There are several people that may experience a hookah headache, or a feeling of sickness after completing or during a bowl. This has happened to the best of us (myself included) and I thought I would put up a guide on the symptoms of hookah induced sickness, how to help a hookah induced sickness, and what to do to avoid hookah induced sickness.
What are some of the symptoms of Hookah Induced Sickness?
Hookah induced sickness seems to manifest itself in a couple of forms:
1) Headache- Any aching of the head or feverish feeling, sensitivity to light and sound. Basically the symptoms of a classic migraine, including nausea and dizziness.
2) Nausea- Feeling like you are going to hurl.
3) Sensitivity To Light And Sound- Loud noises and bright lights bother you immensely, possibly worsening the headache.
Causes Of Hookah Induced Sickness
1) Dehydration- Not drinking enough water is a big cause of the headache.
2) Not Eating Enough/Empty Stomach- Not eating before smoking can cause headaches.
3) Going Overboard- Hoovering the hose every 10 seconds and just generally overdoing it.
4) Burning Tobacco- Coals that are too hot on the bowl, Foil touching tobacco
5) Nicotine Intolerance- If you are not used to a large amount of nicotine in unwashed tobaccos, you could possibly get too much nicotine in your system (Thanks to Mad_Hatter for the tip)
How To Prevent Hookah Induced Sickness
1) Eat hearty before smoking- If you eat decently before smoking, you greatly reduce your risk of getting hookah sickness. A decent sized meal or a heavy snack will suffice. Even eating during your session will aid this. Try fresh fruit or crackers.
2) Drink plenty of fluids- Always drink well before smoking. Alcohol is alright with hookah, but in moderation. Always make sure to keep a drink handy such as a soda or a bottle of water. Remember though, sugary drinks and alcohol can aid in dehydration, causing the symptoms to be even worse!
3) Take it slow- Don’t go after the bowl like a madman. Hookah is meant to be enjoyed slowly and is meant to be relaxing. Hoovering the hose every drag can get you into trouble too. Take slow, paced puffs and take a little break (30-40 seconds) between puffs to ease this.
4) Make sure your coals are lit- If your coals are not completely ashed over (grey all over), then don’t put them on your bowl, I cannot stress this enough. In addition to inhaling all of the igniting agents on Quick Light coals, Naturals will just make you put more effort into making sure the coals are glowing, thus causing more smoke intake and more risk of getting sick. This may also lead to CO2 poisoning. (Thanks to Gloster for the tip)
5) Pack your bowl correctly- If you have too much heat on your bowl or if you have too much tobacco in the bowl, it’s going to burn and possibly give you a headache.
How To Ease Hookah Induced Sickness
1) Get some fresh air- When you are in a smoke filled room, your body isn’t getting clean air, so step outside, take a few deep breaths. If you can, do a little jog or some jumping jacks. This will get the blood running in your system and help.
2) Excedrin (Or any other migraine medicine containing caffeine)- I have found that Excedrin or any drug with caffeine will help. Take with a big glass of water to help it go down easy. Make sure to read the dosing instructions and health warnings. I DO NOT CONDONE THE ABUSE OF THIS MEDICATION.
3) Head-On- This is more to ease the hot feeling you get with a headache. The best thing is you can use it as frequently as needed. If you don’t have any, use an icepack or a cold rag on your forehead or the back of your neck.
4) Drink Some Water- Drink some water or a sports drink to gain back the energy lost to dehydration.
5) Eat Something- Eat some food or a meal to help with your stomach being empty. It will help you in the long run.
6) Motion Sickness Pills- This is an over the counter pill used to combat dizziness. You can also use Pepto-Bismol to combat the nausea as well. As with all drugs, make sure to read the dosing information and health warnings before taking. I DO NOT CONDONE THE ABUSE OF THIS MEDICATION.
If you experience any symptoms that might seem life threatening such as trouble breathing, tightness in your throat, etc… see your doctor immediately.
I hope that this guide has served as a helping hand to the newer members and members that battle with hookah sickness and it ruining an enjoyable hobby. Just remember, be careful and be smart about your smoking and you will have an enjoyable session! Happy smoking!