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Low Pressure Headaches
by: Christopher

I have Epilepsy, a previous C5 fracture, and two separate TBIs. For the past 25 years I have been deeply affected by the dropping barometer. I have been in, or near, six hurricanes and have lost consciousness each time. I have also been so incapacitated on an airplane(flying through a storm) that I needed assistance from EMTs upon landing.
High pressure is my friend. I wondered about what it might be like to get inside a hyperbaric chamber in a (low pressure) time of need. I have climbed into my car and laid in the backseat with the windows up and the A.C. On as high as it could go. I think it may have helped some. I tried to create a mini high-pressure system.

Christopher

Answer:

Hi Christopher,

Interesting concept. There has been research done in this area an the results showed that some people with acute severe migraine did benefit from hyperbaric treatment. There is only one problem..the cost is about$30-40,000 per treatment. There are very few chambers in the US and they are are localized near the shore except for us in Buffalo. We have the chamber that serves all the divers in the Great Lakes. That is what they are for really, for treatment of "the bends" or nitrogen narcosis.

Now another study also looked at using Oxygen during migraine, similar to using it during a cluster headache and again, some people got benefit. We have it in our infusion center and it did help me once.

One of my patients has a son with Cerebral Palsy. She had him enrolled in a research study which involved hyperbaric treatments...she would get in the chamber with him for an hour or so during the treatments. Her migraines would disappear for up to 2 months afterwards! Unfortunately they always came back.

In your case, I suspect that the head injuries may have caused microscopic damage to those areas of the brain responsible for regulating blood pressure in the body. There are theories about this in TBI work but only a specialist could verify it...try to stay WELL hydrated before weather changes.

Mary Kay


Anoxic TBI
by: Concerned Mom

My (now)13 y.o. son had accident 2 1/2 yrs ago, and we have wonderful doctors at TIRR in Houston, Tx that take care of him. We have had several bumps in the road, most we can deal with. But we have had spells where he crys for days non-stop. At this moment we are on hour #19. Great nurses and great family we all take turns helping with him as it is emotionally draining to not be able to do anything to help him. We have tried some pretty serious pain and muscle medications and nothing touches it. We have been in need of rain for quite some time, and it finally came in our area yesterday (a little after he started crying). I had the neurosurgeon do a CT and Xray of his head to make sure his shunt is working/set properly. I have unfortuntley become a pro at this. The radiologist (we have become friends with) reads the tests and lets us know if we need to head over to the hospital. He did not see any need for concern, so we came home. Now this does not mean his VP shunt does not need to be adjusted, just means there is no immediate danger. One of his nurses mentioned another patient that had headaches from the barometric pressure. Since he can't tell us, we can only guess. Anybody have any thoughts or ideas of what we should do ?

Answer

Hi,
Without a more complete history I am not sure how I can help. He sounds like a complex patient so I would highly advise you find a board certified headache specialist in your area who can guide his care. He should be followed by both a neurosurgeon for the shunt and a neurologist (headache specialist) for general neurological care.

Houston is well known for it's TBI care so I am a bit surprised no one referred him to a specialist for headache. Most adult neurologists will see a teenager. Ask around to see who is the best in your area.

Good luck..
Mary Kay

Where is a good place to live in regards to baromteric presure?
by: Anonymous

I have been struggling with severe headaches for over 20 years due to a head injury. I have tried every possible drug and none has long term effects of sustained pain relief. I had lived in eastern Pennsylvania near Phila. for most of my life and felt the high humiidity was a trigger? Relocating to the Phoenix area 2 years ago in hopes of a dry climate that may help reduce my pain intensity. I was told by a migraine specialist that I picked a tough area to live due to the barometric pressure issues here. As I get older I find that I am less tolerating of the intense pain and am amazed that I continue to survive. Do you agree with what I have been told that the Phoenix area is most difficult to live if one has migraines?

If so, where on the East Coast would be a better area? I moved here to find relief.....and will move again if I can have some pain relief. I have had recent success with imitrex nasal spray and oxycodone every few days just to get some relief. However, I do not want to take them daily.

I anxiously await your information.
Thank you.

John in Phoenix

Hi John,

I have not heard of any place in the US that doesn't have pressure changes. You can pretty much look at the weather maps and see the fronts sweeping across the US. It is almost as if a "wave of headaches" is headed my way when it starts.

Did you read the comments about Magnesium? It may help but with post traumatic headache you might do better visiting a clinic that offers in patient treatment for headache. In the mid west it would be the Mayo clinic, in the east it is Michigan Head and Pain or Jefferson Headache Clinic in Philadelphia. You may have to do some research in your area and ask your doctor what is nearby.

Anyone else is welcome to post any information about areas that may have less pressure changes.

Mary Kay

Barometric pressure headaches
by: Scott

Hello, I've been having these stinking headaches for a few years now, especially when there is a low pressure system near where I live. East coast of Maryland. 800 mg of motrin doesn't do a thing for the headaches, my doctor referred me to a neurologist, he suggested that depression hurts. I haven't been back since, never have I been diagnosed with depression, This headache only happens with low pressure close by. I think that my doctor thinks I'm a little bit paranoid. What can be done or meds to take. Pain is usually on one side left side. eye feels tired, and almost feel like not doing anything. Sincerely,

Mr. Headache.

Hi Mr Headache (Scott)

Barometric pressure changes (like pressure changes of flying) do indeed cause migraine. If you have been reading on my site you will see that magnesium might help.

Try 800 mg per day for at least 90 days. This allows the receptors in the brain to catch on so to speak.

Find another neurologist! Preferably one who specializes in headache. I believe that Johns Hopkins has a good headache center and there is also one outside DC. You will probably be taken a bit more seriously by someone who hears this all the time like I do.

Good luck!
Mary Kay

PS..grew up in Maryland and spent many happy summers in Ocean City..

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