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Preventing Headaches This Summer

It’s hot and sunny outside and your schedule is packed full without door activity. Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but it can also be a time when headaches are more prevalent than at any other point in the year. These headaches can turn a fun summer day into an afternoon and evening of misery if you aren’t careful. Since we don’t want you to miss out on any pool time, we’ve put together a quick guide to helping you stay headache free.

Common Causes For Summer Headaches

There are a variety of reasons why headaches occur, but some of the most common triggers are heat, strenuous activity, and dehydration. According to the New York Headache Center, for every 9 degree increase in temperature, your risk for a headache increases by 8%. This is because heat will cause your blood vessels to expand and push on nerve endings.

Adding strenuous activity to your daily routine will increase the risk of headaches as well. One reason, which we will discuss next, is that activity dehydrates the body. Many doctors believe that strenuous physical activity once again dilates blood vessels causing them to press against nerves. While this may be a normal result of exercise, you should consult a physician if you begin experiencing more serious symptoms beyond a simple headache.

Finally, dehydration can trigger headaches. Doctors recommend drinking half of your weight in ounces of water. This means that a 200 lb person should drink 100 oz of water every day. If you had heat and activity to your day, the amount of water you should drink increases. Dehydration can lead to headaches because it causes the brain to shrink and pull away from the skull. When this happens pain receptors around the brain are triggered. Dehydration can also limit the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which will compound a headache.

Treating summer headaches

Taking over the counter pain medicine like aspirin or ibuprofen can often eliminate headaches caused from heat and strenuous activity. Obviously, staying hydrated is critical in day-to-day living anyway, so drinking water at the onset of a headache is always a must. Should you find that after taking some over the counter medicine and rehydrating doesn’t help your headache, you should consult a doctor.

This summer, don’t miss out on pool time because of a headache. Know what causes a headache and how you can treat it quickly. Once you do, get out and enjoy your summer!