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18 'Hacks' That Can Make Life With Migraine Easier

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Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

There’s no doubt that living with migraine can be incredibly painful and frustrating. Between the chronic pain, nausea, sensitivity to stimuli, dizziness, fatigue and array of other symptoms and side effects the different types of migraine can cause, this illness has a way of affecting just about every aspect of a person’s life. It can be exhausting – physically and emotionally – to cope with all the symptoms on a daily basis.

Although there isn’t a cure or “one-size-fits-all” treatment for migraine, some people have developed tricks to help manage symptoms and reduce everyday frustrations. We asked our Mighty community to share some of the “hacks” they use to make life with migraine a bit easier. Maybe some of these ideas might help you live a bit more comfortably, too.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

  1. Strong perfumes are a migraine trigger for me. I learned that keeping little peppermint discs in my purse and eating one when I start to smell overwhelming perfumes stops the migraine in its tracks. The peppermint I can handle. It overpowers the perfume.” – Nyci F.M.
  2. I wear sunglasses indoors where there is florescent or LED lighting. I also carry a mini ice bag in my purse that I fill with ice at work if I need it.” – Gina F.
  3. Vicks on the forehead when at home! Whenever I feel a migraine coming, especially if it’s more-so on my forehead and temples, I put on some Vicks after taking pain relievers (sometimes I apply Thera-gesic to my neck if it started from there too). It doesn’t 100 percent always help, but the cooling feeling will make it easier to fall asleep before a migraine wreaks havoc or lessen the pain as well as give the pain relievers time to work their magic.” – Shelley A.
  4. I choose my words carefully when educating others on migraine. The words we use can educate or reinforce stigma.” – Bridget W.
  5. I get anxious and hot when I feel a migraine coming on, which often causes me to hold tension in my shoulders, neck and jaw. I keep a rollerball of peppermint and lavender oil on hand and I use it on the back of my neck. It’s not a panacea, but it helps me remember to take deep breaths and calm my brain before I start to panic!” – Korinda W.
  6. Morning coffee and sunglasses day ‘n’ night. I even got a pair of glasses especially for driving at night. Also, dimming the backlights of all electronic screens.” – Claudia G.
  7. Pedialyte makes popsicles which really help – an ER doctor told me about them. When my migraine is really bad it’s hard to consume a lot of liquids like I need to, so this does the trick!” – Shannon Y.
  8. For tension migraine the Salonpas patches are a lifesaver when I’m at work or not home where I can use a heating pad! Plus they don’t hurt when you pull them off.” – Stephanie D.
  9. I freeze plastic bottles of water to place behind my neck when under attack. Dark shades, day and night… Blue screen on devices and turning down the brightness level on electronics… definitely earplugs, 24/7, in case I need to mute sounds around me.” – Rachael F.B.
  10. Blackout shades – the best money I’ve ever spent!” – Kari D.
  11. My neurologist of a year and a half (migraines started two years ago with the discovery of a brain aneurysm) hasn’t found a medication that works for me yet. I have discovered that drinking an energy drink and eating chocolate helps tremendously. Migraine is still there, but not as bad. I’m trying CBD oil right now. Idk if it’s a coincidence or placebo effect, but the intensity of my migraine isn’t as bad about 20 to 30 minutes after taking some CBD oil.” – Sarah H.
  12. Being super organized so I can remember what I am doing when brain fog sets in. Also a huge fan of meditation apps like Stop Think and Breathe and Headspace. Lying down and doing some guided meditation helps so much.” – Mary A.
  13. I drink Gatorade at the first sign of one. Sometimes, the electrolytes help keep me hydrated and make me feel just a little bit better.” – Meghan T.
  14. My migraine hat is the best thing I have to help reduce the pain.” – Alison H.
  15. Peach tea has always helped me. I’m unsure if this works for everyone or if it only helps me, but honey scented incense has also been able to relieve some of the pressure feeling.” – Jennifer B.
  16. A ‘migraine box’ containing peppermint, painkillers, blockers, eye mask, heat bag, etc. When I feel one coming on, I just grab the box and everything I need is there, hopefully eliminating the need to keep getting up!” – Meagan S.
  17. One of my many ‘hacks’ is to place Tiger Balm on my temples and back of the neck. Next is to lay down, but with neck support (think airplane pillow) and perform a series of cleansing breaths. Breathing in through right nostril while covering other nostril with the index finder and slowly releasing the breath through left nostril, then switch. Repeat for one minute. Tiger Balm tends to be strong for some, any new smells can make a headache, please use an oil of your choice. Yes, turn down the light.” – Diana L.
  18. I set the background of screens and apps to dark and the text to light. I also stock up on cooling patches which are helpful.” – Zafreen J.
Originally published: June 20, 2018
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