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92% of astronauts complain of “space headaches”

92% of astronauts complain of “space headaches”

As with tension headaches (common headaches) or migraines, astronauts' headaches affect them during flights, even after the first week as the body adapts to the lack of gravity.

Although they are specially trained and healthy, astronauts are not free from headaches when in space. Sometimes accompanied by nausea or hypersensitivity to sound or light, these pains were reported by 92% of astronauts questioned, according to a new report published in the journal. Neurology.

Most astronauts complain of headaches in space

Astronauts, who are very healthy, do not easily complain of health problems“, notes Ron Van Oosterhout, co-author of the publication. So he said he was surprised when 92% of the astronauts surveyed expressed the need.”Medication or alternative treatment (hydration, fluids, exercise) to treat headaches“.

In total, 22 out of 24 astronauts surveyed reported having had at least one headache over the 3,596 days they spent in space, which could have interfered with their daily activities aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Not all of these headaches are the same type. 90% of them were similar to what we call tension headaches – a common type of headache accompanied by a dull feeling of pressure – and 10% were similar to migraines.

These space migraines are usually unilateral, throbbing or throbbing, accompanied by nausea and vomiting, or even hypersensitivity to light and sound, which last from 4 hours to 3 days, explains Ron van Oosterhout. “We have found that space headaches occur not only during the first week, but also later in the flight“.

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