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Does high humidity make headaches worse?

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Unread 07-25-2012, 05:42 PM   #1
xanadu00
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Default Does high humidity make headaches worse?

I have noticed that on really humid days, when the dew point is around 70 or higher, just walking around outside slowly gives me a headache after about 15 min. This is the only time that this sort of activity gives me headaches. Ordinarily, I can tolerate moderately paced walks of at least a half mile without any symptoms.

Does anyone know whether high humidity makes PCS symptoms worse, and if so, why? Has anyone else experienced this?
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Unread 07-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Enviromental

Nearly any stress makes my headaches worse. But clear winner is heat. If its 80+ and 70 % humidity even a short walk is a gamble. Today it got me a migrain just going out to mail some items. Took me hours to feel better.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
Mark in Idaho
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xanadu,

You are mixing dew point and humidity (actually relative humidity). Relative humidity is a percentage. Dew point is a temperature. If the relative humidity is 99% and the temperature is 80 degrees, the dew point is about 79 degrees.

A dew point of 70 degrees means there is a lot of water vapor in the air. It makes the heat penetrating since there is very little evaporative cooling. It also displaces oxygen in the air and can lead to a bit of oxygen deprivation that will cause a head ache. It can be rough on asthmatics.
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59 years old, retired due to disability, married 34 years, father of three, grandfather of four, Suffered a serious concussion at 10 years old (1965) stopped most driving after concussion at 46 years old (2001), Post Concussion Syndrome/Multiple Concussion/Impact Syndrome with PTSD, immediate/short term visual and auditory memory problems, slowed processing speed, visual/auditory processing difficulties, insomnia, absence seizures, OCD, 14 concussions since first concussion at 8 years old, Taking paroxetine for 14 years and gabapentin for 12 years. Added L-Tryptophan and stopped paroxetine after 3 months of tapering. I currently take 500 mgs of L-Tryptophan AM, 500 mgs noon, and 500 mgs PM.


As of Nov 15th, Due to high stress issues resulting in PTSD, docs put me on 3 meds. Clonazepam but only for 30 days ) .125 mgs twice daily (Doc presc. .25 mgs 2x daily but half a tablet is good) , citalopram (Celexa), an SSRI , and olanzapine (Zyprexa), an atypical anti-psychotic that usually causes weight gain before bed. I lost over 30 pounds since mid July. It just stopped the weight loss. Took me off the gabapentin. I am feeling better than I have in years.

This great feeling only lasted a month. Back to the same old PCS doldrums.

May 2014, I am off the olanzapine due to a 6 fold price increase. Back on 600 mgs of gabapentin before bed.

I am also taking L-Theanine to help with GABA regulation


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Unread 07-26-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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along this line I have a question.
What kind of information can I arm myself with when approaching my boss about an event I agreed to do outside?

It is going to be hot and humid in the evening. However, the event is only 3 hours, and I am supposedly not doing anything physical. But, I usually have issues with headaches/increased heart rate/dizziness in the heat, even just sitting.


I don't want to be overly anxious about it, or over analyze the situation (which i know i sometimes do), but I do want to protect myself and take precautionary measures if needed. I already tried to say something to the boss once already, and he said, "well the squad will be nearby anyway, we can always call them over if you have an issue."

Any advice would be great. (even if it is Cowboy up and Do it, I will take it)
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Unread 07-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
xanadu00
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Thank you, Mark, but I didn't mix anything up. I know the difference between dew point (absolute measure of humidity) and relative humidity.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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Dolfinwolf,

Maybe you could bring a cooler with a lot of ice and wet washcloths to help you cool down. I agree that the fact that you already agreed to do the event makes it tricky.
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Unread 07-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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What about a cooling vest? There are many companies that make them now, this is one, http://www.glaciertek.com/ No idea on costs, but might make you more comfortable?
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Unread 07-26-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Starr,

Have you tried Xanax for unavoidable and emergency situations like this? If you never tried don't. But if you have increased heart rate and dizziness this may help (which does for me). It has been a month since I took but I carry it when I go out which helps psychologically too.

xanadu00: If it is real crappy outside my symptoms goes up. Like today it is going to be around 105 with heat index (?) and I can feel the effects. Now I started to expose myself deliberately to this heat. DeSensitize the brain and body. Yesterday I felt good bcuz temperature was great (less humidity) and we don't get that quite often here this time of year.


Cheers!
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Unread 07-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #9
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ahhh, thank you for the ideas!

Xanadu, I didn't even THINK of a cooler! totally taking one in 2 weeks!

Starr, I had never heard of a cooling vest, just checked out the link, not badly priced as far as wanting the comfort of not getting overheated...
(my budget isn't great, but maybe I can talk my mom into helping out...)

pcslife, my pdoc had previously mentioned something about an antianxiety to help with my depression/anxiety due to the PCS so it is definitely something I can look into....
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So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.
2 Corinthians 4:16
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Unread 07-27-2012, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Does anyone know whether high humidity makes PCS symptoms worse, and if so, why? Has anyone else experienced this?
I'm the opposite. I'm fine in the heat because it doesn't feel hot to me I'm always cold. I'll be out in a sweater when others are in tube tops. I don't sweat. My problem is more of the pressure in the sky like when a storms approaching.
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