Is Hurricane Florence Causing People to Get Headaches?



Residents of the Southeast have been extraordinarily busy on social media this week debating storm trajectories and posting pictures of the latest flood damage; however, one item that has largely gone under the radar is the number of individuals complaining about suffering painful headaches.

Many individuals are referring to these as “hurricane headaches” and blaming their symptoms on the cyclonic storm that is now hammering the Carolinas.

Could the surge in individuals feeling migraine pain actually be related to the arrival of Hurricane Florence or is all of this some form of “hocus pocus science” and is merely coincidence?  Is it possible for ordinary people to feel headaches based upon something as simple as the arrival of a hurricane?

Unfortunately for the countless number of people who are suffering severe headaches this week, the answer is a resounding, “Yes”.

According to scientists and medical professionals, storms — particularly ones as large as Hurricane Florence — greatly lower the atmosphere’s barometric pressure, which according to substantial research is linked to increases in incidences of headaches.

Barometric pressure is the measurement of the amount of pressure in the air and the force that the outside air is exerting upon our bodies. Because our heads are pressurized, as our sinuses are filled with air, any change in this pressure can often affect headaches.

Dramatic drops in air pressure creates differing pressures outside of one’s head and inside their sinuses which can result in great pain, headaches, nausea, and even vomiting.

This is basically the exact thing that happens when one travels on an airplane. Once the plane takes off, the air pressure begins dropping as the plane moves into thinner air – this often results in ear popping and even head pain.  Plane cabins are now pressurized in order to help reduce this stress, but the literal pains of air travel is still a reality for many passengers.

Unfortunately, outside of treating the symptoms that are associated with “hurricane headaches”, there is very little that can be done to prevent them. But at least you know, yes, storms and particularly hurricanes have great potential to be a real life, true headache.

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