Unpacking Migraines And Their Triggers
Migraines are a sort of headache, but not all headaches are migraines. Migraines are usually more severe and disabling than other types of headaches. They can cause moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
What Causes Migraines?
The cause of migraines is still unknown, but scientists believe that they may be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.
Some Potential Triggers Include:
Noise is one of the most common migraine triggers. Loud noises or constant exposure to noise can cause a migraine. If you work in a loud environment, try wearing earplugs to protect yourself from the noise. You may also want to consider wearing headphones to listen to music or white noise that can help block out other sounds.
Food is another common migraine trigger. Foods that are high in tyramine, such as aged cheese, smoked fish, and red wine, can trigger a migraine. If you know you are sensitive to tyramine, avoid it.
Excessive stress can also cause a migraine. When you have a high level of stress, your body responds by releasing hormones that trigger your fight or flight response. This causes blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to increase, which can lead to a migraine. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, practise relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and talk to your doctor about methods for managing your stress.
Infections from sinus infections or ear infections can trigger migraines in some people. If this is the case with you, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever until the infection clears up, so you don’t end up with a full-blown migraine on top of the sinus infection or earache.
Light is another common migraine trigger. Many people find they have a worse migraine when outside in bright sunlight, so try to limit your exposure to bright lights if this is an issue for you. Try wearing sunglasses on bright sunny days and stay indoors as much as possible. If you normally need to be in front of a computer screen all day at work, take frequent breaks throughout the day away from your computer to rest your eyes. Also, make sure that any light coming off of electronic screens is not too bright; adjust the brightness level of your devices accordingly or wear blue light glasses designed especially for computer screens.
Dehydration is another common trigger for migraines. When you do not drink enough water, your body starts to become dehydrated, which can cause a migraine. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water per day and more if you are active or live in a hot climate.
Caffeine is also a common migraine trigger. Caffeine can dehydrate you and also causes blood vessels to narrow, both of which can lead to a migraine. If you know caffeine triggers your migraines, try cutting back on the amount you drink or avoid caffeine altogether.
Poor posture can also cause migraines. For example, if you sit hunched over your desk all day, it puts stress on your neck and shoulders, which can lead to a migraine. Instead, try taking regular breaks from sitting down, getting up and stretching, doing desk exercises or using a massage ball at work to help reduce muscle tension.
Lack Of Sleep:
Sleep deprivation is another common trigger for migraine headaches. Try going to bed early enough each night so that you are getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Setting an alarm each morning can be helpful in reminding yourself when it’s time for bed, rather than spending more time on social media or watching TV before sleeping!
Lastly, alcohol is also a known migraine trigger for some people. If you find that consuming alcohol causes you to get a migraine, try abstaining from alcohol or drinking in moderation.