Cookie Studio/ShutterstockFrom migraines to jet lag, hangovers to sinus pain, summer can bring on some serious head pain. “Sunlight and dehydration are both strong triggers for migraines,” says Thomas Berk, MD, a neurologist in the division of headaches at NYU Langone Health. Seasonal allergies inflame the sinuses, causing pressure and pain in the forehead. And even summer fun can lead to pounding temples (as anyone who has stayed up late knocking back margaritas knows). To sidestep pain, “Prevention is key,” says Berk. These strategies will help prevent headaches—or at least keep them to a minimum. Check out the 8 types of headaches—and how to get rid of them.
AH86/ShutterstockBeing dehydrated can give anyone a headache, but it is particularly problematic for people prone to migraines, which happens to be a lot of people: Migraines are the most disabling neurological disease for people under 50, according to Amaal Starling, MD, assistant professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic Arizona. Women are especially prone—more than one in five women (and almost one in ten men) get migraines and severe headaches, according to a recent review of studies published in the journal Headache. The condition is marked by bouts of moderate to severe head pain (sometimes around one eye), sensitivity to light, sound, and smell, and nausea and vomiting. Staying fully hydrated is a must-do. Here’s how to diagnose your own migraines.
Dean Drobot/ShutterstockSummer seems like the time to sip rum drinks late into the evening, but you’re setting yourself up for headaches above and beyond the ones you might expect from a hangover; make sure to have at least one glass of water for every beer or glass of wine to prevent waking up with a hangover headache. Alcohol disrupts sleep, leads to snoring, and dehydrates you—and all of these things can trigger head pain.
Honeybee49/ShutterstockIt sounds counterintuitive, but cutting back on painkillers can actually make your head pain better. That’s because pain medications (both OTC ones like aspirin or ibuprofen and prescription options like triptans) can cause a rebound effect that makes headaches worse, says Berk. “Don’t take them more than two or three times a week,” he warns. Cutting back should help, but if it doesn’t, see a neurologist who will help wean you off the pain meds while offering you other treatments to keep you comfortable. Find out the surprising ways doctors treat their own headaches.
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