how to avoid migraine triggers

Learning how to avoid migraines is the main priority for anyone who suffers attacks. Learning about yours can change your life. When you understand your triggers, you can take proactive steps to avoid them. If avoidance is not an option, you can reduce their effects with targeted treatments. 

You will get more from your daily life if you can avoid or minimize your triggers. The more information you have, the better you can manage your migraine attacks. 

Common migraine triggers

Everyone has different migraine triggers. Avoiding them completely isn’t always possible. However, understanding your triggers and how they affect you can help you find relief. When you know your triggers, you can develop a strategy to cope with them. 

Some common migraine triggers include: 

  • Stress: Stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people who experience migraine. Stress is part of life, but activities like exercise and meditation can help. 
  • Nicotine: Smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes constricts blood vessels in your brain. When this happens, it can trigger migraine attacks. 
  • Hormones: Hormonal changes during your cycle can trigger migraines in some people. 
  • Dehydration: About 33% of people say dehydration is a migraine trigger.
  • Medications: Using migraine medications too often can worsen your migraine symptoms. 
  • Food and drinks: Preservatives and certain foods can trigger migraines. Alcohol and caffeine may also cause attacks.
  • The environment: External stimulants like bright lights, strong smells and loud noises can trigger or intensify attacks. 
  • Sleep habits: Getting too little sleep or sleeping too much can also be triggers. 
  • The weather: Atmospheric changes, temperature changes and seasonal shifts are all potential triggers. 

Tips and tricks to avoid migraine triggers

Triggers exist in our daily lives. While sometimes unavoidable, tracking and minimizing triggers are the first steps. When you know how to avoid a migraine, you can improve your quality of life. Some tips and tricks to avoid your triggers include: 

Track your migraine triggers

A migraine tracker can help you identify patterns and manage migraine. Tracking your migraine involves recording your symptoms, triggers and treatments. You can pinpoint your main triggers and develop a treatment plan. The easiest way to do this? The CeCe Migraine Management app from CEFALY. 

CeCe is an intuitive migraine management app that allows you to log migraine attacks and track your triggers. The more you use it, the more information you have on your attacks.

Come into a migraine-free zone

Your home should be your safe space. You may be able to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by making small changes in your home. Turn your home into a safe haven with the following tips: 

safe haven
  • Change your lightbulbs: Switching to dim incandescent bulbs provides a softer light. Avoiding bright light is better for staving off migraines.
  • Get fresh air: The air quality in our homes is often worse than outdoors. Ensure you have fresh air circulating in your home to remove pollutants.
  • Choose the right cleaning products: Strong fragrances and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are known migraine triggers. Learn about migraine-safe cleaning products and remove those that might become triggers. 
  • Upgrade your bedroom: Consider investing in blackout curtains, switching to a pillow with more support and removing the TV. 
  • Mute the noise: Thick carpets and heavy drapes can help absorb sound. You can also invest in noise-canceling headphones for some extra quiet.
  • Keep water handy: As dehydration can be a powerful trigger, ensure water is always easily accessible in your home. Place water bottles in easy-to-find locations to remind you to keep drinking. 

Establishing a migraine-conscious workspace

Some triggers are unavoidable, but with the right approach, you can reduce the effects of many triggers and handle migraine at work. Take the following steps to create a migraine-conscious workspace:

  • Fight the light: Most workplaces have glaring lights and screens everywhere. You may spend most of your day at the computer. Consider wearing light-blocking glasses to minimize the effects of the excess light. Adjust the display on your screens to eye-saver mode and ask to work near the windows to get exposure to natural light. 
  • Reduce noise: Noise-canceling headphones can be a game changer at the office. You can also ask to work in a quiet area, far from the main activity areas. 
  • Adjust your posture: Spending long hours behind a desk could cause tense muscles — another potential migraine trigger. Invest in a good ergonomic chair with adequate back support. 
  • Find a safe space: Retreating to a quiet area can minimize sensory overload and help you relax. Find a safe space at work you can move to when needed. 
  • Stay hydrated: Water is just as important at the office as it is at home. Keep water bottles within reach and hydrate throughout the workday. 
  • Breathe and relax: Take relaxation breaks throughout your day. Practice controlled breathing and other relaxation exercises to combat workplace stress. 
  • Have an emergency kit: Have a migraine kit available at work. Include ice packs, ice rollers, heat pads, water, medications and your CEFALY device. With these tools, you can manage an attack with confidence. 

Many employers have already created migraine-aware workplaces. If yours hasn’t, you can approach the topic and raise awareness. Talk to your boss about small changes to improve your environment. Consider requesting the following accommodations:

  • Work schedule flexibility
  • Adjusted lighting
  • Noise reduction
  • Ergonomic furniture and equipment
  • Designated break areas
  • Remote working options

Starting a conversation is an opportunity to educate and advocate for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results. 

Adopt healthy everyday habits

Avoiding migraines often means a lifestyle change. You can create habits at home and at work that relieve your triggers. Some examples are getting enough exercise and having a healthy sleep schedule. You can also focus on a healthy diet, stretching and meditation to relieve stress. Making small changes can have significant results. 

Elevate your quality of life and avoid unnecessary triggers

Living with migraine can be challenging. The more you understand about your triggers, the easier it is to avoid and manage them. Another important element of migraine management is trying new treatment approaches. 

The CEFALY device is clinically proven to provide effective, proactive and drug-free migraine management. In a recent study, 43% of CEFALY users reported the resolution of all migraine symptoms after two hours of using the device. Targeting the primary pathway for migraine pain — the trigeminal nerve — this device can relieve migraine pain and reduce the frequency of attacks

Experience CEFALY today to improve your quality of life.