How to Soothe Summer Headaches

You want to have fun in the sun, but high heat and other seasonal triggers can be a real pain in the noggin. Try these tricks to stop future aches before they start.

prevent summer headaches and head pain

The trigger: An ice cream treat

What’s going on: When you quickly slurp a scoop, the cold activates nerves in the back of your palate, sending a “something’s wrong!” signal to the brain and causing that no-fun brain freeze.

Your fix: Keep ice cream in the front of your mouth for a few seconds (or slowly sip shakes through a straw), so it warms up a little before going down your throat.


The trigger: Sleeping in on vacation

What’s going on: Waking up extra late (or early) instead of at your set time can bring on major migraine pain. Why? It messes with cortisol­ levels (the amount of the hormone in your body fluctuates as you doze).

Your fix: Stick close to your usual sleep schedule on short breaks. On a long vacation, gradually transition to the time zone where you’re staying.


The trigger: Bright sunshiny days

What’s going on: Not only can strong sunlight increase your odds for a hurting head but for every 5-degree Celsius rise in temperature, research shows, the severe migraine risk goes up 7.5 percent (dehydration could be the culprit).

Your fix: If you’re prone to headaches or migraines, and a heat wave is coming, stay in rooms with air conditioning, always wear shades outside and drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. Keep your Rx migraine pills or an OTC pain reliever on hand.