Do you find yourself getting a headache, just popping an over-the-counter pain reliever and waiting for it to fade? Do you know why you get headaches? Here are some surprising headache triggers that you may want to know about:
That is, if your boss or work situation boosts your stress level. The nerves in your brain that relay pain may react more sensitively when you feel stressed.
Your chance of getting a migraine changes just as the weather does. A shift in weather to hotter days or colder can trigger headaches in some. Days that are hot, sunny and high in humidity are common triggers, as are rain, wind and barometric pressure changes.
Even if they’re pleasant scents–they can trigger migraines. Paint, perfume and flowers are common culprits.
A tight ponytail can lead to a headache by straining tissue on your scalp. In fact, anything that is tight on your head, including hats, can trigger a headache.
If you’re engaging in strenuous exercise, including sex, you may end up with a headache, particularly if you are prone to migraines. It’s important to speak with your doctor if this happens, in order to rule out something more serious.
Even if you’re sitting and not working up any type of sweat, slouching (at your desk, for example) can build pressure in your head and neck muscles, and trigger a headache.
This may be due to a substance called tyramine, which is found in higher amounts in aged foods. Examples of cheeses this includes are swiss, cheddar, parmesan and blue cheese.
Headaches may come on from alcohol due to flavonoids, tyramine and additional ingredients in certain alcoholic drinks, including red wine.
Processed meats, such as cold cuts, often contain tyramine and food additives, such as nitrates; this can bring on headaches for some.
Make it a point not to skip meals. You may get a headache before you even realize you’re hungry. This is most likely caused by the fact that your blood sugar has dropped. Don’t try to fix this by eating something super sweet–your blood sugar will then skyrocket and dip even lower.
Whether you’re the smoker or the one breathing in someone else’s smoke, nicotine causes blood vessels in your brain to narrow.
It’s still true–a moderate amount of caffeine can help treat headaches and it’s included in some medications for headaches, but too much caffeine can cause pain. Make sure to slowly cut down of caffeine because abruptly withdrawing can also cause headaches.
Hopefully you’re better prepared to identify some of your headache triggers. Make sure to visit a doctor for a new headache that lasts more than a couple of days and/or is unusually severe. Get immediate care if your headache is accompanied by vision changes, movement issues, confusion, stiff neck, fever, seizure or trouble talking.