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What Triggers Your Headaches?
Your neighbor's stereo and the stress of that impending deadline aren't the only things that can trigger a headache. In the fast-paced world we live in, there may be more headache triggers than you were aware of. Get to know some of these common causes so you can avoid them in the future and leave the pain behind.
When you're extremely upset or anxious, you're more likely to develop a headache or worsen one you already have.
Take it easy on your eyes. Intense, bright light in your home or workplace, and sun glare in the car or outdoors, cause tension in your eye muscles, leading to a headache.
High levels of noise and ongoing noisy conditions at work or at home can cause a headache.
Eating & Sleeping Patterns.
Pay attention to when and how you eat and sleep. Skipping meals or fasting is a major cause of headaches—especially if you go without food for 5 waking hours, or 13 nighttime hours. Your sleep patterns—including naps during the day—are also important. Getting too much sleep or too little sleep can trigger a headache.
Some prescription medications you take may have the potential to trigger a headache. If you notice a pattern of headaches related to when you take your medicine, talk to your doctor about switching medicines.
Watch how much you push yourself. When you exercise or do hard physical labor, the muscles in your head, neck, and scalp need more blood to circulate. This swells your blood vessels, which can lead to what's called an "exertional headache."
For menstruating women, headaches and migraines are closely tied to the levels of the female hormone estrogen in the body. As your estrogen level fluctuates,(especially just before menstruation when it's at its lowest), headaches are more likely to occur.
Watch what you eat and drink. When you eat certain foods, your brain releases neurotransmitters, which can cause headaches in some people. Common headache-trigger foods are different for everybody, but they may include: aspartame, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, cultured dairy products, dried fruits, cheese, smoked or dried fish, canned soups, MSG (a food additive), and aged, canned, cured, or processed meats.