When Too Much Sun Triggers Migraines

By Annette GallagherJuly 27, 2016September 30th, 2021No Comments

Summer is a time for fun in the sun and spending time enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer. For people who are susceptible to migraines, however, long days in the hot sun can result in nights full of pain and discomfort.

While overheating or heat exhaustion is a common cause of summer migraines, other factors can contribute to the pain and discomfort a person feels, especially if they tend to over-do it.

The following tips may help to avoid a migraine for those who like to spend time outside in the summer sun.

Always Stay Hydrated

It is important to always stay hydrated. Even being slightly dehydrated can increase a person’s risk of having a migraine.

Staying hydrated helps the body control its temperature and can prevent a person from overheating. Maintaining proper hydration is the key to keeping the body cool and the mind clear and pain free.

Even if the body is sufficiently hydrated, high temperatures can eventually cause a migraine. Sipping cool water can help get body temperatures back under control and possibly help lessen the pain of a headache.

Protect Your Eyes

One of the biggest factors when it comes to migraines is light sensitivity and contrast. Looking from very dark shadows to extremely bright light is called “flickering” and it can have a traumatic effect on the brain. Similar to the strobe-light effect that can trigger seizures in epileptic patients, flickering can cause intense migraines.

If a person plans on spending any length of time outside in the bright sunlight, wearing dark sunglasses can help prevent flickering and the effects it has on the brain. When a headache does occur, shield the eyes from direct lighting of any kind to help alleviate the pain.

Avoid Fragrances

Many people are sensitive to fragrances without even realizing it and the fragrances used in insect repellents, sunscreens and lotions can trigger headaches and migraines.

Using products with natural fragrances may help, but it’s preferable to use unscented products especially if you are sensitive to any type of fragrance.

As fragrances are inhaled, they enter the bloodstream through the mucus membranes. Depending on what they are made of, they can cause adverse reactions within the brain, causing intense pain.

Using unscented products eliminates the risk of inhaling chemicals can that are hard for the body to metabolize.

Respect the Sun

While the sun offers many undeniable benefits, such as Vitamin D, warmth and light, spending too much time outside in the heat can cause adverse reactions in the body, leading to headaches and severe migraines.

The heat and light can become so intense that it can cause disruptions within the brain. If adequate measures are not taken in the form of protecting the eyes and shielding the head, the result can be a debilitating migraine.

Respect the power of the sun and protect yourself when you’re out in the sunlight.

Miami Headache Institute

We at the
Miami Headache Institute
know that migraines have many triggers. Even the things we enjoy can cause devastating pain if we over-do them. It is important to know how to protect yourself from the harmful aspects of the sun, so the benefits it has to offer can be fully enjoyed.