10 Common Migraine Triggers to Be Aware Of

Coping With and Managing Migraine Triggers

Reduce and Manage Stress

Learning how to manage stress in a healthy way is important in lowering the risk of stress-induced migraine attacks. Meditation, relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, tai chi, and cognitive behavioral therapy are all effective ways to cope with stress.

Coping With Weather Changes and Migraines

The force of mother nature cannot be controlled. Weather is the most challenging trigger to cope with. It is unpredictable and relentless at times but there are ways to work around or with it.

During heat waves, try to stay indoors in the air conditioning. If you have to venture outside, wear wide-brimmed hats, eye protection and always stay hydrated. If fluctuations in barometric pressure are a trigger, you can purchase, and wear earplugs made specifically to counteract those changes.


If you experience menstrual migraines, changes in lifestyle and diet can help. Some methods of birth control can help regulate hormone levels as well. Consult with your physician to figure out what the appropriate treatment plan for you should be.

Get Adequate Sleep

Having a proper sleep hygiene will help with sleep-related migraine attacks. Here are a few ways to enforce good sleep hygiene:

  • Keep a strict sleep schedule. Plan to go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Turn off the television and put away your mobile devices thirty minutes before turning in for the night. The blue light emitted from the screens keep the brain stimulated, so shutting them down will help the brain know it’s time to relax.
  • Reading before bed, meditating and using guided imagery also helps you wind down and get ready to sleep.
  • Try to avoid taking naps during the day or exercising before bed as they can disrupt your sleep.

Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Intake

If caffeine is a migraine trigger for you, avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea, and soda. Instead, opt for decaffeinated coffee or soda and green tea.


Drink caffeinated drinks in moderation if you must have it. Avoid alcoholic beverages that you know are triggers for you and limit how much you have.

Wear Tinted Eyewear for Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity can be managed through wearing precision tinted eyewear. These products use a specific lens that filters out harmful and painful wavelengths of sunlight and fluorescent lighting. Light filters can also be purchased and installed over existing fluorescent lighting in offices and homes.

Tips for Dealing With Smell-Induced Migraines

We can’t always avoid walking into or through a smelly area. Waiting rooms, elevators and other small spaces can be filled with someone’s strong perfume or cologne. Walking into a building could mean going through a cloud of cigarette smoke first. How can you control something so pervasive?

  • Request that your coworkers do not wear any perfume, cologne, aftershave or scented lotions in the office.
  • You can extend this request to your physician’s office as well so the waiting room and time with the nurse don’t trigger a migraine for you.
  • Put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil on a scarf, tissue or piece of cotton and smell that to block out the harsh odors around you.
  • If you will be in an area where harsh chemicals are being used, such as paint or cleansers, wear a mask that filters out those fumes.

Keep Hydrated

Staying hydrated can alleviate and inhibit a lot of medical issues, including migraines and headaches. Drink your body weight of water in ounces each day to avoid dehydration. If you weigh 120 pounds you should be drinking 120 oz. of water each day.

Stop Overusing Migraine Medications

Regular use of acute headache medication can result in medication overuse headache. Usually, medication overuse headache can be resolved when overuse is stopped, but not always. Consult with your physician on the best treatment options for you.

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Amy ManleyAmy Manley

Amy Manley is a certified medical writer through the American Medical Writers Association. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and writes to help educate people on various health conditions and how to cope with them.

Oct 15, 2018
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