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Can The Sun Cause Migraines

Headache When Out In The Sun: Causes Symptoms Treatment

Stroke Symptoms

Having headache when you are out in the sun is a common complaint, experienced by many people. While headache has many causes, there are various causes of headache when out in the sun too. It is important to know these causes, its symptoms and treatment for the same.

People usually have a headache when they are exposed to sun for prolonged hours. People who are suffering from sinus issues, vertigo or migraine, commonly have headache when exposed to sun for prolonged periods. It is necessary to evaluate the underlying factors that may cause headache when out in the sun.

Headaches are mainly caused during summer months when the sun is too hot. However, people who are prone to headaches may experience such situation in other months also. The sun sensitive population is recommended to cover their head completely prior to moving out of their house to prevent such episodes of headaches.

What Is A Headache

Although it may feel like it, a headache is not a pain in your brain. Your brain tells you when other parts of your body hurt, but it can’t actually feel pain. Most headaches happen in the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that cover a person’s head and neck. Sometimes the muscles or blood vessels swell, which means they get larger.

They also can tighten or go through other changes that stimulate or put pressure on the surrounding nerves. The nerves send a rush of pain messages to your brain, and you end up with a headache.

Suffer From Ocular Migraines Our Raleigh Optometrist Shares 5 Triggers To Avoid

What causes ocular migraines? No one quite knows. At least, we dont understand what exactly causes the brain to suddenly release inflammatory substances around the nerves and blood vessels. However, there are several prevailing triggers that many migraine sufferers seem to have in common. If you suffer from chronic ocular migraines, here are some stimuli to avoid.

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Symptoms Of Headaches When Out In Sun

Many people are still unaware that they are sensitive to sun and hence they are likely to develop such headaches when out in sun. So, it is necessary to understand the signs and symptoms of headache when out in the sun and treat the condition accordingly.

Some of the commonest symptoms of headache when out in the sun include throbbing pain in the head, feeling of uneasiness, nausea and sometimes even vomiting. Many people also experience irritation of the eyes and oversensitivity to light, making it difficult to look towards bright areas or concentrate. Other common symptoms that accompany headache when out in the sun include soreness and pain in the neck, stiff feeling around the neck muscles. Dehydration is another symptom of headache when out in the sun and is common in people who are sensitive to sunlight. Feverish feeling with malaise is also another symptom of headache when out in sun.

What Is An Aura

Headache: How to get rid of a sun headache

An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.

Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:

  • Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
  • Blind spots in your vision.
  • Numb or tingling skin.

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Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Developing healthy lifestyle habits can be helpful for mitigating barometric pressure headaches . For example, proper nutrition and regular exercise help build a strong immune system, which can stave off sickness when the weather shifts, Dr. Klenofsky says.

Similarly, keeping a consistent sleep schedule can reduce your migraine risk, as sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher incidence of headaches, per the Cleveland Clinic.


Trying relaxation techniques before bed and sleeping in a dark, cool and quiet room may also help you get some solid shut-eye.

Cause : Youve Been In The Sun For A While

The premise of this one is simple. The more time you spend outside in the sun, the higher the likelihood that youll get a headache. It might not happen immediately, even for light sensitive people. But if you stay outdoors especially without protecting your eyes the cumulative effect of that sun exposure could finally trigger a headache or migraine.

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What Is A Migraine Trigger

A migraine trigger is any event, change, external or internal factor, or physical act, that can result in migraine. There is no one single migraine trigger. In a study at the City of London Migraine Clinic, 79% of the patients questioned were aware of factors that they thought triggered their attacks. However, most of them noted that several factors acting together were needed to bring about an attack. Migraine triggers are many and varied but are no different from the factors that provoke normal headaches in apparently non-migrainous individuals.

Neither are triggers the same for everybody, or even necessarily the same for different attacks in the same individual.

Certain Foods And Additives

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Alcohol, chocolate, and caffeine are all common migraine triggers. Other possible trigger foods include cheese, salami, and pickled foods containing large amounts of tyramine. Food additives such as monosodium glutamate and artificial sweeteners like aspartame can also trigger migraines in some individuals.

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Theraspecs Might Help Reduce The Harm Of Flashing Lights

Not only can TheraSpecs tinted glasses for migraine reduce blue light exposure, but they can also minimize the pain caused by flashing lights. One of our favorite testimonials comes from Rachel in Connecticut:

“The glasses worked! I thought I would never be able to go to another concert again. I have light-induced migraines and the lasers and flashing lights used to ruin my concert experience. I just got back from a Justin Timberlake concert – wore the glasses – and Im so happy to report, NO migraine and I was able to enjoy the concert :)”

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1Queiroz LP, Rapoport AM, Weeks RE, Sheftell FD, Siegel SE, Baskin SM. Characteristics of migraine visual aura. Headache. 1997 Mar 37:137-41.

2Cologno D, Torelli P, Manzoni GC. Transient visual disturbances during migraine without aura attacks. Headache. 2002 Oct 42:930-3.

3Grosberg BM, Solomon S, Lipton RB. Retinal migraine. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2005 Aug 9:268-71.

4Shepherd A. Visual Stimuli, Light and Lighting are Common Triggers of Migraine and Headache. Journal of Light & Visual Environment. 2010 34:94-100.

5Hay KM, Mortimer MJ, Barker DC, Debney LM, Good PA. 1044 women with migraine: the effect of environmental stimuli. Headache. 1994 Mar 34:166-8.

What Causes A Migraine

The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.

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Why Are Migraine Triggers Important

A few people are aware of at least some of their triggers. Others are confused when a suspected trigger sometimes results in an attack, but not every time. Understanding your migraine triggers can help you unravel the mystery of why you get migraine attacks. Imagine that your body has a migraine threshold, which allows you to tolerate the effect of migraine triggers without ill effect until this threshold is crossed. Varying triggers occur over a period of time and act by building up in combination, until they cross your migraine threshold. At this point a migraine attack occurs.

This explains why apparently similar situations do not always result in a migraine attack.

Your migraine threshold can fluctuate and the number or importance of triggers can vary. An example to illustrate this might be that missing a meal, or less obvious triggers such as flickering sunlight or a lack of sleep, may not always bring on an attack. However, if any or all of these are combined with a period of stress or hormonal changes, an attack may occur. By identifying and addressing your triggers, you may reduce the frequency of attacks and use less medication. Many patients find it possible to prevent migraines by modifying their lifestyle and preventing interaction of their migraine triggers.

Whats A Migraine Journal

Headache: How to get rid of a sun headache
  • Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
  • The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
  • What are your symptoms? Be specific.
  • Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
  • Note the weather.
  • Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
  • Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
  • Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
  • List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
  • How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
  • Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?

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Causes Of Headache When Out In The Sun

People who are out in the sun during summer and spring months are likely to develop headaches cause by sun exposure. Thus prolonged exposure in the sun is one of the causes of headache when out in the sun.

People who are sensitive to sun often complain of having headaches when out in the sun. If you go out with wet head or just after a hair bath, you are likely to experience headache due to sun exposure. Women are more likely to experience this type of headaches as they often shampoo wash their hair and go out under sun without drying their hair completely. Hence, over-sensitivity to extreme temperatures, having wet hair and sudden changes in temperature are other factors that can trigger headache when out in the sun.

Other common causes of headache when out in the sun include other existing problems like sinus infections, migraines and vertigo. These issues can develop headaches in people when they are exposed to sun for prolonged period of time. Some people may also have headaches when out in the sun due to heredity reasons.

Other prominent causes of headache when out in the sun is reduced sugar levels due to overexertion, changes in blood pressure and dehydration or fluid imbalance due to over exposure in the sun. People suffering from fever may also have this kind of headaches when they go out under sun.

However, the causes of headaches when out in sun are minor in most of the cases and their treatment is available.

Triggers Of Migraine Headaches

  • Sleep changes. Getting too much sleep or too little sleep can lead to migraines in some people. 30%-50% of individuals who suffer from migraines also experience disturbed sleep.
  • Beverages. Certain beverages including alcohol and drinks with caffeine are common triggers of migraines. Alcoholic drinks, particularly wine, contain byproducts known as congeners. They are linked to headaches. Alcohol also signals the immune system to produce more histamine which increases inflammation throughout the body and can lead to headaches. Caffeine-filled drinks such as coffee are linked to migraines. The chances of experiencing a migraine increase when an individual consumer three or more caffeinated beverages per day.
  • Stress. Everyone experiences stress at home and at work. Sometimes it can be difficult to manage or control, but too much stress can wreak havoc on the body and lead to migraines.
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    Try Theraspecs Outdoor Sunglasses

    If a quality pair of polarized sunglasses are not enough, exposure to the blue light of the sun may be the culprit. To combat it, you can purchase a pair of tinted TheraSpecs FL-41 sunglasses. These not only remove a high proportion of all light like normal sunglasses, but they also remove the most painful wavelengths. TheraSpecs frame styles also add many protective features, making them a great remedy for headaches that result from too much sun exposure.

    When Should I Go To A Doctor

    Tips To Prevent Migraines

    Headaches are very rarely a sign of anything serious. Headache triggers such as eating certain foods, being stressed out, or not getting enough sleep are much more likely causes of headaches in kids. Or sometimes, there’s no obvious reason at all.

    Still, there are times when your mom or dad should talk with the doctor about your headaches:

    • when a headache is particularly painful
    • when a headache doesn’t go away easily
    • when a headache follows an injury, such as hitting your head
    • when your vision is affected
    • when you feel tingling sensations
    • when you just don’t seem like your usual self
    • when headaches occur once a month or more
    • when headaches cause you to miss school

    A doctor can help you and your parents figure out why you’re getting headaches and might be able to help you keep them from happening so often. Sometimes relaxation exercises or changes in diet or sleeping habits are all that’s needed. If necessary, a doctor also can prescribe medication to control headaches.

    If you’re bothered by headaches, you don’t have to put up with the pain. Sometimes relief is just a nap away. Other times, seeing a doctor may be necessary. But there’s almost always something that you, your parents, and your doctor can do to help.

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    When To See A Doctor

    A person should see their doctor if they experience frequent headaches. Frequent headaches may be a sign of an underlying health condition.

    If a person experiences a migraine headache for the first time or notices any changes in their frequency, they should see a doctor.

    When a person is displaying symptoms of heatstroke, someone with them should contact 911 right away. Symptoms to watch for include:

    • confusion

    Ocular Migraines: Common Questions And Answers

    Below are some frequently asked questions about ocular migraines:

    Can dehydration cause ocular migraines?

    Dehydration is one of the triggers of ocular migraines. Keeping your body hydrated will help prevent or reduce the frequency of occurrence of migraines.

    Can anxiety cause ocular migraines?

    Just like dehydration, anxiety is also a trigger of ocular migraines. The symptoms of ocular migraines can also cause anxiety, which worsens ocular migraines.

    Simple reassurance from your doctor will lower anxiety levels and decrease or eliminate ocular migraines.

    Can high blood pressure cause ocular migraines?

    Researchers are working to fully understand the relationship between high blood pressure and ocular migraines.

    Current research points to the fact that migraine attacks are prevalent in people with high blood pressure.

    Anyone suffering from high blood pressure is advised to get it under control, especially those with a known history of ocular migraines.

    Are ocular migraines a symptom of a brain tumor?

    A migraine that is accompanied by vision issues can be associated with certain tumors, such as the occipital lobe tumor.

    Although this is a rare condition, migraines are common among patients with brain tumors.

    Is an ocular migraine a sign of a stroke?

    An ocular migraine is not necessarily a sign of a stroke, but can indicate increased risk.

    However, research indicates that people with a history of ocular migraines are at a higher risk of stroke.

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    How To Identify Triggers

    If you have migraine, almost anything can be a trigger. This means it can be very difficult to identify your potential triggers. It may also be a combination of a few things that seems to lead to a migraine attack. And a trigger may not lead to a migraine attack every time, which can confuse things even more.

    Here is an example of how combinations of triggers can work: A young woman has identified that her migraine attacks appear to be triggered when she skips meals, is feeling stressed and when she is about to have her period. If she comes home late from a very stressful day at work, her period is just about to start, and she goes straight to bed without eating a proper meal, she will almost certainly have a migraine attack. However, if she skips dinner another time, when the other triggers did not happen, she will probably not have migraine attack.

    Many people find that they sometimes go a long time without having a migraine attack. During this time, your body may seem to be less sensitive to triggers and you may find that even the combination of your usual triggers doesnt result in a migraine attack.

    What Are The Symptoms Of An Ocular Migraine

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    The most common ocular migraine symptom is a small blind spot that impairs your central vision in one eye.

    This blind spot expands, making it difficult to drive safely or read using the affected eye.

    In addition to the flickering blind spot, other migraine symptoms include:

    • A colorful light ring that is wavy or zigzag and surrounds a central blind spot
    • A blind spot that slowly migrates across your field of vision
    • A migraine lasting between 4 and 42 hours
    • Sensitivity to light or sound
    • Vision loss
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • A headache that feels worse when you move your head

    If you have blind spots or other visual symptoms and arent sure whether it’s an ocular migraine or a visual migraine, cover one eye at a time and observe your sense of sight. If the visual disturbance affects one eye only, it is most likely an ocular migraine.

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