Avoiding Migraines Resulting from Changes in Barometric Pressure

So…what do Migraine Headaches induced by Barometric Pressure have to do with 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 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)

  1. Honolulu (0 days per year)
  2. Miami (4)
  3. San Diego (7)
  4. Los Angeles (7)
  5. Tampa (11)
  6. San Jose (14)
  7. Sacramento (18)
  8. San Francisco (18)
  9. Phoenix (22)
  10. New Orleans (22)
  11. Jacksonville (22)
  12. Birmingham (29)
  13. Houston (29)
  14. Atlanta (37)
  15. San Antonio (37)
  16. Austin (37)
  17. Memphis (44)
  18. Las Vegas (47)
  19. Little Rock (48)
  20. 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)

  1. Augusta, Maine (128 days per year)
  2. Rapid City, SD (127)
  3. Montpelier, VT (117)
  4. Bismarck, ND (117)
  5. Boston (116)
  6. Colorado Springs (113)
  7. Denver (110)
  8. Billings, MT (109)
  9. Providence (109)
  10. New Haven (105)
  11. Cheyenne (105)
  12. Anchorage (104)
  13. Detroit (102)
  14. New York City (99)
  15. Buffalo (98)
  16. Minneapolis (98)
  17. Omaha (94)
  18. Chicago (91)
  19. Philadelphia (90)
  20. Baltimore (87)

At the U.S. State Level, here is the complete list:

  1. Hawaii (0)
  2. Florida (14)
  3. California (18)
  4. Alabama (27)
  5. Louisiana (27)
  6. Mississippi (28)
  7. Arizona (33)
  8. Georgia (35)
  9. Texas (45)
  10. Tennessee (46)
  11. Arkansas (46)
  12. South Carolina (48)
  13. Nevada (59)
  14. North Carolina (60)
  15. Oregon (61)
  16. Kentucky (62)
  17. Missouri (68)
  18. New Mexico (72)
  19. West Virginia (73)
  20. Oklahoma (73)
  21. Washington (75)
  22. Illinois (78)
  23. Virginia (78)
  24. Indiana (80)
  25. Utah (81)
  26. Ohio (82)
  27. Kansas (84)
  28. Maryland (85)
  29. Iowa (85)
  30. Idaho (86)
  31. Pennsylvania (89)
  32. Delaware (89)
  33. Wisconsin (92)
  34. New Jersey (96)
  35. Colorado (99)
  36. Michigan (101)
  37. Minnesota (101)
  38. Alaska (101)
  39. New York (102)
  40. Nebraska (103)
  41. Connecticut (106)
  42. Rhode Island (107)
  43. Wyoming (107)
  44. Montana (108)
  45. Massachusetts (111)
  46. Vermont (112)
  47. New Hampshire (115)
  48. South Dakota (119)
  49. North Dakota (120)
  50. 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, SecureVideo.com is standing ready to help you telecommute in a HIPAA-compliant way.

UPDATE:

Full list of cities is here: http://blog.securevideo.com/2014/09/23/u-s-cities-barometric-pressure-variation-full-list/

 

86 replies
  1. Katherine
    Katherine says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Deborah Reeves
      Deborah Reeves says:

      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

      Reply
      • JT Taylor
        JT Taylor says:

        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://www.securevideo.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.

        Reply
        • Jay
          Jay says:

          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..

          https://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:33433.1.99999?sp=KFLBOCAR35

          Reply
          • JT Taylor
            JT Taylor says:

            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.

  2. Jerry landau
    Jerry landau says:

    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???

    Reply
  3. Jonathan (JT) Taylor
    Jonathan (JT) Taylor says:

    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.

    Reply
    • jerry landau
      jerry landau says:

      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.

      Reply
    • J Glass
      J Glass says:

      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.

      Reply
    • LYNNE
      LYNNE says:

      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.

      Reply
      • JT Taylor
        JT Taylor says:

        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.

        Reply
  4. Tyler
    Tyler says:

    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.

    Reply
  5. Jonathan (JT) Taylor
    Jonathan (JT) Taylor says:

    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.

    Reply
  6. Gayle
    Gayle says:

    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

    Reply
  7. K Cruz
    K Cruz says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Nick
      Nick says:

      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.
      Thanks

      Reply
  8. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    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!

    Reply
  9. Jonathan (JT) Taylor
    Jonathan (JT) Taylor says:

    #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.

    Reply
  10. Gail
    Gail says:

    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,

    Reply
  11. Karen
    Karen says:

    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?

    Reply
    • Onebigheadache
      Onebigheadache says:

      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!!

      Reply
    • joy
      joy says:

      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.

      Reply
  12. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    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 🙂

    Reply
  13. Ellen (@JesusLivess)
    Ellen (@JesusLivess) says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Onebigheadache
      Onebigheadache says:

      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.

      Reply
      • Gail
        Gail says:

        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.

        Reply
  14. Greg M
    Greg M says:

    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?

    Reply
  15. Jan Nix
    Jan Nix says:

    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,
    Jan

    Reply
  16. Jan Nix
    Jan Nix says:

    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

    Reply
    • Onebigheadache
      Onebigheadache says:

      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.

      Reply
    • Onebigheadache
      Onebigheadache says:

      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.

      Reply
  17. smj34
    smj34 says:

    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!

    Reply
  18. Bonnie Barkevich
    Bonnie Barkevich says:

    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.

    Reply
  19. Jan P
    Jan P says:

    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.

    Reply
  20. Luke
    Luke says:

    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.

    Reply
  21. Glow
    Glow says:

    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.

    Reply
  22. Holger
    Holger says:

    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?

    Reply
    • JT Taylor
      JT Taylor says:

      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.

      Reply
  23. Angie
    Angie says:

    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.

    Reply
  24. Lainee
    Lainee says:

    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?

    Reply
  25. Kevin C.
    Kevin C. says:

    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.

    Reply
  26. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    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.

    Reply
  27. Tom
    Tom says:

    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.

    Reply
  28. Ty
    Ty says:

    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.

    Reply
    • Harry Pumfy Lion
      Harry Pumfy Lion says:

      Dear Ty
      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 pumfy3@gmail.com)

      Thank u God for guiding me to this site.

      Reply
      • JT Taylor
        JT Taylor says:

        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.

        Reply
  29. Jp
    Jp says:

    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.

    Reply
  30. SFarrell
    SFarrell says:

    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!

    Reply
  31. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    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

    Reply
  32. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    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.

    Reply
  33. Erica
    Erica says:

    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)

    Reply
  34. Ana Gomez
    Ana Gomez says:

    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?

    Reply
  35. Guido Barcelona
    Guido Barcelona says:

    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.

    Reply
  36. Lindiana
    Lindiana says:

    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!

    Reply
  37. Dee
    Dee says:

    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!

    Reply
  38. Gem
    Gem says:

    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.

    Reply
  39. George M.Chamberland
    George M.Chamberland says:

    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?

    Thanks,
    George M.

    Reply
  40. George M.Chamberland
    George M.Chamberland says:

    Also thanks for all the awesome information and your hard work.
    I have already shared it with a friend.

    George M.

    Reply
  41. Harvey Mungroid
    Harvey Mungroid says:

    Hello.
    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.
    Harvey M

    Reply
  42. Kristal H
    Kristal H says:

    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.

    Reply

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  1. […] a previous article, Avoiding Migraines Resulting from Changes in Barometric Pressure, we used pressure-induced migraines as an example of why a clinician might need to relocate from […]

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