External Triggers for Migraine Headaches


Migraine is an actual condition and headaches are symptoms of that disorder. If you get migraine headaches, you know all about how tough they can be to get through. Not knowing when one will strike can make it worse.

Some things around you can trigger a migraine. You can control a lot of them.


Sitting in front of your laptop or desktop for a long time can trigger migraine and tension-type headaches. This is especially true if you have a low-resolution monitor. They put more strain on your eyes.

You can:

  • Put a glare screen over your monitor.
  • Make sure no reflection from the sun hits the screen.
  • Use a bigger font size.

Good posture is important, too. It’ll ease stress on your head, neck, and shoulders. Don’t forget to get away from your computer for a few minutes every hour, too.

Bright Lights

Sensitivity to light is called photophobia. Fluorescent lights or flickering lights can bring it on. A slow flicker, in particular, can irritate your brain cells.

When you’re outside, sunlight reflecting off snow or water or suddenly breaking through clouds can also start a migraine. Sunglasses with polarized lenses can help dim the glare.


The day-to-day stuff is more likely to bring on a migraine than stress caused by something sudden or life-changing. You can help avoid this if you:

Eat healthy Exercise Get enough sleep Practice relaxation exercises, like yoga, or tai chi
Staying out of stressful situations also can help. For example, if driving to work puts you under pressure, consider the bus or subway. That’ll also let you relax by reading or listening to music.


A loud or bothersome sound can bring on a migraine. It can often add to your stress level. Certain patterns of noise also can be a trigger.

If you know you’re going to be where loud sounds are common, wear earplugs. You could also listen to calming music or sounds with earbuds.


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