Facebook Pixel

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

By July 11, 2008 - 2:18pm
Rate This

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?

Add a Comment141 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

He's probably a vampire.

June 12, 2016 - 12:43pm
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)

I can say with certainty that eye colour has nothing to do with it. I have eyes blacker than charcoal (aaand i was born and lived in a tropical country all my life) and yet 5 mins in the sun triggers severe migraine and nausea in me after a a slow buildup for the 30 minutes after sun exposure.

July 27, 2016 - 3:46am
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'm also in same situation...what 's my problem...
There is any precautions...

March 2, 2017 - 7:55pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.



Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Headache Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!