It’s an age-old question that every squeaky-kneed grandfather claims to know the answer to: Can inclement weather really be detected by our stiff, aging bodies? Turns out the answer is a resounding yes – and you don’t have to be a senior to experience it. To find out about some of the totally weird ways that bad weather affects your body, read on, as we’ve included at least a few here. And for more amazing facts about your body, see here to find out what walking on a treadmill does to your body, experts say.
It’s not just an old wives story: bad weather can cause headaches. In fact, in 2015, Japanese researchers found that headache drug sales were directly correlated with drops in barometric pressure, which occurs before very bad weather conditions. In a new article for The Conversation, Amanda Ellison, Ph.D, professor of neuroscience at Durham University, explains how it works.
“There are two mechanisms of action here,” she writes. “One is related to the sinuses – the four small air-filled cavities in the bones of the face. Just as people’s ears ‘pop’ when air pressure changes, changes in air pressure can create an imbalance. sinus pressure causing inflammation and pain. feels different depending on the sinus most affected, ranging from pain in the forehead, pain between and behind the eyes, pain in the face or a headache more diffuse in the front or back of the head. individual structure of your head. “
For what it’s worth, Ellison suggests chewing gum as a home remedy. “[It] can help equalize the pressure in your sinuses through your mouth, nose, and Eustachian tube (which runs from your middle ear to your throat and is very important for equalizing pressure) – and can prevent a headache from pressure. “
According to a seven-year study conducted by Japanese doctors and published in the journal Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, there is a link between a sudden drop in air pressure and water breakdown in pregnant women, also what she calls a “spontaneous” delivery. “A causal relationship was noted between the number of fetal membrane rupture, childbirth and barometric pressure, suggesting that low barometric pressure induces fetal membrane rupture and childbirth,” the study concludes.
The sinuses aren’t the only part of your body affected by a drop in pressure that triggers weather headaches. “The other way that headaches occur is related to how changes in pressure alter blood flow in the cerebrovascular system – which controls the flow of blood around your head,” Ellison writes. “Blood is highly toxic to neurons, so it is very important that the blood is separated from the brain. The blood vessels in the cerebrovascular system have receptors that activate if the blood vessels widen too much, acting as an early warning system that something is not. absolutely right. We perceive this activation as pain. “
Yes, that’s right: people can have an “old ticker” that predicts a storm. As Jaspal Singh, MD, of the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Comprehensive Spine Care in New York, explained: The New York Times, our joints react to changes in atmospheric pressure.
“At normal or higher pressure, when the atmosphere is heavier, it pushes against us from the outside, preventing the tissues in our body from expanding,” explains the NY Times. “But as the air pressure drops – as it does before wet, rainy, or snowy weather – bodily tissues have more room to expand. When they do, they can push against our joints, causing some people, especially those with injuries or arthritis, to feel aches and pains. “To learn more about your body, don’t miss The Surprising Ways Diet Soda Affects Your Body, according to experts.