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ok so odd that you should mention a hyperbaric chamber.. an alternative would be to use this thing that high altitude climbers use which is sort of a portable hyperbaric chamber of sorts .. I have also thought about diving underwater ,, 33ft will put and additional atmosphere on the body and squeeze anything that is expanding causeing the pain .. anyone here a scuba diver ???? 


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and lookey what I found reading this post .. hahaha 

Mic wrote at 2013-01-28 16:29:37

Dear Stephanie, I use water. Submerge yourself under the water in a full bathtub to change the pressure against my WHOLE body.

If you have a hot tub it is even better. Hope this helps, you do have to put your head under the water too.  If you hold your nose, it changes the pressure inside your sinus cavity as well as your head. 

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20 Major U.S. Cities with the Least Barometric Variation (days per year of >= .20 changes)

1.Honolulu (0 days per year)

2.Miami (4)

3.San Diego (7)

4.Los Angeles (7)

5.Tampa (11)

6.San Jose (14)

7.Sacramento (18)

8.San Francisco (18)

9.Phoenix (22)

10.New Orleans (22)

11.Jacksonville (22)

12.Birmingham (29)

13.Houston (29)

14.Atlanta (37)

15.San Antonio (37)

16.Austin (37)

17.Memphis (44)

18.Las Vegas (47)

19.Little Rock (48)

20.Charleson (48)

Not surprisingly, it is the southern cities which have the fewest days of variation.  The “worst” list reinforces this theme:

20 U.S. Cities with the Most Barometric Variation (days per year of >= .20 changes)

1.Augusta, Maine (128 days per year)

2.Rapid City, SD (127)

3.Montpelier, VT (117)

4.Bismarck, ND (117)

5.Boston (116)

6.Colorado Springs (113)

7.Denver (110)

8.Billings, MT (109)

9.Providence (109)

10.New Haven (105)

11.Cheyenne (105)

12.Anchorage (104)

13.Detroit (102)

14.New York City (99)

15.Buffalo (98)

16.Minneapolis (98)

17.Omaha (94)

18.Chicago (91)

19.Philadelphia (90)

20.Baltimore (87)

At the U.S. State Level, here is the complete list:

1.Hawaii (0)

2.Florida (14)

3.California (18)

4.Alabama (27)

5.Louisiana (27)

6.Mississippi (28)

7.Arizona (33)

8.Georgia (35)

9.Texas (45)

10.Tennessee (46)

11.Arkansas (46)

12.South Carolina (48)

13.Nevada (59)

14.North Carolina (60)

15.Oregon (61)

16.Kentucky (62)

17.Missouri (68)

18.New Mexico (72)

19.West Virginia (73)

20.Oklahoma (73)

21.Washington (75)

22.Illinois (78)

23.Virginia (78)

24.Indiana (80)

25.Utah (81)

26.Ohio (82)

27.Kansas (84)

28.Maryland (85)

29.Iowa (85)

30.Idaho (86)

31.Pennsylvania (89)

32.Delaware (89)

33.Wisconsin (92)

34.New Jersey (96)

35.Colorado (99)

36.Michigan (101)

37.Minnesota (101)

38.Alaska (101)

39.New York (102)

40.Nebraska (103)

41.Connecticut (106)

42.Rhode Island (107)

43.Wyoming (107)

44.Montana (108)

45.Massachusetts (111)

46.Vermont (112)

47.New Hampshire (115)

48.South Dakota (119)

49.North Dakota (120)

50.Maine (127)

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Hahaha. I started out in Louisiana as a low level chronic. Daily, but mild.

Moved to Florida and 5 years later, they were gone. Moved back to Louisiana with no re-emergence. About ten years pf total.

Moved to N.C. Still pf for several years. Then, they started in earnest. Initially about one week per year with severe Trigeminal Neuralgia to boot. Then, they escalated to the point that I started on Carpazamine.

Moved to the mountains. They kicked in the first fall. My first two sips of a beer resulted in shocking pain. After a few years, they were 6-8 months per year rather than 2-3 months.

Yep, baro severely affects me.

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Diving when the CH beast is here is a serious no, no.  Found that out by experience.  Twice went down PF, as I approached the surface CH attack started coming on.  By the time I hit the boat, a full on K8+.  No diving for me when CH is here.  (That said though, preventative dosing lets me stay PF and dive anytime I want! :)


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spiny so according to the state chart you went from  mild CH (27) to no CH (14) to major CH (60)   So maybe any state with a days of variation < 30 (maybe) might be better places to live ??

J ,, that's amazing ,, thank so much for that information.  Do you remember how deep the dive was ??  so decreased pressure expands everything,, its like you created your own test there ,, that is tremendous confirmation ! thank you !!

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Clearly remember those dives because of the CH coming on.  Was at about 85 FSW (Feet Sea Water) at depth.  So equates to approx 56 PSI at depth.  Gasses expand exponentially the last 20 feet or so before breaking the surface.  That's right when my CH started coming on, the last 10 feet or so from the surface. 

It was likely, similar to experiencing a serious variation of barometric pressure for a non diver. ;)


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If I could find and afford to move to some place that lacks quick, big down shifts in pressure, I would move in a heartbeat! :)

Moving to the mountains has been bad for my CH, but so has getting old! I have had them for over 40 years. Somewhere I read that female Cher's start to have it much rougher after 50 than earlier in their life. Mine have panned out that way for sure. I keep hoping for that age where they just go away because of age. 

It would be nice to have a positive pressure house!  ;D

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Moving to the mountains has been bad for my CH, but so has getting old! I have had them for over 40 years. Somewhere I read that female Cher's start to have it much rougher after 50 than earlier in their life. Mine have panned out that way for sure. I keep hoping for that age where they just go away because of age. 

I too can attest to that fact.  Had these things my entire life, but that was just a tease of what the dragon had in store for me after I turned 50.

My hubby is a certified divemaster, it was hard for him to talk me into going down with him ( he likes to go into wrecks...and caves../shudder) but the first few times I went were of  no consequence as far as CH goes....but THMH is correct in that

Diving when the CH beast is here is a serious no, no.  Found that out by experience.  Twice went down PF, as I approached the surface CH attack started coming on.  By the time I hit the boat, a full on K8+.

And attacks when you are out on the water....well thats just rubbing our faces in it...frickin beast.

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Get the hubby and yourself down here to FL and we'll dive the muddy soup called the Gulf of Mexico!! :)  It's stone crab season.  I actually enjoy the shadows swimming over me as I'm rooting around in the rocks (in the bay).  It takes some getting use to.  (hammer heads and bull sharks in the bay).  Some people can't do it and get too creeped out because of the 3 foot visibility and repeated shadows going over you.  ha ha.  perfectly safe as long as you stay on the bottom :) 


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If you want to get really deep in the hole, take a look at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857910/#R29, the part headed "weather" (and maybe the one after it, on "electromagnetic fields").

Most of this is about migraine. Many people with migraine, like many people with CH, are convinced that barometric pressure is a kind of trigger.  I don't doubt for a second that for CH there's at least some truth to that--too many people have reported it for it not to have some kind of validity.  And what about the way that flying triggers CH for so many people? (Is it also considered a migraine trigger? I don't know.)  But it appears the jury is out about what specific atmospheric changes affect migraine/CH, and whether they have that effect independently, or only in combination with other factors.  I guess people find this valuable to study not just to know if there's a connection of some sort, but also because you can learn something from triggers about what's going on physiologically during a migraine or CH attack.

Here are a few more things:

Founder of the New York Headache Center, who has a whole blog section about CH: >> It does not appear that barometric pressure or allergies are responsible for triggering cluster headaches.<< http://www.nyheadache.com/blog/category/cluster-headaches     More about this one in a minute.

Big headache guy at the Cleveland Clinic: >>Results are inconsistent regarding the effect of barometric pressure on non-migraine headaches. Surprisingly, recent studies show no effect of barometric pressure on migraine headaches, but there really arenÂ’t enough studies to say for certain.<< https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/krause_headaches_and_migraines

Here's more from the NY Headache Center guy: (who I don’t like, for reasons that will be obvious if you look at his blog, but who does seem to collecting possibly interesting data). This is from late last month: >>>Looking at our data, we have found that in some years many cluster patients developed their attacks in August, another year, in November, and this year, it has been September – October. This year, we are also seeing many patients whose cluster headaches are not responding to usual treatments. It does not appear that barometric pressure or allergies are responsible for triggering cluster headaches. One unsubstantiated theory is that solar activity is responsible for bringing on cluster headaches. This report in the Wall Street Journal indicates that we are currently going through a period of an unusually intense solar activity. Perhaps this is why some of our cluster patients are having unusually severe headaches.<<<

Then there is the recent study in which they dramatically lowered barometric pressure to see the results on the brains and trigeminal neurons of rats. Here's what's been said about it (basically, no causation): >>Messlinger and colleagues describe the experimental conditions they created to evaluate the effect of low atmospheric pressure in a climate controlled room. They investigated whether rapid (8 min) lowering of the ambient pressure (by 40 hPa) to an extremely low level (comparable to that of a typhoon) induces neuronal activity in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis in rats. Their study revealed that by only changing barometric pressure, there was no triggering of trigeminovascular neurons with receptive fields from dura mater or from both dura mater and cornea. Even the prior sensitization by a nitric oxide donor did not alter their response to low atmospheric pressure. The activation of neurons with receptive fields from dura mater are critical since their activation results in neurogenic inflammation characterized by vasodilation, blood flow increase and plasma protein extravasation in the dura mater. All this is a hallmark of the headache phase of migraine.<< http://www.headachejournal.org/view/0/HeadacheExtra.html  This author goes on to suggest (as best as I can understand it) that it's not the change in pressure that matters, but the activation of Saharan dust (back to your something-inhaled theory).

Here's a meta-analysis from 2011: >>We conclude that the available data suggest low atmospheric pressure unaccompanied by other factors does not trigger migraine." http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01996.x 

It's a deep hole, once you climb into it.  There's a lot more out there.

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"It's a deep hole, once you climb into it"

thanks for the ladder  ;)

well the posts from the divers here support my thinking that pressure changes do in fact trigger clusters. Since every 33ft is another atmosphere. I would be very interested if diving while in the middle of a cluster headache would abort it.  now that's just crazy talk because i'm sure the patient would drown in this experiment.  flying in an airplane, going to the mountains, coming up from diving all change the pressure on the body and all seem to trigger CH's   AT TIMES.  hmm 

the guy from New York talking about solar flares seems like a nutter right off the bat. but who knows.

We have almost zero lightening days here in So Cal ,, but we do have days with a lot of "static" electricity in the air. Especially when the Santa Ana Winds come along. which explains cluster phases in  Oct. Nov.  now this year our Santa Anas came late ,, maybe why my sons CH phase came late.  So Barometric pressure is going to change (drop) allowing for storms to get sucked into an area which may or may not discharge electricity but will most likely create "static" in the air. 

I think I will stick to the pressure angle since some divers here have confirmed it and I have seen my son suffer going to our mountain home at 7,000 ft. 

I just wonder now what the combination is. barometric pressure + allergens ??  barometric pressure + less sunlight (less vitamin D) that wouldn't explain spring clusters though.

ok more reading

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oh .. sorry ,, I wanted to add about the rats thing ,, I don't think using rats is a valid test unless these rats suffer cluster headaches ..  since most of the population does not suffer from cluster headaches ,, testing  random rats would be like testing random people.  Now get a room full of CH's and lower the pressure and see what happens.  Also that would tend to hold up my thinking that the pain is not eminating from the Trigimenal Nerve but the brains responding to it. 

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Hey didgens,

Don't you wonder if some people don't have a big enough D drop till spring? My first vitamin check put me about 30. In August. After gardening all summer in the sun. Yes, I do go without sun screen for at least 30 minutes in the sun when I am out.

Anyway, perhaps some people still have enough D to get them thru most of the winter and early spring?

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Yes especially in areas where being "shut in" during the winter is a regular thing ,, (which is most of the middle of the country right now).  Here in So Cal we are still in shorts.  I have mentioned in the past that this starting "on average" in males around 19ish ,, gave me a weird (I know) thought ,, because my son was in marching band till he graduated high school he received MUCH sunlight, once out of high school he basically went vampire on me and stays up all night playing video games..  that's when his CH's started. less exposure to sunlight on a regular basis.   So multiple triggers ,,,  Barometric pressure,,, Food or Drink ,,, Lack of sufficient Vit D, low hormone levels.  hmm so maybe all of these things cause vaso-dialation,, but if they cause vaso-dialiation in CH's I guarantee you they cause Vaso-dialation in normies ... why do CH's have pain ,, and normies don't.   some argue its in the brain,  some argue its structural. 

me I think there is a vein/artery oddly placed or bone structure that when dialated puts pressure on one of the ganglions.   some people get really bad sciatica because the sciatic nerve runs behind the piriformis muscle.  when that muscle "clinches" or tightens on the sciatic nerve it causes pain. Its not TRUE sciatica but the pain is the same.. I feel like this is what's happening..   

ponder ponder 

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You are definitely an anomaly, and I love you for it. :)  Your drive to get to the root of CH, leaving no stone unturned, is commendable.

One thing that I haven't seen you explore though is the genetic angle, maybe because it doesn't seem to apply with your son. 

But I am not in the same boat.  I have two brothers that have been diagnosed ECH.  To me, that is a little too coincidental to ignore.  CB is working on (and close to) doing a genetic study using DNA.  I eagerly await the results from this study.


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