Dr. Matthew Fink says in the New York Times that changes in air pressure can cause physical discomfort. Headaches and joint pain are common in low pressure systems, and uncomfortable ear popping can occur as the body tries to equalize the pressure inside its cavities with the changing atmospheric pressure.Know More
ACS Distance Education explains that air pressure is the force exerted by the weight of air molecules. Atmospheric pressure is determined by the amount of air directly above a person or object. At sea level, the atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch, or PSI. At higher altitudes, the PSI decreases due to lower air pressure and density. Skin adjusts easily to changes in pressure, but the cavities within the body, such as the lungs, ears and sinuses, do not adjust automatically. This is why many people experience a popping in their ears while taking off in an airplane or driving through mountains.
Dr. Fink explains other effects that may be felt by the body under these circumstances or during a low pressure weather system. The difference in pressure between the body's cavities and the atmosphere can result in headaches or distension in the sinuses, which are filled with air. People who suffer from arthritis or bursitis may experience joint pain as their muscles and joints swell in response to the decreased pressure on their bodies.Learn More
Starch is a carbohydrate, and the main purpose of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, according to The New York Times. The enzyme amylase is responsible for the conversion of starches into glucose, or blood sugar, which is used as energy for the body, particularly in the brain and nervous system. Starchy foods include legumes, whole grain breads and cereals, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes.Full Answer >
Gender differences due to different levels of hormones in the body do affect lung capacity and respiratory performance, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health. For the most part, lung capacity is dependent on the size of a body. Because of this, women tend to have smaller lung capacity than men because they are smaller in size. In addition, research has found that lung capacity and respiratory performance can depend on gender.Full Answer >
Humidity lowers air pressure by displacing nitrogen and oxygen molecules with lighter water molecules. Differences in humidity can cause storms to form. Humid air also presents challenges to pilots.Full Answer >
Altitude affects air pressure due to gravity. Gravity causes the pressure to increase or decrease based on the air's distance from sea level. Pressure decreases at higher altitudes.Full Answer >