A Migraine Map for Your Next Road Trip

July 24, 2015

shutterstock_126992147Summer vacation ends in just a few weeks and cheap flights are hard to find, so take a few days off and hit the open road. Of course, for migraineurs, breaking away from your natural habitat for travel sites can be a headache risk. Here are some suggestions to help ensure your next adventure is a good one:

Be Prepared – Stress is a major migraine trigger, so make a list of everything you need (and check it twice) before you leave. Also, type the address of your destination into the GPS before you drive away and print maps in case your electronic device drops its connection, which is always a possibility when driving down farm roads or through city centers with tall buildings.

Volume Control – If you have little ones in tow, do your best to explain that loud noises in small spaces could cause headaches, and be prepared for the moments when they hit their stir-crazy wall. Stock the car with quiet toys, books, and snacks to keep the kids busy. Plus, set any video devices at a low volume or get headphones for those who are old enough.

Cover Your Eyes – Since bright lights such as the glare and reflection of the sun is an invitation for migraine symptoms, sunglasses are a necessity during the daytime. Night view glasses, yellow lenses that cut the glare of oncoming headlights, might also be a wise purchase for driving after dusk.

Watch Your Road Food – Snacks from gas stations are filled with migraine-inducing preservatives meant to prolong their shelf life. If natural, whole foods are in short supply, follow the suggestion on JoyBauer.com to read the labels and avoid “monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), sodium caseinate, and kombu extract (often used in Japanese foods).”

Hydration – You may be tempted to drink caffeine to stay awake during a long drive but resist the urge to chug cup after cup. While caffeine has analgesic properties that can sometimes act as a migraine treatment, it can also cause them when you drink it in excess. Though it may mean more rest stops, drink plenty of water throughout your journey so that dehydration doesn’t cause migraines.

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