Five Ways to Help Prevent Headaches

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For some of us, headaches are weekly, sometimes even daily, occurrence. Here are some easy ways to help soothe the problem before it grows worse.

  • Use a cold compress or take a cold shower to help ease the pain of a migraine. If you’ve chosen the compress, place onto your head for 15 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes. For tension headaches, use a warm compress or heating pad. Place it onto the back of your head or onto your neck. If it’s a headache related to sinus issues, place a warm cloth onto the area that’s experiencing pain or take a warm shower.
  • Wear your hair down as often as you can. If you frequently wear it in a ponytail or up-do and it’s too tight, this can cause a headache. Other contributing factors are hats, headbands, and swimming goggles. If you must wear your hair up or simply prefer to, keep it loose.
  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. Migraine headaches are easily triggered by bright lights, as well as flickering lights from your smart-phone or computer screen. Try using blackout curtains in your home and remember to wear sunglasses when outside. If you’re at your computer a lot during the day, you can purchase anti-glare screens. As for the lamps and other light fixtures in your home, there are daylight spectrum fluorescent bulbs that can be used.
  • Limit the gum chewing. Yes, it’s true – chewing gum can hurt your head. Same applies to biting your nails/lips/inside of cheeks, chewing on pens or pencils, etc. Refrain from crunchy or sticky foods as much as you can; if not, take small bites. If you grind your teeth at night, talk to your doctor about using a mouth guard.
  • Don’t abuse headache medication. There are many options in today’s pharmaceutical world when it comes to alleviating headaches. However, be wise in consuming them and follow directions. A liquid is always better than pills, as your body will absorb it faster and relief will come much sooner. As soon as you experience pain, take a painkiller as directed on the bottle or package; sometimes it’s relieved with a small dose if taken in time. Try to stay away from medicine containing caffeine or multiple ingredients; these can cause headaches if taken too often or for a prolonged period of time.