rain falling onto umbrella

Understanding the Connection Between Sinus Headaches and the Rain

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Many men and women who have frequent headaches feel the effects of the weather more prominently than other people. Rainy weather, for example, can have a profound effect on sinus pain and pressure and make common symptoms even worse than usual. In fact, scientific studies have shown that a rain headache is more than just an old wives’ tale. This article will explore the connection between sinus headaches and rain. It will also address the effects of pollen after rain on a barometric pressure headache and how to find relief from rainy allergy & headache symptoms.

The Many Headache Causes

There are a wide range of headache causes that affect adults, and they are sometimes the result of a sinus infection known as sinusitis. This type of infection can be triggered by an allergic reaction, like hay fever, or occur after a bad cold. Fungal infections and tumors can cause sinus infections and sinus headaches too.3 Changes in barometric pressure and pollen after rain can also affect sinus pain in some people as well.
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The Effects of Pollen After Rain

Rain has a way of washing pollen out of the air, which can reduce the overall pollen count in the air. This can make allergy symptoms actually subside in most people.1 But in others, rain can have the opposite effect, especially in the fall and winter seasons. This is because rain can increase the pollination levels in trees during cold weather and make pollen levels rise. Furthermore, heavy springtime rains tend to make grass grow quicker and cause problems for people who are allergic to grass. A few days after heavy rain, pollen counts will likely increase significantly due to plant growth.2

The Barometric Pressure Headache Phenomenon

The barometric pressure in the air changes frequently and without most people noticing it a majority of the time. However, individuals who regularly suffer from sinus headaches and migraines can feel this pressure disproportionately. This pressure is felt most commonly when pressures outside shift and affect small confined spaces like the sinuses and ears. Barometric pressure headache pain can last for a few hours or even a few days.4

How to Ease Rainy Allergy Symptoms

There is very little that can be done to control the weather, so it’s important for rain headache sufferers and those affected by rainy allergy symptoms to take control over their own conditions. It may also help to use OTC pain relievers and anti-nausea medications for symptoms of pain and nausea that are associated with rain headaches. For rainy allergy symptoms, many people choose pre-treatment measures to prevent rain headaches before they begin. This may include staying indoors as much as possible, using a HEPA filter, and stocking up on nasal sprays and antihistamines. Vanquish® is indicated for tension headaches. If you have a cluster headache, sinus headache, migraine headache or any other type of headache you may want to consult a doctor.
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References for Understanding the Connection Between Headaches and the Rain

  1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Pollen Defined. Retrieved on August 28, 2019 from https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions-dictionary/pollen
  2. Cleveland Clinic. 3 Conditions That Stormy Weather Can Make Worse. Retrieved on August 28, 2019 from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/3-health-conditions-that-stormy-weather-can-make-worse/
  3. Columbia University Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Sinusitis. Retrieved on August 24, 2019 from http://www.entcolumbia.org/staywell/document.php?id=33652
  4. Healthline. Understanding Barometric Pressure Headaches: How Does Weather Affect Your Headaches? Retrieved on August 28, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/health/headache/barometric-pressure-headache
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