Headaches During And After Long Journeys

Headaches During And After Long Journeys

One of the many problems that people who suffer from chronic headaches frequently have is the headache attacks after travelling and this attack being more powerful and lasting longer than the normal ones.

On long journeys, the headaches can generally start during your trip. Even people with no frequent headache complaints, can have attacks during long rides. We asked Neurosurgery Ass. Prof. Bilgehan Bilge his comments on the subject.

It is actually possible to have a pleasant journey without any headaches by taking these precautions. Let’s give some information about the factors causing headache during your journey.

Public transportation systems are equipped with pretty developed ventilation systems these now. Ventilation systems of some vehicles even have filter units that are used in surgery rooms and provide you with quite a clean and fresh atmosphere. However, the same comfort cannot be provided in terminals. We breathe much more toxic air then we normally do while we wait until departure time.

You should spend time in waiting halls with as high-quality ventilation as possible when you take a break in terminals or stop-overs.

Do not use heavy perfumes, colognes or lotions during journeys. Many types of chronic headaches are triggered by perfume or cologne.

Change of Altitude or Climate

We change altitudes in really short periods of time during our travels. Higher the altitude, lower the atmospheric pressure. And under low atmospheric pressure, human body swells up like a balloon. On the contrary, atmospheric pressure is higher at sea levels and the human body almost shrivels up under this high pressure.

Of course, we cannot observe these changes with our naked eyes. But these swelling up and shriveling happens to our organs with low level of pain resistance, such as our brain pallium. Our ear drums stretch or unstretch.

Not consuming a lot of fluids before or during your journey, not eating heavy or excessive meals, going to bathroom before your journey or at breaks or during your journey, chewing gum will help you get less affected from altitude changes.

Cold weather strains your neck and back muscles. Strains on neck muscles are the most frequent causes of headaches. Extremely hot weather may relax the muscles but it will increase sweating and the air circulation within the vehicle would vaporize the sweat on the muscles and create a cold layer.

f your journey is going to have you under different climates or temperatures, prefer clothes and accessories that will prevent especially your neck from over sweating and/or from contacting cold air.

Keeping the head and neck in a bad position

The most common reason for headaches is keeping the head and neck in a bad position.

Watching outside from the window, talking to the person sitting next to you by turning only your head, falling a sleep and as a result your head falling and leaving the neck inclined may strain neck muscles, spine or spinal cord and nerves connected to these tissues thus making you feel uncomfortable.

Make sure to carry a neck pillow during your journeys to avoid these bad positions that could cause headache or support the back of your neck by asking for a pillow from your hostess. Do not just turn your head or neck while talking to the person next to you.

Tolga ÖZTÜRK