Saturday, October 25, 2014
Sunday, July 06, 2008 CMoore, Community Member, asks

Q: I to have headaches from heat. It doesn't matter how much water I drink, how well I cover my head.

When I was young, I had a bad case of heat stroke. Since then, no matter how cool I dress, or how many breaks I take, the heat gives me a terrible headache. Does anybody know why this happens? Summer should be fun, but now any time I'm out in the heat I have pain, and it's really getting me down. Can anyone help?

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Answers (4)
Eileen Gray, Health Guide
7/10/08 8:33am

Hi CMoore!


First, are you on any preventive medication for your Migraines? Some of the preventive medications, take Topamax, for example, can cause you to not sweat and overheat very quickly.


I agree with you! Summer should be fun! Laughing Alot of us Migrainuers have weather triggered Migraines, mostly from pressure changes, like when a nice thunderstorm blows in, but what triggers one, may not trigger the other. See this article: Migraines often triggered by changes in weather.


Talk to your doctor about how the heat affects your Migraines. There may be something they can do for you.


Good Luck!

Skipper, Community Member
6/14/09 6:26pm

I am almost 67 years old, and started getting heat-related headaches several years ago, even when I was not really "over heated", as when threatened by heat exhaustion or stroke.   I walk everyday for several miles, and when the outside temperature rises above 75 degrees, I have to start resisting heat headaches.   I resist heat headaches by wearing a wet hand towel around my neck.  I wear a floppy canvas hat that I have taken the top out of, so that evaporation can occur better.  When I leave the house, I wet the hat.  Also, I carry a personal mister, and continually spray my face, head, and other parts of my body.  Also, of course, I drink water while I walk.   If I manage to keep myself wet and cool, I can usually avoid a heat headache.   Once I do get one, however, it won't go away unless I take some medication.  Usually, I can get rid of my headache by taking 2 pseudoephedrine HCL 30 mg tablets and 1 Ibuprofen, 200 mg.   I would like to know what causes the headaches, because they seem to come even when I don't feel very hot.   One sure sign that I am going to get a headache is if my nose runs a little.   Years ago, I might get a similiar headache if I mowed the grass in 100 degree heat, like a dummy, but now it takes far less heat to cause problems.

Heat Headaches Too, Community Member
6/ 4/10 10:58am

This is really not an answer, but an interest in your heat headaches. I, too, have these heat headaches with similar triggers. I don't even have to be doing anything. I get them if I just get too hot or too overheated while doing housework. I don't get a warning. These headaches are really difficult to get rid of - time and bed rest is the only cure I've found. But for days, I feel the blood vessels in my head and across the bridge of my nose are on fire. Do you have similar symptoms? Even my doctor doesn't understand the severity of these headaches. I will keep an eye on responses to your question regarding heat headaches in the hopes someone will have an answer.

Skipper, Community Member
6/ 4/10 12:42pm

I don't think my headaches are as severe as yours.  Mine are usually a dull ache in the top of my head that rarely becomes severe; however, it's also painful enough that it's difficult to ignore.  It's interesting to me that the problem seems to become less of a problem as the summer continues, as though my body is becoming adjusted to the heat.   Nowadays, I only take one ibuprofen and nothing else, and that usually does the trick.   Without the ibuprofen, neither bed rest or meditation or sleep will get rid of my headache.  During May of this year, I took ibuprofen 5 times.  It seems to me that I have read where heat stroke victims become more sensitive to the heat in the future, and I wonder if that might have something to do with my problem.  Although I don't remember ever having heat stroke, I believe that I have pushed my body pretty far at times in the past.   Nowadays, the only way that I can be for certain of avoiding a headache on a hot day is to keep a wet hand towel over my head while out walking.  If the day is not too warm, a mister seems to usually do the job.

HEAT=HEADACHE, Community Member
8/20/10 8:14pm

I get these exact headaches. This summer has been exceptionally bad. There is a medicine called Maxalt - it melts on the tongue and you have to take it well before you THINK you are getting the headache. These headaches do not typically have an "aura" so the pain in the bridge of the nose may be too late. Sometimes I get a strange numbness along my hairline...weird I know. Again, they are very difficult to predict, so I sometimes take it early to see if it will prevent it. We'll have to see. But this Maxalt is not an expensive drug - so if you decide to try it, it shouldn't cost you much - and no, I don't work for them!

ga girl, Community Member
5/12/11 10:06pm

WOW,I've had the same symptpms you described. The first one I had was so bad I was delirious and thought I was having an anyurism. It was from extreme heat and humidity, trying to finish all the yard work. I am 34, female. Have always been active, outdoors, tennis, volleyball, gym 3 or 4 times a wk.This is so debilitating!! Today it was 90 and I worked outside painting (ever aware of the danger) drank electrolytes, plenty of water. But was unable to stay out of the sun and had a manageable throbbing.The pain from the first "episode" was so concentrated and severe in the right, dead-center of my head. That was 7 yrs ago maybe? When they are really severe, I also have vomitting every 30 min to an hour and my stomach hurts, my nose runs or is so congested and my sinuses and my right eye are on fire. Pressing on my nose/eye area gives some relief, if its not too bad. Sometimes I've had plenty to drink, sometimes not. The one constant is since that first horrible day if I get hot, this awful migraine begins. I have also had this 3 times from alcohol, once mixing wine and champagne, then one glass of wine(but I was upset about something and starting crying-congestion?)thirdly mixed two different liquors. I'm fine if I have 2 of the same drinks.

Heat Headaches Too, Community Member
5/13/11 9:23am

I, too, have the facial pain that you describe . . . the pressure and pain in my right eye, the stuffy, runny nose. This always turns into a migraine. I try to avoid becoming overheated, and avoid alcoholic beverages. Too much Ibuprofen, and a number of foods and other RX drugs will trigger this pain, too. (If I can't stop the pain, my turns into trigeminal neuralgia - severe nerve pain that lasts for days.) But the pain I have in the eye, stuffy nose, stomach, etc (that you describe) was diagnosed by a major national clinic as 'facial migraines'. I take a Relpax ASAP after symptoms begin. Check with your doctor about a RX for one of the 'triptan' medications [Relpax (my favorite because I don't get the rebound headaches), Maxalt, Imitrex, Amerge, etc. are all very good ones. Check out the pricing, some are very expensive if you don't have insurance. Also check their websites - I know Relpax offers a $10 Co-Pay Card - other brands may also. Your doctor may have samples of these products. There may be some of the old-time remedies (medications like Cafergot, Wygraine, etc) still available that your doctor can prescribe that are not as expensive.]  GOOD LUCK! With the help of my doctor I can now pretty much control my headaches. I still get them, but I can now cut them short with a lot less pain.

yoyoma, Community Member
7/20/10 10:36pm

I have suffered from migraines for 15 years at least 2 per year if not more. Some strange triggers I have noticed are as follows. After weight training at the gym is the worst time for me. If I attempt to read anything after a workout, even a stop sign I start to feel the strain in my optic nerves. I am fairly certain this is all due to the blood pressure in my head, and I read somewhere once that the veins in your head are actually spasming during a migraine and the poor blood flow to the eyes is what causes this strain. One trick I've learned is to not look directly at any object that can produce light or even the glare of the sun like an approaching car windsheild. Also when I feel the tension in the head its usually on the right side I've noticed that if I turn my head to the right as far as it goes it will relieve the pressure and actually stop a migraine from happening. Some days that are humid I will do this constantly. When I do this I can feel a small cracking just above my right ear where those veins are usually throbbing. Of course at this point a dark room with ice to cool my head works best. And I avoid any exercise at all, even lifting my arms over my head will trigger one at this point. I'm not sure why but putting pressure on my closed eyes with my knuckle helps too. Just enought that i can feel a few cracks or pop sounds in my head. Something about that relieves the pressure in my head. This is a tigger I have never heard anyone mention but I know it can be the last straw without many people realizing it. If I feel that I am on the brink of a migraine and I use my brain to think about anything that will do it. I believe that when you think about something more blood is being sent to your brain to perform the function. There have been times I have let my mind go completly blank and all the other symptoms from high blood pressure and humidity have passed when I knew it would have been a migraine if I'd been thinking about anything at all. The biggest trigger has always been the blood pressure level in my head while working out. The best advice I can give is take longer rests between sets. You may not feel like you need it at the time but its usually 30 post workout that migraines occure for people. I find this especially if my workout invole my arms going over my head like shoulder presses and also leg workouts cause the greatest increase of blood pressure in the head so remember to breath properly it will help.

Sarah, Community Member
7/23/10 8:18pm

I get headaches from the heat in the summer, which really sucks. My eyes also start to hurt and sometimes its just on one side. The light starts to bug me and I have to go in a dark room. Drinking water also helps and also wearing a hat + sun glasses. Or if I just sleep or take tylonal/ advil it helps to releave the pain.


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By CMoore, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/03/14, First Published: 07/06/08