Barosinusitis due to routine weather changes: A cross-sectional analysis of public websites

James C. Campbell, Julia E. Canick, Philip G. Chen, Ralph Abi Hachem, David W. Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sinusitis is a common diagnosis that can be erroneously associated with routine weather-related barometric pressure changes. In actuality, these pressure changes likely exacerbate migraine headaches, which can cause facial pain and pressure rather than true sinus inflammation. Objective: The present study sought to characterize the representation of both sinusitis and migraine in association with barometric pressure changes across websites on the Internet. Methods: An Internet search for relevant terms was conducted, and content of the resulting pages was assessed for associations between weather-related pressure changes and either sinusitis or migraine. Variations in reported results across different subtypes of Internet sources were analyzed. The primary outcomes measured were (1) whether a given media source associated barometric weather changes with sinusitis, (2) whether that source associated barometric weather changes with migraine, and (3) treatment options offered by that source. Results: Of the 116 included webpages, 36 (31.03%) associated sinusitis and routine barometric pressure changes. Of these, 10 (27.77%) were otolaryngology practice sites. Sixty-seven webpages (57.76%) associated migraine and routine barometric pressure changes. Of these, nonotolaryngology webpages were more likely to report this link. Conclusions: Otolaryngology practice sites were observed to be the most frequent professional medical resource reporting the unsubstantiated claim that routine barometric pressure changes are associated with sinusitis. Nonotolaryngology sources were more likely to link weather-related pressure changes to migraine. These results suggest that opportunities exist for otolaryngology practice sites to educate patients about nonrhinogenic headache etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • acute rhinosinusitis
  • balloon sinus dilation
  • headache
  • migraine
  • sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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