Stressed worker suffering from causes of a migraine

Common Causes of A Migraine And How To Prevent One

It often starts with a dull pain and from there can grow into a throbbing nightmare. Different factors can trigger different people, but there seem to be universal offenders that can start a migraine. If you’ve been able to eliminate factors such as TMJ – which could include clenching or grinding your teeth at night – some of the following could be sparking your next migraine.

  • Strong smells – each of us have a sensitivity to strong odors, even if they’re intended to be pleasant. Too much of anything can have an adverse reaction. Strong cleaning chemicals, perfumes, candles, air fresheners, smoke etc., could be triggering your migraine. Consider eliminating these things from your home and removing yourself from an environment where strong smells are present.
  • Poor nutrition – Some of your favorite snacks could inadvertently be causing you more pain than you realize. Foods that are processed or high in sodium can be the culprits for headaches. As with things of this nature, eating in moderation is your best bet for avoiding the onset of an undesirable effect. In addition to diet, dehydration can cause headache as well; be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary, processed drinks.
  • Irregular sleep – A leading provider of migraine medication, Excedrin, put it best, “It’s hard to doubt the importance of a good night’s sleep— the act helps us improve focus, react more quickly, and even create memories. And headache sufferers may be more aware of this than most: Irregular sleep patterns may trigger both headaches or migraines in some.”
  • Stress – It’s one of the biggest factors for migraine and according to the American Migraine Foundation, “ stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people with migraine, and one study revealed that 50-70% of people had a significant association between their daily stress level and their daily migraine activity. When you add the perpetual worry of when the next attack will strike, it can start to feel like a never-ending, exhausting cycle.” But how do you avoid stress? It’s a common result of life with responsibilities. Find ways to manage it is key. Through meditation, exercise, and good sleep, people can tackle their stress in a healthy manner.

Any number of things can cause a migraine; be sure the pain you are experiencing isn’t due to a chronic condition that can be corrected. Learn more about what those conditions could be by visiting