Migraines can be tough wherever they happen. Dealing with them when you're not at home can be especially tricky.
You can prepare for when a migraine hits when you're out and about. Some steps you can take may stop one from happening at all.
Know Your Triggers
They don't cause migraines, but they can set them off. Triggers are different for everyone. When you know which things can start your migraines, you can try to avoid them. If you can't stay away from them, at least you'll know to be prepared for when they happen.
When you're away from home -- traveling, at a big event, or even at work -- it can be easy to miss meals. Your sleep pattern may change. You may just not get enough rest. Stress and spreading yourself too thin can bring on attacks in many people.
Make an extra effort to eat well, sleep well, and manage stress wherever you are. It can help to know some ways to relax, like deep breathing or relaxing your muscles.
Be sure to drink plenty of water, too. Sometimes, if you're at the gym, on vacation, or running errands, it can be easy to forget to drink up. But dehydration can start a migraine. Water is always a great choice.
There are other things you can't avoid, like:
- Weather changes
- Bright lights
- Strong smells
- Motion sickness
Still, if you know your triggers, you can be prepared for them.
If you normally take pain medicine when a migraine comes, make sure you have it within reach at all times. If you're traveling, keep it with you. Don't check it in your luggage or leave it in the trunk of your car.
If you exercise, pack it in your gym bag. Take it as soon as you feel a headache starting. That way, it'll get to work fast.
If a migraine hits, try to find a quiet, dark place you can go, like your hotel room. Turn off the lights and lie down for a few minutes.
Even if you can't sleep, it may help to put a cool, damp cloth on your forehead. Rub your scalp or put light pressure on your temples.
If you take preventive medicine, don't miss a dose when you're away. Be sure to bring extra pills with you, too. Ask your doctor when to take it if you are crossing time zones.
Get Help if You Need It
If you've had a lot of migraines, you probably just try to tough it out when one strikes. Not all migraines are the same, though. If yours doesn't let up with treatment, you may need emergency help.
Go to the ER or see a doctor if you feel like this is the worst headache you've ever had. Get help if it came on suddenly, or if you also have:
- High fever
- Trouble seeing
- Trouble speaking
- Stiff neck