If you’ve ever suffered from migraines you will know they are not at all pleasant. They’re not just really bad headaches, they can cause a lot of pain and you can also suffer from vision loss, blurriness, nausea, sensitivity to light and more. The worst thing is they can linger and make you feel exhausted too. Migraines can be caused by a number of factors, from stress, hormonal changes to diet and the environment around you.
Around 10 million people in the UK are affected by migraines. For many sufferers, the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic has worsened or triggered new migraine symptoms. The drastic lifestyle change, including remote working and being less active, is another contributing factor. Excessive screen time is integral to our new normal; it often feels as if we’re stuck in an endless cycle of working at our computer screens all day, then staring at a television screen or scrolling through our smartphones all evening. In 2020, the average person spent a shocking 13 hours per day on digital devices!
The Migraine Trust identified that:
- Workers in the UK lose a total of 25 million days per year due to debilitating migraines
- Over 3/4 of people who experience migraines have at least one attack each month
- Between 85 – 90% of people with migraines experience sensitivity to light, particularly the blue light commonly emitted from phones and computer screens.
In this article we look at 8 ways you can try to ease migraine pain.
How to ease migraine pain
See your GP
Consult your doctor about potential triggers for your migraines, as they can vary from person to person. They will be able to diagnose what is causing your migraines and recommend treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation or massage to ease them.
Take some pain relief
Medication can ease the pain and symptoms of migraines, others can help prevent the migraine headaches. Speak to your GP to find out which ones are best suited to you. If you’re not a fan of taking medication you could look into Paingone, an effective drug-free pain relief that can alleviate migraines.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day and try to stay hydrated by drinking about 1.8 litres per day. This will keep your skin looking clear and your body functioning at its best. Dehydration can be a major contributor to migraines so it is important to ensure you are hydrated.
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a day
According to studies, both too little sleep and too much sleep can cause migraines. While comfortable sleep might help to reduce migraine symptoms while they are still present, sleeping excessively can exacerbate the problem. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a day to form good sleeping habits and have a regular sleep schedule where you are waking up and going to sleep at the same time.
Regular exercise is a natural way to release endorphins, which are essential in the body’s production of natural painkillers. Migraines can be reduced in frequency and severity by exercising, particularly regular aerobic exercise.
Change your diet
Some people believe they can help ease their migraines by altering their diet in certain ways. The following foods have been noted as possible triggers for migraines: chocolate, nitrate-rich foods such as cured meats and hot dogs,artificial sweeteners and alcohol. There’s also certain food and drink that may prevent migraine attacks, such as artificial flavourings, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Consider adding supplements like Coenzyme Q10 or magnesium into your diet if you are not eating enough vegetables or fish that contain these nutrients. A number of important nutrients that are critical to a healthy lifestyle can be found in supplements. For instance, Coenzyme Q10 and Magnesium are both available in supplement form and may be necessary if you don’t eat enough vegetables or seafood.
Consider getting a daith piercing
The innermost cartilage fold of the ear is pierced in this piercing and some migraine sufferers have found that having a daith piercing has helped as a treatment.
These are just some ideas on how you can ease migraine pain. If you’re looking for further ideas or support head over to The Migraine Trust website.