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VERIFY: Can barometric pressure cause a migraine?

Can barometric pressure cause a migraine?


Do you ever feel like your head is splitting open? You have another debilitating migraine, and you don't know why. You've charted your food and your activity and nothing adds up. What gives?

Good Morning Show viewer Christine Grubb asked me to VERIFY: can changes in barometric pressure cause a person who suffers from migraines to have a migraine?


To VERIFY, we consulted meteorologist Ed Matthews, along with headache specialist Dr. Christine Hagen from the Novant Health Headache Clinic in Union Cross.


Ed explained barometric pressure is just a fancy term for atmospheric pressure.

Dr. Hagen explained many of her patients say they often feel worse during times of barometric changes. But, studies suggest no consistent relation between the two. One study found a correlation, but patients tended to over-report weather changes as triggers.

Dr. Hagen said it is difficult to identify headache triggers, because it could take multiple triggers to set off a migraine. Or, there is a lag time from the trigger to migraine onset.

There are apps migraine sufferers can use to track their daily routines and help identify triggers. The Migraine App is highly rated. Dr. Hagen recommends her patients try some of these apps but urges them to keep in mind there is usually more than one migraine trigger.


Studies and doctors suggest there's no concrete proof to conclude barometric pressure, alone, induces migraines. That's not to say it can't be a factor.