You enjoyed your day at the picnic, ballpark, or beach--but when you get home, you realize you've got a sun-induced headache that just won't go away. Heat from the sun can cause blood vessels in your brain to dilate and raise your skin temperature, which can cause pain. The sun's glare can also irritate your eyes, leading to a headache.
How to Cure a Sun Exposure Headache
If hot, bright conditions brought on the headache, your first line of defense it to get to a cool, dark environment. Stay indoors, or at least in the shade, and wash down a couple of aspirin, Ibuprofen or Aceteminophen with cold water to lower your body temperature. Continue to sip on cool water.
Take a tepid shower and wash your hair to help bring down your skin temperature. Dry off well to prevent chills.
Wring out a small towel in cold water and place it over your forehead and eyes while you rest. An ice pack wrapped in a towel will also work. Wring out tea bags in cool water and apply them directly over your eyes, under the towel or ice pack, if desired. Tea is astringent and soothing to puffy tissue.
Try this ayurvedic remedy: Curl your tongue into a tube and inhale through the tube. Swallow. Keeping your mouth closed, exhale normally through your nose. Repeat. The air will cool your tongue and throat.
To prevent future sun-induced headaches: Stay in the shade when outdoors, if possible. Wear a light-colored, lightweight hat to deflect sun rays, but be sure it's large enough to not constrict your forehead. Wear big sunglasses with UV-protective lenses. Sip on a cool drink frequently while in the sun.
Freeze a plastic bottle of water to take with you on outings, and sip it as it thaws. The bottle can also be used as a cold pack. Bring a bandana; if you feel yourself overheating, wring the bandana out in water and use it to dampen your face, ears and neck. Sunscreen won't prevent sun-induced headaches, but it will help protect you from sun burns and blisters.
BEWARE of hyperthermia (also called sun stroke or heat stroke). If a sun-induced headache is accompanied by extreme dizziness or disorientation, fainting, seizure or temporary blindness, move the victim to the coolest location possible, encourage to drink water if conscious, and call for emergency help immediately.