5 Triggers Chronic Headache Sufferers Should Watch For


If you suffer from headaches on what seems like a constant basis, or you have 15 or more headaches a month, then you may be suffering from a chronic condition. One of the best ways to reduce the frequency of these headaches is by knowing what your triggers are. 

While many people who don’t have headaches don’t understand them, there have been tentative studies that have shown that people who suffer from them on a weekly basis (or more often) apt to be diagnosed with a mental illness than people who don’t. Here are a few triggers you should watch out for to help you deal with your condition. 

The Weather

Whether you live down South or in New York City, there is little you can do about the weather. It is, however, a major trigger in many headache sufferers. Everything from humidity to the temperature and lightning strikes can trigger a headache. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and try to plan ahead. If your headaches are getting worse and the weather in New York City is getting you down, then it might be time to find a specialist in New York City to help you deal with them. 


One of the biggest triggers for chronic headache sufferers is stress. Tension headaches are very real and nothing to play with. Some of the biggest causes of this condition are tension in the shoulders and neck and constantly being stressed about something, whether it’s work or life itself. Since it’s impossible to avoid stress in today’s hustle and hurry world, it’s extremely important that you learn to cope with it instead. From meditation to yoga and from taking deep breaths to taking long walks, there are ways that you can cope with this trigger and avoid the headaches that it causes. 

The Overuse of Medications 

This is a big trigger and one that happens often. Pain medications aren’t meant to work forever, so if you’re constantly taking something for your pain, you’ll get what is known as a rebound headache. This means that the very medication you’re reaching for is now causing your headache and the cycle continues repeating itself. 

Instead of reaching for medication the next time a headache hits, try a natural remedy such as making lavender lemonade or soaking in a warm bath with essential oils. You might be surprised at how many fewer headaches you have when you aren’t using over-the-counter medicine to treat them. 


Unless you have a sensitivity already, food and drink doesn’t usually trigger a headache, however, it has been known to happen. It’s impossible to come up with a list of foods that everyone who has this chronic condition should avoid, because every person is unique. 

You need to figure out your own food triggers, if you have any at all. There are a few common triggers associated with food, however: 

  • Chocolate 
  • Aged cheeses
  • Foods that contain MSG
  • Meats that have been cured
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Alcohol 

Skipping Meals 

If you suffer from migraines or any other type of headache, skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do. If you are busy during the day, it may seem like a bad idea to take 30 minutes to eat, but then after work you have a headache that stops you from doing anything else for the rest of the evening. That’s counterproductive to what you’re trying to do to begin with. Instead, try eating at least a snack on the go, if you don’t want to be useless once the headache begins. 

Certain Scents

There are a few scents that have been associated with triggering headaches as well. These are certain perfumes, paint, gasoline, bleach, certain cooking odors, and even some essential oils and air fresheners. 

Finding out your triggers and avoiding them might not help you to avoid the headaches all of the time, but it should help you to at least cut down on their frequency, and that means a lot to someone who has chronic headaches often. 

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