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Fans and migraines


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I've lately been having a hellacious run of migraines - as bad as any I've ever had.  Aura like a trip to Vegas.  Most often, the really bad ones seem to coincide with nasty weather systems blowing in, so I assume that changes in atmospheric pressure have something to do with it.  But there haven't been any nasty storms of late, just the usual midsummer Kentucky hot-and-humid.  The HVAC has been seizing up, so I had put on a fan to keep the bedroom tolerable.  It's one of those standing fans that sweeps back and forth 180° to distribute the air.

 

I noticed that a) the current outbreak of migraines coincided with my starting to use the fan, and b) I don't feel as bad when I turn off the sweep function so that it only blows in one direction.  It suddenly occurred to me, as the air swept across my face and then swept away again, that every time the fan blew directly at me, I was experiencing a small but perceptible increase in the pressure of the air on my face, and when it blew along another vector, that pressure decreased.  Basically, then, I think I've been subjecting my head to a vigorous atmospheric squeezing.

 

Anyone have any thougts on this hypothesis?

 

 

Cerberus

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Idk if this is related, but it sounds similar ... if I sleep with a fan blowing on my face, I will with no doubt wake up with a headache and sinus pain.  Not quite a migraine, but a bad headache.  However if I let the fan blow on my legs (or anywhere not near my face) I will wake up ok.

 

Not sure the reason why, but just wanted to let you know I can kind of relate.

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Anyone have any thougts on this hypothesis?

 

 

Cerberus

 

My thoughts are that you are spot on.  I have experienced the exact same thing and did this weekend.  I was sleeping in a room with a fan, woke up with a stuffed nose and a headache.  Luckily I caught it ontime with my migraine arsenal.

 

I have also had this issue at home with our overhead fan.  Your air conditioner is broken?  I think the fans are not causing as much sinus issues for me when the air conditioning is also on along with the fan.  For instance in the spring and in the fall when my windows are open and the fan is on, the sinus issues are worse.  Right now when it is so effing hot and humid out, our window unit is on in the bedroom along with the overhead fan.  The place I stayed at over the weekend had no a/c, just the fan.  Maybe a dehumidifier along with the fan would help?

 

Just know that for many years my sinus have definitely been affected by fans blowing during the night.

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Hot and humid is another trigger, and really hot weather, even without humidity. Wear a hat with a brim, or sunglasses, or both in the summer, the light is really bad. I actually wear both, and wear the hat when I go indoors. Especially florescent lights, but pretty much anywhere. If I have a headache, I am probably wearing sunglasses indoors as well.

 

Sometimes the hat hurts, which sucks, because I really do need it. But I don't know if hats bother most people if they are fitted properly (I'm a 7 and 1/4). The ones that are tight, or have an elastic around your head, can give you a hatband headache. Tight ponytails also can do this.

 

I think your theory on the fan is a good one. I recently found out that just changing altitude (San Jose to Salt Lake City) is like a drop in barometric pressure as well. I'm supposed to get used to it, but it's been 6 weeks. But we have weather, which we didn't have in San Jose very much, which may be part of it.

 

And I hope you start feeling better soon.

Edited by crtclms
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  • 2 weeks later...

Not to sound like a wacko (hahaha OH SYS THAT SHIP HAS SAILED) but have you seen an otolaryngologist?  Mine was very interested in the workings of my sinuses as regarded my migraines, and was actually disappointed when he stuck the camera up my nose and saw that they were clear and well-formed.  You could make some ENT doc's day, here, Cerberus!

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Warning, I am an odd crazy with a lots of neurological shit :P

 

At times, I will get that pressure just dropped feeling. And bad too, where it feels like a tornado is a mile away and ripping apart the atmosphere. What is it & why it occurs? I have no theory, so your hypothesis is as good as mine.

 

With the actual fan, I'm not sure if I relate. However I am one of those individuals who gets headaches when cold air is blowing straight in their face. Riding in the car, my windows are the preferred function for "cool" air. And I live in the deep south & it is mid summer, so that says something ROFL.

 

ETA I did not mention I tend to have chronic migraines & headaches. They were very bad for a few years about 2 years ago, and disappeared after a few months on Depakote. However recently the past couple months they have returned. My usual migraines have auras as well, and my brain does not discriminate from types of headaches. My headaches range from mild to severe, and they sometimes result into migraines. As well I have ice pick headaches, eyeball headaches, all over headaches, all day dull headaches, headaches that last a couple of seconds to minutes, and those once-in-a-while wake up in the morning with a headache headaches.

 

Life is grand-oise :P

Edited by Gibson
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