Sinus Headaches

Low Barometric Pressure & Fatigue

May 6, 2020

6 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

The idea of low barometric pressure fatigue is just one example of how conversations around weather and changes in barometric pressure are changing. In other words, not all weather talk is small talk, especially with regard to our health.

People have long suspected that changes in weather and barometric pressure induce changes in our bodies. We’ve heard the stories of a grandma or grandpa’s knee hurting before a thunderstorm so many times because it is not, in fact, “just a story.” 

But science has, only relatively recently, begun to follow up on these anecdotes with studies. More and more, scientists have begun to ask questions not only regarding how changes in the weather affect us physically (for example, how are barometric pressure and our sinuses linked?)  but how these physical changes affect us mentally. 

On top of sinus issues, how does low barometric pressure affect mood? Can it make you tired, or anxious? And if so, why? 

We are still learning about the effects of barometric pressure changes in our lives, but here is an overview of what we know so far with regard to high and low barometric pressure symptoms, including symptoms such as fatigue. 

What is low barometric pressure? 

Barometric pressure, also called atmospheric pressure, is how we measure the “weight” of the atmosphere. The weight of the atmosphere goes up and down depending on your altitude, the temperature, the air’s moisture content, and the air’s density. 

Low barometric pressure can be indicated weather-wise by a storm. That’s because, when atmospheric pressure decreases, air rises and is condensed into water, causing it to fall back down as rain. 

For more information on how barometric pressure works and how rain and your sinus symptoms interact, check out our article on why many people often get a sinus headache when it rains.

How does low barometric pressure affect the body? 

Just like changing barometric pressure affects the weather, it can also affect your body. Take our sinuses, for example. Our body — including its sinuses, which are filled by air — is constantly “pushing out” against the atmospheric pressure (about 15 pounds per square inch) that’s pushing down on your body. 

When the atmospheric pressure changes, the pressure in our sinuses is no longer in equilibrium with the pressure on the outside of our bodies and can cause sinus headaches, a situation made worse if you have issues like congestion, allergies, a sinus infection, or other sinus problems.

Wondering whether you have a sinus headache or not? Check out our article: How do you know if you have a sinus headache?

Changes in pressure may also affect the constriction of our veins (and thus your blood pressure), the amount of oxygen in your body, and more. 

How your body reacts to low barometric pressure 

  • A pressure difference between lower pressures outside of the body and higher pressures inside the sinuses, leading to sinus headaches and pressure 
  • A reduction in blood pressure, which can result in dizziness and blurred vision
  • When accompanied by the cold, a drop in barometric pressure can increase the viscosity (thickness) of the blood, which in turn can make it hard for diabetics to control their blood sugar and, in turn, their energy. 
    • Weather-related blood sugar dips and their resultant energy drop are often referred to as low barometric pressure fatigue.   
  • A change in the viscosity of the sacks of fluid around joints, causing joint pain. 

How your body reacts to high barometric pressure 

  • High barometric pressure can contribute to constricted veins and increase in blood pressure, resulting in an increased likelihood in heart attacks 

So, can lower barometric pressure make you tired or fatigued?

In short: yes, especially if you have issues with your blood sugar. However, you may also feel fatigued because of other factors associated with low blood pressure. These factors might include sleepiness caused by a lack of sunlight during stormy weather or weariness from fighting off sinus-related symptoms and/or joint pain.

At the same time, if your sinuses are acting up, they may also be the root cause of your fatigue, with a change in barometric pressure being the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back.” If your sinus issues frequently contribute to issues with barometric pressure changes and fatigue, you may want to consider seeking treatment. 

Address your sinus-related barometric pressure problems at Kaplan Sinus Relief 

You can’t change the weather, but you can change how you approach the treatment of your sinus issues, which can in turn result in less fatigue and less sinus pressure and anxiety. For those who suffer from sinus issues such as frequent acute sinus infections, chronic sinus infections, or a chronic congestion and/or cough, the in-office, minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty treatment may offer a solution. 

During the balloon sinuplasty procedure, your doctor uses a small, inflatable balloon to expand and gently reconstruct anatomy of the sinus cavities, restoring proper drainage and allowing your body to respond with more ease to changes in barometric pressure. The procedure lasts under 20 minutes and has been shown to provide long-lasting relief. 

Dr. Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief is a leading provider of balloon sinuplasty and has traveled the country teaching ENTs how to perform this revolutionary procedure with the latest and safest technology, including IV sedation and TGS navigation. 

Whether your sinus issues are causing your fatigue or your fatigue is being exacerbated by sinus issues when the barometric pressure drops, Kaplan Sinus Relief is here to help. Read up on the latest balloon sinuplasty reviews and contact us today at 713-766-1818 or reach out online to request an appointment and discuss your options.

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