Migraine triggers can include foods, beverages, activities and exercise, medications, stress, sleep deprivation, bright lights, hunger, odors, hormones, and other changes.
To help determine what triggers your migraines, print the list below. Then check the list for potential migraine triggers when you get the first signs of an attack. After a few weeks or months, review the checklist to see if you can find a pattern for your migraine triggers. While triggers can be tricky to determine, chances are that the items that get the most checks may be your key personal triggers.
Occipital neuralgia is a neurological condition in which the occipital nerves -- the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord at the base of the neck up through the scalp -- are inflamed or injured. Occipital neuralgia can be confused with a migraine, or other types of headache, because the symptoms can be similar. But occipital neuralgia is a distinct disorder that requires an accurate diagnosis to be treated properly.
After you've narrowed down migraine triggers that may affect you, take the checklist to your next doctor's visit and discuss these triggers. Your doctor can give you additional medical advice about how to prevent migraines by avoiding migraine triggers and taking necessary preventive migraine treatment.
American Headache Society: "Headache Hygiene Tips."
The International Headache Society: "Epidemiology of Headache."
The Migraine Trust: "Your Triggers."
National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."