Pressure questions: Elevation and Colds

Hello all-
I am a new member to this forum, but have been viewing posts and looking at information for the last few months. I am still going through doctors trying to figure out what’s causing my dizziness. My husband and I are looking for any unusual triggers we can think of.

I was wondering if anyone here started getting symptoms after moving to a significantly different elevation? I moved from the mountains to the ocean (I live on a salt water river, so am right at sea level) and I started getting symptoms after I moved.

Also, I am mostly symptom free…except when I get a cold! I have been taking good care of myself, eating well (though not on exclusion diet yet), getting lots of regular sleep, and overall healthy. But, when I get a cold and head congestion my symptoms come back! Anyone else?


Welcome to the forum! I meant to respond to your post earlier but time got away from me.

I can relate to both your issues - colds and altitude.

I find if I’m sick with ANYTHING else, colds, flu, gastro etc my migraine activity tends to ramp up. I hear that that is also the case for a lot of other migraineurs.

As for altitude. Well, I’ve had mixed results. A couple of years ago I went to South America. After a very long and windy bus trip through the Andes I was hit with wretched, bed confining MAV for several days. Only knocked it out with Valium a few days later (this was before I was diagnosed with MAV so it was flying blind). I was probably still jet lagged which wouldn’t have helped. A week or so later I arrived by plane in Cuzco, which is very high - about 5,000 feet I think. It was my first time at altitude and I was quite badly effected. Couldn’t breath properly, wasn’t sleeping well, was on altitude sickness pills (can’t remember name, begins with D I think) which I reacted badly too as well as coca tea. I got a WICKED migraine which lasted a couple of days. So - was it the altitude and/or all that other stuff. I don’t know. But i do find that major ‘upsets’ to my migraine brain - be it jet lag, fatigue, too much booze, illness or a combination of all those things is not good news.

I hope that helps.


I have had identical experiences with going from higher altitude (Denver, Colorado) to sea level (Bay Area, California). Everytime I fly home to Denver I do very very well the entire time I’m there: practically no symptoms unless I sneak coffee or eat badly. Whenever I fly back to California, I end up sick and dizzy within 24-48 hours. This is not a psychological problem, it seems to happen EVERY time I travel there. The argument could be made that it’s the air travel, but many people usually do worse in high altitude. I believe there is possibly a connection with the dry air and the higher altitude but haven’t been able to get anyone to confirm or deny this. I’ve though seriously about moving back to Colorado or just seeing a doctor there who would be able to shed light on this.

Thanks for the responses! I am actually home and spinning this week after a crazy weather front came through on Sunday and set off another migraine episode. I am writing everything down so that I can start to identify triggers…but this is just ridiculous! I love the ocean…but between the moisture and the pressure maybe I need to move back to the mountains!