Determining whether a person suffers from Barometric Pressure Headaches, and the specific conditions under which their headaches develop, will involve keeping a Headache Diary. This will contain a record of various parameters, in particular barometric pressure, which is measured using an instrument called a barometer. However, the ability to note both temperature (Thermometer), humidity (Hygrometer) and elevation (Altimeter) would be advantageous (refer to Factors Affecting Barometric Pressure). Given that some people may be affected by certain combinations of these variables, it would be prudent to record such data e.g. if a migraineur is barometric pressure sensitive, their migraines are often associated with conditions involving higher barometric pressure, especially in combination with elevated temperatures (refer to What is a Barometric Headache).
The value of a headache diary will only be as good as the quality of the information it contains and the duration it has been kept. Although data can be obtained from various sources such as radio, internet etc., it tends to be generalized and not specific for one’s exact location. Having access to your own equipment is recommended, in particular a good quality barometer, because:
- Headaches can develop any time and being able to note precise measurements at these times is essential.
- The reading taken will be geo-specific i.e. precise for your location.
- Modern equipment is small and compact which means it is easy to transport if you go on vacation. Given that a headache diary will need to be kept for many months it is highly likely that this will cover at least one holiday/vacation period.
- Digital equipment can often store data for a number of days and allow the information to be uploaded to a PC. This makes spotting trends and patterns easier, as the data can be presented in easily viewed graphical format.
The following sections will cover:
- Types of barometer.
- Why barometers are calibrated.
- Barometers and other equipment required for keeping a headache diary.