Many of us grew up "imitating Mickey Mouse" by sucking helium out of balloons. While small doses of inhaled helium are usually not harmful, a large enough concentration of helium can cause a number of adverse reactions. The most common reaction is headache.
Remove any source of helium immediately, to include discontinuing forced inhalation (i.e., sucking from a balloon).
Lie down on a flat surface and remain still.
Take slow, deep breaths. Hold each breath for a few seconds before breathing out. The primary cause of helium headache is reduced oxygen to the brain, so with a replenished oxygen supply, most headaches will dissipate within moments.
Remain relaxed and breathing deeply until the headache diminishes or disappears entirely. If the headache has not lessened in intensity after one hour, seek medical attention.
Tips & Warnings
- Adequate water consumption can also aid in relieving helium headaches.
- Along with headaches, exposure to helium can cause lightheadedness and dizziness. Please be aware that large doses of helium have been known to cause fainting, heart and brain damage and even death due to suffocation.
- Photo Credit AAGAMIA/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Treat Headaches in a Child
Many parents assume the worst when a child complains that his head hurts, especially a young child. But a headache doesn't always...
How to Get Rid of Caffeine Headaches
When you've built up a caffeine dependency, a day without a Starbuck's run can leave you with a killer headache. In the...
How to Blow Up Helium Balloons
Decorate that party in a mass of helium balloons. Blowing them up with helium is not difficult. You can use both latex...
The Effects of Inhaling Helium Gas
Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable gas typically used to fill balloons. Inhaling a small amount of helium makes your voice high-pitched...
What Are the Dangers of Inhaling Helium Balloons?
We all know that inhaling a little bit of helium from a balloon will cause our voices to sound at a higher...