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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Headache Triggers and Smoking

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    Smoking and second-hand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can contribute to headaches for both the smoker and the non-smoker. Nicotine, one of the components of tobacco, stimulates the blood vessels in the brain to constrict (narrow). Smoking also stimulates the nerves in the back of the throat, contributing to headache pain.

    Usually, by removing the stimulus (nicotine), headaches will be relieved. Quitting smoking or reducing exposure to second-hand smoke is especially helpful for those with cluster headaches. In one study of people with cluster headaches, those who reduced their tobacco use by less than one-half pack of cigarettes per day found their headaches decreased by 50%.

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    6 Parenting Tips for When You Have a Migraine

    If you're a mom or dad who has migraines, you may worry about the impact your headaches could have on your family. Migraines can develop at the most inconvenient times, making it harder to juggle your parenting responsibilities.  "When you're in the midst of a migraine, it can be difficult to function and take care of your kids," says Audrey Halpern, MD, a clinical assistant professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine. "Both the pain and the associated symptoms like nausea,...

    Read the 6 Parenting Tips for When You Have a Migraine article > >

    Allergy to smoke as well as odor sensitivity can also cause migraine headaches in some people. By avoiding situations or places where smoking occurs, headaches may be avoided.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on February 23, 2014
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