collected and presented. I have always suffered from migraines without the knowledge that this was the issue. I was always told caffeine, caffeine, caffeine! It was not until after suffering with them for so long, that I actually started to look at them myself to say “what is triggering this”. I have live in Rhode Island, the worst migraines there ever. I have lived in California, had none. It was not until I moved back to the Midwest that I started realizing that it was the barometric pressure change effecting me. Then I had to sit down and think where were they the worst and where were they the best. I kept getting worse the longer I was in Indiana. I found you information and was like ok now I know that I am right in my thinking and what can I do about it. I utilized your map and have relocated to Southwest Arizona and have had HUGE improvement. With your map I was able to know that I would not eliminate them, but would at least alleviate a lot of them. It has been a success, and I wanted to let you know that I am so thankful for your research that you did for me to be able to use the maps to make a life choice. Now I can live life to the fullest.
Wow, that’s amazing! I don’t think barometric pressure could be the issue for _everyone_, but I figured it could be the issue for many, because I know it is certainly the issue for me. Glad your move is working out for you!
I never really had a problem other than occasional joint pain but after the onset of menopause I now become physically ill with a sudden change in barometric pressure. No amount of blankets can keep my back warm, the chills seem to come from inside me rather than externally. A migraine so intense it makes me nauseous, I can barely stand from the dizziness. The only thing I can do is take an aspirin, hope to fall asleep quickly and stay in bed until the storm passes. I tend to get them when there’s a quick drastic spring such as when it’s damp and cold one day and warm and sunny the next.
“For me, a .20 change in the barometric pressure (e.g., from 30.05 to 29.85, or vice versa) triggers a migraine nearly every time”
Driving anywhere must incapacitate you then. Every 180 feet of altitude difference changes the air pressure by 0.20 mmHg. You can easily change this much just a couple of miles down the road. Going in a 13 story building will do it. Flying on an airliner changes the air pressure by 38 times this amount.
And forget about getting in a swimming pool or even a bathtub and putting your head under water. A tenth of an inch of water depth causes 0.20 mmHg pressure change.
I would agree with you that the fact that 180 feet of altitude corresponds to .20 inHg change in absolute air pressure would indicate that short-term fluctuations in absolute air pressure are less likely to serve as a primary causal trigger for migraine pain.
However, your dismissive reasoning fails due to the Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy.
While a physiological causation between measured barometric pressure and migraine pain has not been medically proven nor even convincingly hypothesized at this point, the correlation between the two appears to be strong and could certainly be due to a third event. The University of Naples Federico II, the oldest public non-religious university in the world, published a clinical study last year which showed a statistically highly significant correlation (at p < .001) between temperature and atmospheric changes, and migraine headache pain. https://www.iris.unina.it/retrieve/handle/11588/673210/117687/EFFECT%20OF%20WEATHER.pdf
Unless you believe that the study was experiencing a 1-in-1,000 variance, or was in some other way flawed, then the correlation demonstrated in the study cannot reasonably be dismissed.
As far as driving or swimming is concerned, you should understand that measured barometric pressure is normalized to sea level, whereas absolute pressure (what you are describing) is not. Changes in the weather correlate very strongly with changes in measured (normalized) barometric pressure; it is these changes which correlate with migraine pain. When someone gains 180 feet in altitude while driving, they experience a change in absolute air pressure but there is no change in the normalized barometric pressure, and it is this normalized barometric pressure which serves as the indicator of the related weather conditions which likely cause the migraine pain.
I cant believe there are others who go through this! Ive been saying my headaches are caused by a pressure change for years. Can anything be done besides moving? Im in Southern Arkansas almost to Lousiiana
If your not on prophylactic meds, you need to be. I take it you have a neurologist. If they don’t work, next try high does Mg, and possibly the herbals, then you can try Botox. If you’ve already tried all the current treatments, there’s a new med just for migraines. It’s called Aimovig (the testing has had significant results). A second medication was just approved by FDA, but I doubt the insurance companies have started approving it yet.
I honestly don’t think people need to move unless they just want to move. Mine are awful and very affected by pressure and I don’t live in a good area for that, it fluctuates constantly. I can always tell when it’s going to rain or storm. But no way am I moving. I’ve done everything there is out there, so now I’m trying the Aimovig.
Good luck and God Bless!
I live in the Sunset District of San Francisco which is in a foggy section on the west side of the city cut off from the sunny downtown protected from coastal fog by a series of sizable hills like Twin Peaks. Since our weather here is often substantially colder than downtown where the climate is measured, is it then more subject to pressure changes, for example, when the fog comes in? I would be grateful for an answer in that it would explain why I at times feel so miserable. I would be thankful for a response.
Me thinks get Oxyen tank
when pressure is to much
If theres a way to get more clean pure air in your blood is key !
First, thank you for this enormous undertaking????????????. I have been noticing the weather, Temps and barometric pressure changing quite a bit these past 4 years. I think I saw that the last update was 5 years ago, in 2016. When will you next update your data?????????????
My wife and I thank you for your work on pressure variance. We moved from the Carson City, Nevada are to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. There has been a noticeable improvement in my wife’s migraines, at least in the spring and summer when there are fewer storms. Her overall health has also improved with the lower elevation and smaller variation in temperatures over a 24 hour period. However, as the weather has gotten colder and the storms have begun the pressure deviation has gone crazy and her migraines are more frequent but milder than in Nevada. We are considering moving to a lower latitude, the Oregon Coast as it appears, according to your maps, that the pressure variation there is similar to the coast of California that is apparently one of the better places to live. Thanks again for you work, it has made a difference.
My husband suffers from an injury induced migraine. He was shot in the head in a workplace shooting. No meds help, pressure variations definitely increase his pain, He cannot fly. It puts him in 2 months of intense pain. Traveling down a mountain increase pain levels. His migraines never leave. We are trying acupuncture, but not much change yet.
We live in Nashville, TN. Snow and storms increase his pain. I don’t think this is the worst place to live for migraines but definitely not the best. I just haven’t figured out where would be better. Super thankful for this list and the work put into producing it. I have looked at it so many times.
We used to live in Charleston, SC before his injury. I don’t think it would be helpful there because humidity levels are so high. California and hawaii are not options because high cost of living. I have considered florida, Georgia, or Alabama. My parents live in middle Georgia and it gets very humid there.
I see lots of differing comments on florida. In a perfect world, maybe stay here and be a florida snowbird to avoid winter pressure variations in Tennessee and avoid florida coastal summers. That wouldn’t be an option til we reach retirement age.
Thanks so much for putting this together. My wife suffers from severe migraines, and we live in South Dakota. I am curious about your opening words on Redding, CA – it seems that Redding would be a relatively good place to live (much better than most of the country, but not as good as San Diego). Is there more going on here than just the change in pressure? Perhaps Redding has some other weather factors?
Any insight appreciated, thank you.
We live in the Boise, ID area. We feel the pressure changes so much of the time. They are very frequent. I feel tired and dragged down and have frequent headaches. I have to drink more caffeine then I ever. We are visiting family in Santa Fe, NM. They have just as many pressure changes and more drastic but I feel so much better. I think it is because we are at such a high elevation and there isn’t nearly as much air pressure to start with. It’s definitely another factor in the air pressure study.