Just a momentary hint of blurred vision is enough to make me stop whatever I am doing and fear the worst: migraine. It comes on innocently enough, with symptoms as simply as fuzzy vision and difficulty reading. But I know that in less than an hour, the slight inconvenience of the “aura” will become the agonizing pain of a migraine.
Migraines are debilitating. Often times, it feels like there is no way to alleviate the pain. Keep your eyes open and any sort of light at all will lead to blinding stabs of pain. But close your eyes and it feels as if the blood veins behind your eyes are ready to explode out of your skull. Nausea, restlessness, and shoulder muscles so tight that they feel like bricks only make the pain worse.
Doctors don’t know exactly what in the brain causes migraines, but there are plenty of known migraine triggers. For some people, foods like chocolate, caffeine, or red wine can lead to a migraine. Women may get migraines while they are on their period. However, there are some lesser known triggers. Here’s a list of some less-known triggers and unusual migraine facts.
- Migraines can lead to higher chances of a stroke
An Italian study published in 2012 suggested that migraine sufferers are at a higher risk of having a stroke than non-sufferers. Additionally, the same study found that heart disease may be more prevalent in patients who have migraines.
- Onions are a major trigger
Care2.com lists onions as “the worst vegetable offender” for triggering migraines. Other problematic vegetables include sauerkraut and lentils.
- The weather is a culprit
Some studies have shown that bad weather can lead to migraines. Lightning strikes near your home can lead to migraines, possibly because of the electrical currents disturbing your brain.
- Too much of a good thing…
Sleeping too much can lead to migraines. Migraine sufferers have reported that they often get the brutal headaches on days that they sleep in or get more sleep than usual. Stick to a daily routine, whether you are on vacation or not, in order to minimize the chances of getting a migraine.
- Certain smells can trigger migraines
Perfume, gasoline, and tobacco can all lead to migraines. For some people, even a whiff of cigarette smoke can trigger a migraine. Check your house for fumes and unpleasant odors, just in case!
- Migraines pose a mental health risk
If you suffer from migraines, be sure to keep a close watch on your moods. Migraines have been linked to serious bouts of depression and even suicide.
- Migraines decrease in frequency as you age
As horrible as migraines may seem, there is hope. Migraines become less frequent after the age of 50. Even better, the intensity of migraines decreases dramatically with age. Of all these unusual migraine facts, this last one is certainly the most welcome!
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