11 Items to Keep in Your Portable Migraine 'Crisis Kit'
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When many of us feel a migraine coming on, our first instinct may be to retreat to a dark, quiet room with our ice packs and medication. But when happens if you’re out and about, or far from home, when a migraine strikes? That’s when a portable migraine “crisis kit” can come in handy. You’re essentially stocking your purse, bag or literal emergency “kit” with additional “travel-size” versions of all the necessary items you use to cope that you might typically keep at home on your nightstand or in your medicine cabinet.
We wanted to know what items are helpful to carry with you on the go in case of a migraine attack, so we asked our Mighty community what they keep in their portable migraine “crisis kits.” Whether you’re new to migraine or just want to add some ideas to your toolkit, hopefully these recommendations from our community can help you feel more prepared to manage your symptoms in case a migraine strikes.
Here’s what our community shared with us:
1. Eye Protection
Even if you don’t plan to spend time outside, bringing sunglasses (or even an eye mask) with you when you’re on the go can be so important when you live with migraine. You never know what might happen while you’re out, and there are some situations (like bright sunlight or harsh fluorescent lighting in stores) that just can’t be controlled. Having some sort of “shield” between your eyes and the source of light can be crucial for those with photosensitivity. Check out 8 glasses people with migraine recommend here.
Cindy Stevens-Ditty told us, “Always have sunglasses and emergency injections (always two) in case I can’t get home in time, and nausea meds. Always always.”
“Sunglasses at 50 percent tint for inside use,” recommended Patricia Andresen.
2. Essential Oils
Different essential oils are said to have a different health benefits, both physical and emotional. For instance, peppermint essential oil is known to relieve pain and provide a cooling sensation, which many with migraine find soothing.
“A blend of essential oils that I can apply to my neck and shoulders that help to calm my migraines and comfort me,” said Sharayah Werner.
Lucila Marquez Hanson recommended, “dōTERRA’s Deep Blue roll-on (essential oil).”
These soft, small and neutral-toned earplugs are perfect for helping block out sound if you experience noise sensitivity during a migraine attack.
“Earplugs!” said Sadie Bolyard. “Never go anywhere without them.”
“Sound reduction earplugs,” added Avia Rose Brooke. “Life savers as I can still carry conversations, and they are discreet.”
Buy the ear plugs above for $8.07 from Amazon.
4. Anti-Nausea Products
Many of those with migraine may experience nausea at some point throughout their attack, so it can be super helpful to keep some of your favorite anti-nausea products in your purse or bag. Whether it’s anti-nausea medication, ginger candies, an acupressure tool or so on, it may be especially useful if you’re traveling or moving around! Check out the 14 products our community recommends for managing nausea here.
Sara Hill recommended Gin Gins and the Sea-Band.
5. Instant Cold Packs
Wrapping your head in an ice pack fresh from the freezer may be one of the first steps you take when you start feeling a migraine coming on at home – but if you’re out and about and not near your fridge, some instant disposable ice packs may come in handy.
Kazell Cadiz-Sevilla added, “I always travel with my eye patch, ProFreeze (reusable ice cubes), essential oils and medicine. And I am certainly glad I always did because recently my hubby got a unexpected migraine and thanked me for my migraine crisis kit. Now he knows how unbearable the pain can be and how it takes my days out of me.”
Selena Marie Wilson recommended, “Instant disposable ice packs.”
Buy the instant cold packs (6-pack) above for $8.98 from Amazon.
6. Emergency Rescue Medications
In case of a migraine emergency, having some abortive rescue medication on hand can truly be a lifesaver. Talk with your doctor before taking any medications.
“Only my migraine meds in my purse,” said Michelle Frías.
Michelle Missy Halpin Kern told us she carries, “Ear plugs, sunglasses, nausea meds, emergency meds and my phone to call for a ride home if needed.”
“My abortives and some caffeine that can help if I feel a migraine coming on,” wrote Katelyn Widell.
Buy the travel pill organizer above for $10.77 from Amazon.
7. Emesis (“Sick”) Bag
Emesis bags are disposable bags you can keep with you in case of nausea and vomiting. They have secure closures that allow you to seal them up after use to eliminate odors and reduce contamination.
“I always try to have a sick bag with me. I can’t predict when a migraine will start or escalate, so having the sick bag means I’m not sick in a car park again,” said Lauren Thorogate.
Buy the emesis bags above (24-pack) for $9.99 from Amazon.
8. Water Bottle
Drinking water is important, whether you live with migraine or not. But dehydration likely won’t help if you’re experiencing a migraine attack – carrying a bottle of water with you is always a good idea!
“I carry a bottle of water with me everywhere,” said Emily Bowers.
Meaghan Leary added, “I always have water, and tea.”
Buy the water bottle above for $14 from Amazon.
These headphones serve a dual purpose: blocking out extraneous sounds, if your migraines cause you to become sensitive to loud noises, while also giving you the option of listening to something distracting or soothing. Some may not be able to listen to anything at all during a migraine, and that’s totally OK. But others may find that listening to some music or even a podcast or audiobook may be a helpful coping mechanism.
“I normally have instant ice and hot packs, sunglasses and headphones,” said Susan DeSear.
Buy the noise-cancelling headphones above for $60.29 from Amazon.
10. Face Mask
If you experience heightened sensitivity to smells before or during your migraine attacks, certain types of face masks can help filter out air particulates. The N95 mask above is disposable (one-time use) and removes at least 95 percent of non-oil-based particles down to 0.3 microns. Check out 10 face masks our community recommends here.
“[I use] a charcoal filter face mask for smell sensitivity,” explained Patricia Andresen.
Buy the N95 charcoal masks above (10-pack) for $15.93 from Amazon.
For some with migraine, going too long without food or not sticking to a consistent eating schedule can trigger a migraine attack. Others may find that consuming certain foods or drinks offers them some relief when they feel a migraine coming on. If this is the case for you, having your favorite go-to snacks on hand can be a huge help.
“A protein bar, a candy bar, a Coke, Benadryl, peppermint candies and Tylenol,” said Nyci Farren Mann.
Mary Downs wrote, “Sunglasses, water, Tylenol, cool pad, pain relieving patch, menthol 8 percent roll-on, fruits like tangerines, oranges, grapes.”
“I like to carry sunglasses, Tums, anti-nausea meds, tramadol, or some other form of painkiller, as well as a small snack, and I always have to have at least two bottles of water in mine!” added Skyla Narissa Lambert.