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I have a big problem when taking Lab classes: headache.

 

In the lab, I have to use protector glasses. It is one hypothesis that could give a reason for my horrible headache.

 

The other hypothesis is that this headache may be a consequence of the manipulation of toxic compounds.

 

I am saying this because it really affects me. I've read the lab class script, and there was wrote "100 mL of the NaOCl solution", I understood "100 mL of HCl"... It disturbs me VERY much. And the pain is horrible.

 

Is it normal to have headache because of lab classes?

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It's generally not good, but it is definitely not unheard of.

 

What type of chem lab is it? (Organic, gen chem, something else...)

Any particular chemicals you notice it around?

Do you guys have/use fume hoods?

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big314mp, it's an Inorganic Chem lab. There are many chemicals there, today, I used concentrated HCl (inside fume hood), NaClO Solution, NH3 was expelled in a reaction (out of fume hood, impossible not to smell and don't feel bad), Sulfur (S8), and some other things I don't remmber now... We have 2 fume hoods, not all reactions with volatile products are made inside the fume hood.

 

Cap'n, the glasses make my view become a little blurred, but it's just a little little. In 15 minutes, my headache starts with the glasses.

 

ecoli, I felt very interested about the syndrome and the symptoms are very similar to what I feel in the lab. I will ask my classmates if they feel like me, because I took medicine for headache and it lasted a long time to have it disappeared. It comes with a horrible photophobia and pain in the eyes.

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BTW, fume hood have its glasses to open and close up-to-down or left-to-right? in the lab, is it right-to-down (horizontal)? did you understand my question? (it's the best way I can explain what i want to say in English)

 

The glasses are definitely part of it if they are blurring your vision. You should try finding different glasses and see if matters improve.

 

I'm sure the glasses are contributing some for the matter.

But, is there any way to control headache without having to take Dipyrone all the time?

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It's tough to say without knowing for certain what the cause is. One of the best things you can do is to make a list of possible causes, then try to eliminate them one by one until the headaches stop.

 

 

Glasses

Fumes

Tumor

Too much stress

Head-ache prone

etc.

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<channelling the governator> It's not a tuNa </pumping you up>

 

Bit or surrealism ya know.

 

Anyhow, if you can eliminate the fumes (NH3 does make some people feel sick) its probably the glasses.

 

I'm going to throw this in for good measure...if I skip breakfast then go to lab, I tend to get headaches, and feel generally tired. A snack+water/drinks, perhaps?

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Wear the glasses (at home, while watching tv or something), see if you get a headache... if so, then it's the glasses.

 

If that's not it, go in the lab when there are no experiments being done, see if you get a headache.

 

Cancel out each factor one by one like that until you find out.

 

Save the sniffing chemicals (NH3) for last, because that's a guarantee for headaches. Ventilation is important.

To check the ventilation of a fume hood, take a piece of toilet paper and attach it with some tape to the edge of the (movable) glass window (the one that goes up and down). Because of the air-flow, it should be at an angle of about 20-40 degrees with respect to hanging straight down. Typical air speeds at the entrance of a fume hood are 0.15-0.4 m/s... depends a bit on the size.

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CapitainPanic, I'll try everything you've said to me.

 

hermanntrude, I've used chloroform once much time ago, so I don't think the fault is this compound's.

 

YT2095, it's sad i can't test the light of the lab, like removing the lamp from there and putting it in my bedroom to check if I'll have headache all time.

 

 

<channelling the governator> It's not a tuma </pumping you up>

 

Tumas and Tunas... I didn't get it :confused:

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Mere exposure to toxic compounds is rather unlikely. Especially organic solvents can induce headaches, but even then only after lengthy exposure (and if used in larger quantities).

If your headache start quickly it is quite likely the eyes, as above mentioned. Maybe you should buy your own brand new set of goggles and try them. If view is blurry it is not good to use them anyway. Do you wear glasses, btw?

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Sorry. I sometimes mistakenly take pop culture for granted. Check it out:

 

The movie was called Kindergarten Cop:

 

 

LOL I've seen this movie, but I didn't remind this part (why is it so famous out there?).

 

Mere exposure to toxic compounds is rather unlikely. Especially organic solvents can induce headaches, but even then only after lengthy exposure (and if used in larger quantities).

If your headache start quickly it is quite likely the eyes, as above mentioned. Maybe you should buy your own brand new set of goggles and try them. If view is blurry it is not good to use them anyway. Do you wear glasses, btw?

 

No, I don't wear glasses. I'll provide brand new goggles soon. I feel headaches since my 1st lab class in 2007. But I could hold them without bad consequences. Nowadays, my headache is a BIG headache, as jdurg said 'HORRIFICALLY painful and debillitating', it was very hard to read anything (and understand) because of the headache. It is very dangerous in the lab environment where I handle with concentrated acids, dangerous bases and volatile compounds.

 

It could also be migraines that kick in when you are in the lab, for some reason. Migraine headaches can be HORRIFICALLY painful and debillitating.

 

I checked it out and I've read interested things (the most important and similar to what is happening are highlighted below):

 

" ... migraine can be disabling — with symptoms so severe, all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down."

 

"A migraine is also often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine pain can be excruciating and may incapacitate you for hours or even days."

 

" typical migraine attack produces some or all of these signs and symptoms:

 

Moderate to severe pain, which may be confined to one side of the head or may affect both sides

Head pain with a pulsating or throbbing quality

Pain that worsens with physical activity

Pain that interferes with your regular activities Nausea with or without vomiting

Sensitivity to light and sound "

 

"Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can produce head pain. So can unusual smells — including pleasant scents, such as perfume and flowers, and unpleasant odors, such as paint thinner and secondhand smoke"

 

Migraine is certainly something that must be checked since the symptoms are very similar... I guess I'll have to check all the possibilities before the verdict.

 

The citations about migraine i've wrote above can be found here.

 

Thanks!

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Yup. Sounds like a classic case of migraines to me. I work in an industry where I come across many cases of migraine headaches and the symptoms you described all sound like those of migraine sufferers. Definitely talk to your doctor about that as there are treatments that can help, but if you do have a really bad case of migraines it won't fully cure it. :(

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LOL I've seen this movie, but I didn't remind this part (why is it so famous out there?).

 

The movie really isn't that famous, just that line. We have a lot of Schwarzenegger lines that have stood out in culture.

 

"It's not a tuma."

"I'll be back."

"We are here to... pump... you up."

 

 

Don't ask me why. :D

 

 

Btw... I'm pretty sure it's not a tumor. ;)

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Anyhow, if you can eliminate the fumes (NH3 does make some people feel sick) its probably the glasses.

 

I'm going to throw this in for good measure...if I skip breakfast then go to lab, I tend to get headaches, and feel generally tired. A snack+water/drinks, perhaps?

 

Sorry... I forgot your post, really sorry, I finally saw that.

 

A snack and drinks, perhaps out of lab, but since I can't get out of lab, I would never eat inside it. It could be worse than headaches.

Edited by Ladeira
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Ladeira i think you should change the glasses you are using because if they are puting hinderence in your vision then it might be straning your eyes.Straning of eyes really causes very bad headache..i myself have felt it many times.

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I know that I use to get headaches in the lab because the glasses blurred my vision. So I got a different pair that did not blur and my headaches stopped. But everyone is different, I wear glasses, so if it is continuing thing like you say I would go see a medical professional. Also if you are not feeling well and it is making things difficult to read I would not participate in the lab because all it takes is one slip and you could seriously hurt yourself.

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Thanks for everyone !

 

The cause was discovered without the need of a doctor. As my grandma says, "I don't go to doctors, they always find a new disease to me". The doctor would probably say I have a tuma.

 

But however, my last physical-chem lab class didnt need any volatile thing (except concentrated HCl that we've handled in the fume hood), so I didn't feel headache.

The glasses distubes some, so I'll provide another, but they aren't the reason of my extra-large headache!

 

Thanks again for being with me through the misterious headachey journey!

 

Probably, the cause of the headache are the fumes but the fumes disturbs because of migraine. I have to admit that the symptoms are very similar, there is no need to be a doctor to see it (and feel, it hurts!).

 

~~

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