What triggers migraines?

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There are over one hundred factors which influence your likeliness to experience a migraine attack; these “migraine triggers” vary by patient. The most common migraine headache triggers are:

  • Scents, including perfumes, soaps, detergents, flowers, or chemical fumes.
  • Loud noises, such as construction site building and iPod music.
  • Bright lights from fluorescent bulbs, glaring white backgrounds, and black and white patterns, such as stripes and zigzags, often trigger migraines.
  • Changes in weather, including precipitation, barometric pressure, and temperature trigger migraines.
  • Inconsistent lifestyle habits trigger migraines- different sleep schedules and eating at irregular times of the day, for example.
  • Shifting hormones, such as during pregnancy, menopause, or adolescence may trigger migraines.
  • Food sources, including aged foods with tyramine (wine, cheese, and overripe fruit), chocolate, foods containing nitrates (dried salami, smoked fish), MSG, dairy products, gluten, and nightshade vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes).