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dizziness and headaches from wearing hats
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dizziness and headaches from wearing hats

I wore hats when I was a child and in my twenties. Starting in my thirties I found myself getting dizzy and getting headaches from wearing hats. Now in my fifties, I'm required to wear a helmet for my employment and I'm getting headaches and dizziness. Is this a medical problem?
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Avatar_n_tn
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.      
   There is a syndrome called external compression headache that is similar to what you describe.  When pressure is placed on cutaneous nerves in the scalp by a helment, goggles, etc. it can cause a non-pulsating dull headaches that generally resolves with-in one hour of removing the helment, etc.  In addition to this syndrome, it has been noted in patients with migraine headaches that external compression (esp longer compression times) can trigger their migraines (dizziness is a common migraine associated symptom).  The most often cited treatment for external compression headaches is to remove the hat/helment, etc.  However, in some cases that is not feasible.  I would suggest a trial on a daily migraine preventative medication such as elavil, topamax or nadolol to see if this will decrease the headaches (it may take a few weeks to start working).  I would also suggest that you get a properly fitting hat/helment that will put as little offending pressure on your scalp as possible.
I hope this has been helpful.
17 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
are you for real? If so, go to a headache clinic.
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Avatar_n_tn
are you sure it's from the hats?  If you wear a hat everyday how do you know it's the hat?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Donny,

Please be advised that my response to you is not professional, is not medical advice, is educational, and that I am not a representative of MEDHELP.

Of course you are "for real" because you are posting here. And, your question is legit.

I assume that you do not wear a helmet at home, after work, and that you are paying close attention to have linked the hat/helmet and the symptoms together.

Do you like your profession, your job? If not, you may want to consider that this is psychosomatic. Not that the symptoms do not occur but that their cause is from stress or anxiety. In this case, you would see a psychotherapist and this specialist would send you to a neuropsychologist to differentiate and to make sure that there is not an organic cause. You need to be safe and sure.

How are your sinuses? Your sleeping regimens? Your vision?

JCmcc.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry for the rudeness of some of the other replies.  This should be a safe place to ask questions, and none of us have the right to pass judgement on other's pain.  
From personal experience,  wearing a close-fitting riding helment (I use to train and show jumpers)almost always gave me a headache.  Tight hats had the same effect. Loose fitting hats or helmets did not cause the headaches.  Perhaps blood flow is restricted or nerves affected.  Good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
i was not being rude... you must admit the question is odd, especially the way it starts (who hasn't worn hats as a child?? does he or she mean like, 100% 0f the time? What possible reason could there be for that?)  If indeed this person has headaches and dizziness when he or she is wearing a helmet, then i dont think a Cleveland Clinic Neurologist is needed to advise this person to see how he or she does WITHOUT the helmet.  Honestly, over the net what more advice can you give this person other than to stop wearing the helmet, and if symptoms persist to go to a headache clinic? Or would you advise CT scans, MRIs, spinal taps, EMGs......etc etc? If someone posted on the dental forum that their teeth hurt when they ate ice cubes, I'd advise them to stop chewing ice, and to go to the dentist to be checked out if pain persisted.If your feet hrt in 9 inch heels, then it might be a good idea to see how they feel in slippers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Mike,
  It is not your job to decide whether or not the Cleavland Neurologist should be or needs to be answering any question.
  You forgot that type is hard to measure and it does seem a bit rude.
  Nothing personal as you are a great contributor but right is right.

JCmcc.
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Avatar_m_tn
i get your point--- BUT----are you telling me the question does not seem odd to you?  or at least so simple and obvious that a child should know what to do next? This person should know that if taking off the helmet makes him feels better, then that's what he should do. HE does not need medical advice from a forum that allows 2 questions per day (where people often cmplain they cant get a question posted) and where the neurologist who donates his time for free is a month or so behind. What's the difference between that question and my analogy of the 9 inch heels?  Like you said, type is hard to measure..... in both directions. I wasn't being rude in asking if he was for real. I really wanted to know if he was messing around or not, and you can't blame me for my curiousity (not rudeness) in asking. He shaould take off his helment, and if he still has a problem he should go to a headache clinic. what's wrong with that advice?
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Avatar_n_tn
I assume that he/she wears it for reasons. Perhaps work or baldness. Who knows!

The point is (and I too am guilty of this) that we, as a group of contributors, need to look at how we word things and to keep in mind that type is very hard to measure.

For the longest time I saw the statement, "Good Luck!" As a bit rude.

So, though you meant nothing, I could be taken as a write off.

Food for thought-not that big of a deal when we have, for example, contributing single mothers who have ALS.

Thanks Mike,

JCmcc.
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Avatar_m_tn
ok we're cool.
i dont luck "good Luck" either. the impliction is that you will need it.
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Avatar_n_tn
exactly.. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
First, I need to apologize for "piggybacking" in on donnyh's issues.
I can't seem to post a question here.....I see that you both are very knowledgeable and wondered if you'd be so kind as to offer up any comments/opinions/suggestions
on the following......Thanks if you can.....however, if you can't - I understand.  Deb

Diagnosis of pseudo tumor two years ago after experiencing surges of pressure in my head accompanied by total lack of coordination, temporary total loss of vision, headache, shaking, often uncontrolable, depth perception loss, inability to put one foot in front of the other and always accompanied with a very stiff neck. These episodes would subside after about 5 minutes. Treated with Diamox with some success. Severe bout of kidney stones likely attributed to Diamox by a Nephrologist after testing. Referred to neurosurgeon for a shunt. With the absence of papilidema, loss of visual field and debilitating headaches, he won't put a shunt in. He questions the diagnosis. A cervical MRI to rule out a dural tear reveals C4-5 & C5-6 herniations, both central and compressing and flattening the cord. Narrowing of the canal to 6mm. Some signal increase in the cord suggesting myelopathic change. Two years of testing include blood work, cerebral angiogram, MRI's, CT scans, Xrays, VER testing, Visual Field, EEG's, Holter monitoring, EKG's, Evoked potentials, several umbar punctures with opening pressures consistently 27 - 32. Neurologist say herniations are likely the cause. Neurosurgeon says no, it's not. He said I would have had "catastrophic lumbar punctures resulting in paralysis". Any opinions, comments, experiences and invited.
Thanks for reading......deb
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Avatar_m_tn
soory- your neurological problems are beyond the scope of my knowledge. I am an ex-dentist who had neck/upper back issues for 2-3 years that in the end turned out to be muscular in origin. For two years, after some surgeries that did not help, I did nothing but read about muscle imbalance syndromes (soft tissue),  cervical spine (hard tissue) anatomy, neurological syndromes/diseases and both hard and soft tissue nerve impingments, the symptoms they cause and where. sorry i cannot help. keep trying to get a question posted. some people have reported success in the morning hours. You may actually want to visit The Mayo (minnesota is the best) or the Cleveland Clinic (in Cleveland). These facilities are best for multifacted testing/care--it's all under one roof and centrally coordinated. Very effiecient.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for reading....and for your suggestion.  My primary care doc has suggested a trip to Lahey Clinic in Boston....I obviously have elevated CSF pressure.....but why?  I do understand that cervical herniations don't always require surgery.  I'm in no hurry for ANY kind of surgery....I really only to feel better - much like everyone else here trying to find answers.

Thanks for your reply...>Deb
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Avatar_m_tn
i am not suggesting yu need surgery--quite the opposite. The Mayo, the cleveland, the lahey hopefully... these places will help you arrive an an accurate diagnosis withot having different mds in different offices taking stabs at your case and your diagnosis.
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Avatar_f_tn
My mom went to lahey clinic and they were wonderful! They found out she had a vitamin D deficiency and she has been doing well ever since.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I saw the question I thght, oh my, thats very odd. I truly was surprised that the doctor had a medical explanation, yet I have a facial pain problem and know firsthand that people who have pain will find anything to which they might be able to attribute it. To my surprise and I have a feeling many who read the question there was a true medical explanation.
Too often people with pain, headache or other medical situation that is without obvious visible symptoms are assumed to have psychological/emotional problems.
Thank you.
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