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Why does even 5 minutes of sun cause headache - and 10 mins cause nausea?

By GauguinFan July 11, 2008 - 2:18pm
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My husband gets a pretty severe headache when in the sun for only 4-5 minutes, sometimes even with a baseball cap on but definitely when he is hatless. Today he was outside for about 4 minutes for a fire drill at work and his headache formed in 4 minutes of sun exposure.

20 or more minutes causes nausea and an hour, even with a baseball cap, can cause vomiting. Our summers are pretty hot and sunny (yay for me, nay for him!). I am wondering why this extreme reaction to sun happens? He did not grow up in a place with hot summers but I didn't either and I don't have this problem.

Anyone have any ideas?

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EmpowHER Guest

I have The same problem. I read it may be a reaction of particles in the eye to the light or the straining of the eyes which causes the headache . I found what helps me is the wide hat and sunglasses put on before I exit the house, I also shouldn't look at the light going inside the room through the windows (wearing sunglasses or closing curtains). If the headaches start it may last for a couple days

May 8, 2016 - 10:15am
EmpowHER Guest

I wonder if the color of your eyes pre disposes you to a light/photo sensitivity?
I mean lighter colored eyes.
I dont have this problem but I know of a friend who does & her eyes are very lightly colored.
Just a though. Might not be anything.

April 9, 2016 - 12:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi there,

I don't think so as I have very dark brown eyes and I started suffering from this same problem. Since about 3-4 years I suffer from extreme light sensitivity and exposure to the sun causes me very awful migraines. It's horrible. I do wear hats and sunglasses but sometimes even that isn't good enough to prevent a headache.

May 9, 2016 - 2:01am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been fighting these headaches for years now. Started in flordia in the spring/summer months. As soon as the sun is bright and hot, I get bad headaches, like my eyes are popping out. Its terrible and embarrassing. I run a 10 man crew and have to sit in the truck after lunch. I believe I need some type of special glasses. I Think I have a bad case of light sensitivity.

March 14, 2016 - 2:56pm
EmpowHER Guest

Pretty sure it's do do with radiaton emitted by the sun. All of your symptons sound like radiation sickness. Wear hats made of lead.

July 16, 2015 - 3:41am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi there!

I suffer since about 4 years or so, of migraines every time I'm in the sun for even only 5 minutes. The migraines all start from the eyes and as someone else suggested from the eyelid. They start being very painful and then the pain radiates to the head too. The migraines last for hours, and only being in the dark can relief it a little, but they won't go away for ages. It's horrible and I feel embarrassed as I'm Italian and have always been exposed to the sun since I was little, but I moved to the UK over 10 years ago, so I might just not get used to the sun and the heat anymore.

I do find that if I don't wear a hat or sunglasses I definitely get the symtoms.

I don't think dehydration is a factor for me as I'm a water lover and drink A LOT of water all day and specially when in the sun!

I'm just so glad I'm not alone in this!! When I tell my friends nobody gets it why I am so sensitive in the sun now given that I come from Italy and a very sunny place.. :(

June 12, 2015 - 4:09am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have the same situation. I get severe migraines when I am
In bright sunlight. If my eyes, temple and forehead are exposed to intense light it triggers an episode. I now wear a broad brimmed hat with sunglasses anytime I set out of the house. Sometimes I wear it in the car as well so that sun rays don't hit the side of my head. A baseball cap does not work for me because the Rays sit the side of my eyes and head and can cause severe migraines.

The neurologist put me on long term low dose antidepressants to dull the effect of triggers but it didn't do anything for this trigger. So I just take preventive action.

My prevention- broad brimmed hats and wide sunglasses

September 18, 2015 - 1:25pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am also suffering from the same problem please inbox me if you get any way to overcome the problem

August 23, 2015 - 11:27am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have exactly the same symptoms and I have been a sun lover all of my life. Just started this year after a severe heat wave. I also had a lot of allergy symptoms. Stuffy nose, plugged sinuses, itchy eyes. I start to get auras and feel nauseous. Not fun, as I really cannot be int he sun anymore.

July 25, 2015 - 5:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

my problem is identical. any skin exposure and i get blistering itchy hives. this i can deal with and protect myself. what i cant control is the headaches and nausea. its like i somehow injest uv rays and become very sick. cloudy days dont offer much protection and heat is not the issue as it happens also in the dead of winter. my job requires i be outside from time to time so i am completely covered and also wear a uv face shield. i get some strange looks but just go about my business. its all very challenging and seems to be getting worse all the time. especially given the fact that i like to bicycle,kyak,and do 5k walks.

September 19, 2014 - 2:32am
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