Migraines are a total pain! Seriously, having a migraine is no joke as they come in all shapes and sizes. Since I have plenty of experience with migraines it felt like a good idea to give tips on the subject. It is important to know the difference between a headache and a migraine. Treatment will be easier when the difference between a headache and a migraine are known.
Headaches can occur anywhere in your head. It can be a dull or severe pain that lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an entire week. Most common is the tension headache which can result from stress, anxiety, or muscle strain. Another type of headache that I find very common when I’m sick is a sinus headache. Headaches don’t have as many symptoms as a migraine does.
Migraines on the other hand are usually more intense and can have side effects. Side effects could be pain behind your eye, seeing spots, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and even vomiting. As with headaches, migraines can last as long as a week. Nothing worse than having a searing pain that leaves you unable to do anything.
Did You Know?
Although migraines are only on one side of the head it can move back and forth between the sides. Even if the left side of your head feels like it’s going to split open, in 20 minutes that could be the right side of your head.
Approximately 3 out of every 4 people who get migraines are women. Boys have an equal chance of a migraine when they’re young. Once a boy hits puberty the likelihood of a migraine reduces drastically. Must be nice, am I right?
Several common triggers for migraines exist but it can take time to find what triggers yours. Keep a notebook and jot down whatever you ate, drank, and all activities that lead up to a migraine. Do this repeatedly and then cross-check each occurrence to find a common denominator. Common triggers include:
- Alcohol – studies show that alcohol can trigger a migraine but the reason is unclear. Theories are that it could be from the dehydration or blood rush to the head.
- Caffeine – Since it can either help or hinder a migraine, caffeine is found in two places here. You now what they say — too much of something isn’t always good.
- Food Additives – MSG and processed meats can result in migraines.
- Aged Cheese – Tyramine is a natural chemical in aged cheese and a sensitivity to it results in migraines.
- Others: chocolate, cultured dairy products, figs, raisins, avocados, yeast bread, doughnuts, & other pastries.
I have compiled 5 simple ways to help ease the pain of a migraine that can be done (mostly) at home! Aside from the 5th way you will find that each tip takes little to no effort. Because nobody wants to do anything when they have a migraine!
- You’re Hot then You’re Cold!
Take either a cold compress or some ice wrapped in a towel and hold it against the side of your head that is hurting. If it ends up being a tension headache make sure you’re using a warm compress.
- I Whip My Hair Back and Forth!
Let your hair down every now and then! This is especially true when you feel a migraine coming. Putting your hair down will ease the tension on your head and can help a migraine go away faster. I do this a LOT!
- No Light, No Light!
A great way to soothe a migraine is to turn off all the lights in the room you’re in. Close those blinds, shut off that phone and turn off your monitor. Harsh lighting or flickering lights can be a trigger so sitting in the dark can give your head some much needed R&R.
- I Bit Off More Than I Could Chew!
This was actually a new one to me! Apparently chewing gum, biting your nails or chewing on a pen cap can cause migraines. Do you grind your teeth at night? Another way to cause a migraine! Stop your gnawing and it should stop your migraine from getting any worse.
- To These Blue and Yellow Purple Pills!
Caffeine pills are a culprit when it comes to migraines. If caffeine pills are something that are used frequently then be sure to stop. Need caffeine? Drink tea. If nothing else seems to help then see a doctor for a prescription.
So what do you think of this list? Hopefully it was helpful and you will find relief the next time you have a migraine. Have another great way to get rid of a migraine? Do share in the comments below because I could use a few more tricks in my arsenal! I have to say I’ve been nursing a migraine the last couple days and I’m ready to tell it Hasta la Vista, Baby!