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My wife has found that after a longer ride she suffers that night (and sometimes the nest day) with a dull headache and tinnitus. I'm wondering if it's the fit of the helmet which is causing this. We got her as light a full face helmet as we could - she had a car accident nearly 15 years ago and has some damage to the vertebrae in her neck. Wind buffeting from a side wind makes this worse.

The back of her head is reasonably flat, there's not a lot of a curve in from the base of her skull to her neck, and she wonders if the hard base at the back of the helmet is pressing against that ridge that runs up and down the back of the neck.

I'm thinking of removing some of the harder foam at the bottom of the back of the helmet then replacing the softer inner lining.

Anyone had similar experiences, thoughts on modifying the helmet?
 

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2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
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I would NOT modify the helmet in ANY way. It would be far more likely that you'd be able to find a different helmet that fits her head better than the one she has now. Helmets come in different shapes and you really have to figure out what shape works best for you.

Given her medical history, however, even a perfectly fitting helmet may not alleviate her problems.
 

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If she is experiencing tinnitus maybe sound is part of her problem. Does she have well fitting ear plugs? Even wind noise, with a perfectly quiet exhaust can give you a headache and tinnitus.
Just a thought.
 

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Tinnitus has more to do with inner ear drum than with the brain. But tinnitus can cause headaches. Oldman may have the right idea. Ear nose and throat doc my have a better solution. There is nothing worse than a constant ringing in the ear. Trust me...i feel her pain been there and done that.
 

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I'm going to go with hearing as being the cause as well. Try some cheap ear plugs but for long term use there is nothing better than custom made ear plugs. Best $65 I ever spent. A good well fitting pair can be worn without even knowing they are in. If you use communication devices you maybe surprised at how little you have to turn the volume up if at all. I was anyway. Constant wind noise could be her issue.
 

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Yeah be sure it's the helmet that's causing the problem, not the wind/exposure of riding.

It might seem like a dumb test but, maybe ask her to wear the helmet for several hours "around the house" while NOT riding? Then see if she still gets a headache from it that night or the next day.
 

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My wife had a similar problem, she attributed it to the buffeting, I went with a two inch taller windshield and that took care of the problem.
 

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Is it too tight? With the helmet on, and the strap undone, the helmet should be just loose enough that she can feel it move around slightly when she shakes her head. It shouldn't slide around a lot, but it should not be so tight that it stays locked to her head, either. Where is her headache? Old injuries tend to cause muscle tension headaches--- the pain will mostly be around the back and sides of the head, and might be worse when she bends her neck certain ways. Her neck will tend to be sore, too. Too tight a helmet will cause pain mainly around the temple and forehead area, but could make her head hurt all the way around. Frontal headaches can be caused by too darkly tinted glasses or shield, or not wearing her glasses if she has a prescription. If it's muscle related, she can probably work up to longer rides. Make sure it's not just a shape thing: different brands fit different heads. Take her to a store where they have a lot of different ones, and try different ones, even the cheaper ones.

I do acupuncture. Chinese medicine recognizes many more types of headaches and causes than western medicine. If all else fails, see an acupuncturist. We don't just treat pain--- we can often find problems and give advice for things western medicine ignores.
 

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My wife had a helmet that gave her bad headaches and when on rides we would switch helmets...then I would get a headache. Mine would not give either one of us headaches so I got her the same one. When we ride double up on my bike I have to raise the wind screen all the way up otherwise the buffeting would be to bad for both of us. Hope this helps, Good Luck
 

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Has she tried to ride with ear plugs yet Steve? Let us know when you find out if it is noise or actually the buffeting.

When I ride behind Randy he has to put the windshield all the way up or I start looking like a bobble head. Then my neck starts hurting really bad. Normally he just puts it up & leaves it there when I'm on with him.
 

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May be just an improperly fitting helmet. I've tried wearing one of those liners to prevent my helmet from getting nasty, but after a short time I get a splitting headache and have to take it off. I also have a helmet that I can only wear for a certain length of time before the same thing happens. Not everyone's head is shaped the same, and just because a certain size works with one brand doesn't mean that size will fit properly in another brand. For me the best fitting are Arai or Shoei.
 

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Some, if not all, Shoei helmets have interchangeable inserts to customize fit a bit better. If it turns out to be the helmet itself, this might be the way to go.
 

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I'm gonna key in on the hearing thing, too. I have minor tinnitus. Mine acts up most when it's really quiet, though. Anyway, some ear plugs would be a cheap place to start.
 

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I like the suggestion of wearing the helmet around the house. This will isolate the problem to either buffeting or fit.

Several of my helmets bother my head in different ways. No two helmet designs are the same, so there may be a benefit in trying a different brand or a different design like a 3/4 helmet or a half helmet. If the problem is the fit, she could always try one in a store and just keep it on while shopping or even sit down to read a book and hang around for an hour or so.

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