Quick guide to headache prevention
Whether your headaches are rare or frequent, you don't have to live with the discomfort. You can learn to manage the pain and even prevent some headaches.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Going to bed and getting up at the same times each day can help you regulate your biological clock, reduce stress and avoid headaches that result from too much or too little sleep.
Don't skip meals.
It causes blood sugar levels to drop, a common headache trigger.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day; dehydration can contribute to headaches.
Stress is the most commonly recognized trigger for headaches. Take a minute to breath and unwind if you feel yourself getting tense.
Avoid the three C's.
Chocolate, citrus and ripened cheeses all contain substances called amines that can trigger headaches.
Don't quit caffeine abruptly.
Studies show that even people who drink just one cup of coffee per day may suffer withdrawal symptoms such as headaches if they go cold turkey. Instead, taper off slowly over several weeks or months.
Clear the air.
Strong chemicals or odors can trigger migraines. Keep your home and wok environments well ventilated.
Watch the glare factor.
Make sure natural light from windows or artificial lighting isn't directly hitting your computer screen and causing glare, or use a glare filter that attaches to the screen.
When your head aches
Pain relievers can help you cope with a headache. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen can be taken, as well as acetaminophen. If your headache persists for two to three days or interferes with your normal life and ability to function, contact your doctor.
Need headache help?
Community neurologists treat headache conditions in adults and children. For more information about headaches, visit our webpage or call 800-777-7775 for a referral.