08 July, 2011
My Headaches Are Worse in the Summer
During the summer you may be outside more doing various activities and dealing with a headache is probably not in your plans. If you find that your headaches are worse in the summer, heat may be the cause. In warmer weather you are also more likely to become deydrated which can cause a headache. Since the weather is warmer and generally nicer, you may be more likely to get outside and exercise. Exercise itself, especially in hot weather, can cause a headache.
According to a study conducted by the New York Headache Center and reported on the Women's Health website, your headache risk increases by 8 percent each time the temperature goes up nine degrees. The study indicates that heat may make the blood vessels in your skull expand and then press against surrounding nerve endings.
Dehydration can occur in any climate but is more likely when the weather is warm. According to the Headache Updates website, when the body loses water and not enough is replenished, it causes headaches. Dehydration can also trigger migraines so it is a good idea to drink enough water. Both adults and children should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. In addition to drinking enough water, the Headache Updates website suggests avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol to replenish the body as they cause dehydration.
When the weather gets warmer in the summer you may want to do more outside, including exercise. According to MayoClinic.com, exercise headaches occur during or after sustained or strenuous exercise, and are more likely to occur in hot weather. Activities that are most commonly associated with exercise headaches are running, rowing, tennis, swimming and weightlifting.
Headache treatment depends on the cause and type of headache. If you get a headache from spending too much time in the summertime heat, an over-the-counter painkiller will often help. If you are dehydrated, drink water. If heat, dehydration, or exercise triggers a migraine, your doctor can prescribe special medications to help with the pain and other symptoms.
When to Worry
Headaches are very common and your summertime headache is probably of little concern and easily relieved. According to Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications, some headaches call for prompt medical care. Warning signs are headaches that first develop over age 50, a major change in the pattern of your headaches, an unusually severe headache, pain that increases with coughing or movement, headaches that get steadily worse, a change in personality or mental function, headaches that come with a stiff neck and fever, headaches accompanied by a painful red eye, headaches accompanied by pain and tenderness near the temples, headaches that occur after a blow to the head, headaches that come on very suddenly or headaches if you have cancer or an impaired immune system.
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