What Is in the air, it’s Giving Me a Headache?
You would think that “fresh air” is easy to come by, as it is a necessity for all life on this planet.
Well, we need to think again.
We have been polluting planet earth and its once “fresh air” is no longer so readily available for everyone to breathe. You may ask, what is in the air, it’s giving me a headache?
Depending on where you live in the world and what direction the wind is blowing, the air quality can be making you ill and causing you to suffer from migraines and other health-related issues.
Air Pollution Increases – So Do My Migraines!
As the human population increases throughout the world, so does the air pollution increase and it is impacting the air quality. Something so important to our general health.
With overcrowded cities and traffic congestion, factory production, bushfires, volcanic gases, animal production for food, forest burning or clearing, its no wonder the air if taking a battering.
Every day the air around us is being filled with pollutants and the quality of our air is put at risk. This then can cause us problems externally with our skin, hair and eyes, along with whatever its actually doing to us internally, with things like sore dry throat, blocked sinuses and not to mention our lungs.
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Are Migraines And Headaches Linked to Air Pollution?
In a study by the National Headache Foundation, they found that migraine headaches were mostly associated with individual air pollutants, while ozone was the pollutant mostly associated with headaches.
Health Is In The Air?
Well, it really feels like its all out of our control at times, it’s not that far from the truth, but we can help with the environmental air pollution. Remember, every little bit helps.
Some pollutants are caused naturally within nature, but some are caused by us and there are things that we can do to continue our daily lives and try and do our bit to help to reduce our planets air pollution.
The majority of air pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. These come from burning coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gases which are used to produce power and to keep our cars and other transportation moving.
Increased Carbon dioxide levels in the air are the result of increased fossil fuel burning and other pollutants. Breathing these in on a regular and continued basis is leading to increased health issues in people, including headaches and migraine symptoms.
We need clean fresh air to breathe for our basic survival. My migraines are definitely a symptom being caused by environmental pollution during certain times of the year.
Things You Can Do – How to Make a Pollution Difference!
- Using your personal car less. Try carpooling or using public transport to reduce traffic on the roads. Also when possible cycle or walk to where you’re going.
- Reduce energy consumption by turning off computers, lights, and any electrical appliances when they are not in use.
- Reduce energy consumption by using energy efficient light bulbs and other appliances.
- Try using electric or battery powered hand tools and lawnmowers as these use fewer fossil fuels.
- Only turn on the dishwasher and washing machine when they have a full load.
- Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Ensure containers of household cleaning products, and any garden chemicals are properly sealed when not in use to prevent them from evaporating into the air.
- Use solvent-free or water-based paints whenever possible or buy s “low VOC” products
(Low VOC contain less “Volatile Organic Compounds”)
Health Is In The Air – Can Bad Air Be Causing My Migraines?
It’s believed that the bad air quality is a cause for headaches and migraines in some people.
Breathing in unhealthy pollutants in the air during times of high air pollution is causing a variety of health concerns.
The air we breathe when we are driving in busy traffic, walking in the city streets, or from brush-fires or burn-offs is a major health concern for us all.
Managing and reducing our exposure to air pollution during times of high pollution is an important factor in protecting our immediate and long-term health.
My Personal Experience With Air Pollution – THE HAZE!
I lived in Asia for a period of time and found that during certain times of the year there would be burning of palm forests in countries like Indonesia. This was done to cheaply and quickly clear the land after for palm oil production.
Palm oil is used in many processed foods that we eat and also used in makeup and skin-care products. Just take a look at the ingredient listings, it can be listed as vegetable oil. This practice is causing environmental pollution issues with our air, soil, and water.
It had a huge impact on the air quality for months, not to mention the other environmental impacts on animals, the elderly, waterways and those with homes living near the fires, or within the wind direction of these fires.
During this time of “THE HAZE”, I would get constant migraine headaches, sore and puffy eyes, and blocked sinuses. There was the concern for my childrens’ health, they were so young at the time, and I now worried about the long-term impact to their health with them breathing this polluted air in over a period of a few months.
It really impacted our lifestyle at the time. What we could do after school hours was limited as we would need to keep indoors and playing outside in the “fresh air ” was not possible.
Although we wore masks to try and protect ourselves we would still hurry to get home and stay indoors with the air conditioner running so that we were not breathing in the haze and harmful air particles.
I would constantly be using the indoor air conditioner to try and minimise any effects on our health. We would continually be checking the air quality apps to see what the air quality was before we went outdoors, all wearing our face masks when walking outdoors to protect ourselves.
How Can I Minimise The Effect of Air Pollution On My Health?
This air quality is not only an environmental factor to blame for causing migraines and headaches but it also has other health concerns including our lungs, eyes, throat, and skin.
What can be done to protect us from this unhealthy air and help to protect our health and help towards preventing environmentally caused migraines?
10 Health Tips for Managing Air Pollution
- Before going outside on a Hazy day check the Air Quality. (Air Quality APPs)
- If the air quality is bad you can stay inside.
- If pollutants are high, make sure you drink lots of water.
- Make sure your air conditioners are serviced and cleaned regularly.
- A dehumidifier or an air conditioner can be used indoors. (remember to regularly clean these)
- Invest in some air purifying plants (Peace Lily, Aloe Vera, Boston Fern, Spider Plant)
- Ensure that your car’s air filter is regularly cleaned.
- If going outside wear a face mask to help protect yourself from the pollution. (Recommendation is N95/99 masks)
- Keep yourself covered up while outside in haze pollution.
- Do not smoke yourself or visit any social smoking areas. (both indoors or outdoors)
NEW Studies Show Air Pollution Risks for Migraine Sufferers
In the PubMed.gov there is a study in Seoul in 2018 that states that it “provides new evidence that air pollution exposure may trigger migraine especially on high-temperature days” and it also states that his finding may contribute in establishing preventive measures against a migraine. but personally, I want to find ways to help myself naturally without taking long-term medications.
There are numerous other studies showing that in some of our most populated cities with increased PM2.5 and PM10 readings that some people were prone to increased migraines.
The brochure below shows a more in-depth understanding of Air quality and how to interpret the readings, and what to do during times of increasing air pollution.
CLICK ON THE BROCHURE BELOW TO GET A MORE IN-DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF AIR POLLUTION BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.
If you are having headaches or migraine headaches you should always seek the advice of your Medical Professional to ensure that there are no other underlying problems causing your Migraines.