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What are common environmental triggers of headaches and migraines?

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Listed below are common environmental triggers for headaches included in a recent survey and the percentage of people who identified them as triggers. People often have more than one type of trigger for their headaches. How many, if any, of these factors trigger your headaches?

Most of the participants reported that these environmental triggers have kept them from participating in their normal outdoor activities. They also said they'd stayed away from places likely to have smoke in the air, such as restaurants or bars.

  • Weather or barometric pressure changes: 73%
  • Intense odors: 64%
  • Bright or flickering lights: 59%
  • Smoke: 53%
  • Extreme heat or cold: 38%
  • Altitude changes: 31%
  • High winds: 18%

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Environmental and Physical Factors."

American Headache Society: "Tools: Headache Diaries."

WebMD Medical News: "Weather Behind Headaches, Sufferers Say."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Headache Foundation: "January 2008 Survey: Environmental Triggers and Headache."

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on August 17, 2017

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Environmental and Physical Factors."

American Headache Society: "Tools: Headache Diaries."

WebMD Medical News: "Weather Behind Headaches, Sufferers Say."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Headache Foundation: "January 2008 Survey: Environmental Triggers and Headache."

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on August 17, 2017

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