Pressure change headaches...

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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 1/1/2014 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Could these be migraine headaches?

I've always (40 yrs) had some sensitivity to pressure changes (weather changes, barometric pressure changes), but nothing a little sinus medication couldn't handle.

But in the last 3-4 months changes in weather pressure are setting off headaches that are much worse in nature. Throbbing behind nose & eye, pounding in the top of the head, throbbing all over head & neck, throbbing worse on one side & neck.

[In the same 3-4 month time period, I have increased Wellbutrin XL from 200 mg to 450 mg per day to my regime - no other identifiable changes in behaviors, etc, and still happens only with pressure changes.]

Nothing I do seems to stop them. I end up turning the AC down to 60, taking ibuprofen, sinus medication, putting ice on neck, cool cloth over eyes, even taking Vicodin (I have on hand for other chronic condition). Sometimes a Coke or Dr Pepper will help bring a little relief.

When I look online for these kinds of headaches, I find lots of evidence that pressure headaches are real, but nothing on treatment options.

Where do I look for help? GP, ENT, Neuro? Just not sure where these fall in the headache category or where to start trying to unravel the mystery.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 1/1/2014 6:53:00 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 1/5/2014 12:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I would definitely go to neurologist to make sure nothing is physically there that is causing the problems. As far as an ENT goes, I saw one for a while and I have sinusitis which can cause a lot of pressure and discomfort but I think what your describe is more in line with a migraine. I have taken a lot of different things for my migraines and most OTC stuff don't help me. Some people have luck with things like dologic. I had luck with ponstel but I can't take NSAIDS because of UC. tripthans can help in a lot of cases but it's a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for you. it also depends whether you're having migraines regularly, if they are daily, a preventative may work better than an abortive. I used an antidepressant for a while but eventually I stopped because I didn't want to take an additional pill everyday.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: 6mp (25mg) + Lialda (2400mg) + Canasa (1g PM)

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Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 1/6/2014 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My migraines are primarily caused by the barometric pressure changes as storms roll in or out of the area. I've been to a number of drs over the years, and there hasn't been any treatment other than pain meds for mine so far. You could still see if there's something wrong with your sinuses, but regular ibuprofen alone is probably not going to cut it for you. The best meds are either something with acetaminophen or ibuprofen mixed with caffeine and aspirin. You said you can't take NSAIDs, but ibuprofen is one, right? The key for mine is to make sure the caffeine is there (you won't need to add a softdrink that way, which is not so good for you anyway) and if you can take a low dose of aspirin mixed in, that's helpful. (Many of these coctail pain relievers are labeled "Migraine relief" - just check the ingredients) You most likely ARE having migraines if they're related to the pressure changes in your area, so don't be shy to begin trying some of the various anti-migraine meds available. I start with regular pain meds as I described here, but will take a prescription drug for the worse ones. You have to work to find the ones that work the fastest and most effectively for you (and ask for generic - non are SUPER expensive). Maybe you can ask for some samples from you doc to start the search there. In addition, a decongestant may be helpful to relieve the pressure in your sinuses. I hope these help! Best of luck and blessings to you :)

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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 1/7/2014 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, WatchmansMoon,

I wasn't sure that weather/pressure-instigated headaches would be considered migraines or not. And I had no idea that "migraine relief" OTC would have a combo of ibuprofen, caffeine, and aspirin -- I wasn't even reading the ingredients of the over-the-counter ones so I'll start looking for something there.

At least with using one med I'll be sure I don't have a bad mix (from doing sinus med, ibuprofen, caffeine, etc myself in poor proportions), and maybe I can catch it earlier.

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