That the headache in summer is practically a medical entity, leaves no doubt. The summer season is accompanied by more headache consultations and exacerbation of episodes in migraineurs.
Surveys conducted in various countries reveal that between 85-90% of people report having suffered at least one headache in the last year. Thus, the consultation for headache is the most frequent in almost all health services.
It does not affect men as well as women. 80% of men have had episode of headache in the last year, but among women that proportion rises to 95%. In the same way migraine affects more women than men, being present in 15% of the general population.
However, Why is summer a risk factor for headaches? It is supposed to be a time for more relaxation, to carry out outdoor activities, avoid confinement, and with better weather. Precisely, it is these conditions that could act in combination to cause headache.
Let's see some aspects of that multicausality that hides behind the headache in summer.
Causes of headache in summer
Headaches respond to several causes. Except for specific pathological entities that have a clear etiology, the most prevalent headaches are not caused by a single factor.
The headache in summer is no exception. It does not hurt the head for the mere fact of being summer. It hurts because a series of situations that depend on the time of year are combined at the same moment. A common combination is travel with changing habits with exposure to sunlight.
The heat, of course, is a cause. In summer, with higher temperatures in the environment, the body develops vasodilation. This means that it increases the caliber of the blood vessels to exchange heat energy with the outside and not suffer a heat stroke. As an unwanted effect, vasodilation may be at the etiological base of migraines.
Discover more: Causes of migraines that you did not know
Alcohol consumption and dehydration
In summer there is also a greater demand for hydration by the body, due to the ambient temperature. This requirement is often corrected with alcohol during the hot months. But alcohol does not hydrate, and dehydration runs its course, causing headaches.
Changes in sleep schedules
Insomnia increases in summer and can be the trigger of headaches.
Changes in daytime and nighttime hours can also be a substrate for worsening migraine. Having more light during the day, the body modifies their habits and their sleep schedules. It is classic that during the summer hours of rest are reduced, even reaching insomnia.
People who do not suffer insomnia regularly manifest it during the summer. The worker relaxes, children do not have to get up early, screens are lit longer, social life is increased, stimulants are consumed. With insomnia, headaches increase.
It may interest you: Insomnia disorders
How to prevent headache in summer
Let's see then what measures can be taken to avoid the appearance of headache in summer. All are simple measures. And we can divide them into two objectives:
- To counteract the summer heat.
- To counteract summer habits.
Measures against heat to prevent headache in summer
- Take care of the sun: The summer sun is perceived more intensely by the body. It is necessary to protect yourself with hats and prefer white clothes. Sunglasses are also useful. If possible, outdoor activities should be done away from the midday hours, when the light is more intense.
- Avoid drastic temperature changes: It is customary in summer for air conditioners to work very powerful. Getting in and out of heated places is a trigger for headache.
- Keep the home cool: Inside the house it is preferable to keep the cool that generate cold air with the air conditioners. The fans are preferable.
- Hydrate: During the summer, the body requires more water than usual. To avoid dehydration it is advisable to drink liquids at regular intervals and avoid dehydrating drinks such as alcohol.
Hydration is essential in the summer and helps avoid headaches. It is important to ensure an adequate water consumption.
Measures against summer habits
- Eat healthy: You can contribute to the intake of liquids with foods that provide water, such as fruits and vegetables. For migraine sufferers it is an indication to avoid foods that contain substances associated with headaches, such as sausages or chocolate.
- Rest the usual: Changing routines seems to be a norm in the summer. The specialists agree that the best practice is to try to maintain the schedules of the whole year, with the same hours of sleep. Inclusive you can add a nap of up to thirty minutes in the schedule of greater intensity of sunlight, contributing not to expose at that time.
During the summer It increases the exposure to a series of factors that can affect the appearance of headaches. The increase in temperature, added to dehydration and insomnia may explain why this symptom increases at this time of year.
Fortunately, There are a series of care and habits that can be applied from home both to prevent its appearance and to calm the existing pain. Keep that in mind!