Swimmers are prone to a lot of ailments associated with the hard work they do every day, but many people don’t realize headaches are one of them. While headaches can occur to anyone at any time, swimmers often have some unique triggers. Following are some of the reasons swimmers may get headaches and how they can be avoided.
When you wear custom swim caps and goggles for swimming, you may find you experience headaches due to the pressure they place on your skull. You’ll know if this is the cause due to the throbbing nature of the headache and the fact it resolves when the pressure is released, rather than requiring medication. Unfortunately, with prolonged exposure to the pressure, the headache can evolve into a migraine. Choosing a different swim cap or goggles may help, but wearing them for as little as possible can also help.
This type of headache occurs in the forehead area and is typically caused by pressure from your goggles for swimming. Those who have a certain facial structure are more likely to develop these headaches. If you are prone to them, there are a couple of things you can do to lower your risks. This includes choosing a different kind of goggles and positioning them gently, altering their exact position each time to prevent repeated pressure.
Swimmers breathe in a lot of chlorine because they spend a lot of time in the pool. Over time, this chemical can irritate the sinuses and inner lining of the nose. In turn, this can generate a sinus headache. If you often experience these types of headaches, you may want to invest in a nose plug to help keep your nose clear. Saline treatments can also be used after swimming to flush out your nose and sinuses, removing any excess chlorine.
Most people don’t realize strenuous exercise can actually trigger headaches. These headaches can last up to 48 hours and consist of a throbbing pain. While your doctor may wish to rule out other problems, these headaches are relatively harmless. Limiting the amount of strenuous exercise you do can eliminate these headaches, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable for swimmers who are training for their next big competition.
Tension Headaches and Migraines
Swimming can also cause tension headaches and migraines for a number of reasons. Swimmers who aren’t careful about drinking enough water can quickly become dehydrated, which can lead to severe headaches. Fatigue, heat and skipping meals can also be factors in developing these headaches. This is why it’s important for competitive swimmers to take good care of their overall health, stay out of the heat as much as possible and avoid skipping meals or not drinking enough water.
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