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Identiying Triggers

  • By Pendragon

    Does anyone have any tips on identifying triggers? Part of my difficulty is the fact that my migraine is constantly present, which makes it hard to tell what brings it on. It does, however, vary in intensity, but I’ve never managed to figure out what (if anything) causes these fluctuations.

    I’ve eliminated dietary factors (twice now). Not sure how I’d eliminate olfactory factors. Sound isn’t a trigger. It is light sensitive, but it will fluctuate even lying in a dark room.

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Pendragon!

    Triggers can be tricky because they can change over time as we age. Another issue is that it can take up to 48 hours after we are exposed to a trigger before we actually have a migraine attack. This makes it difficult to figure out what may and may not be a trigger.

    Some of the things you can do to identify them is keep a very detailed migraine diary. This will help determine any patterns and triggers you may have. Here is an excellent article on how to keep a diary;

    Other information on triggers can be found in this link;

    Combating odors can be difficult. I’ve recently purchased a diffuser I could fill with essential and carrier oils to help defuse an offensive odor that will trigger a migraine attack for me. This is called aromatherapy – it won’t stop a migraine but it can be a comfort during one or to use when trying to avoid that smell!!

    I’ve recently found that my bedroom doesn’t get dark enough to help with my light sensitivity – so I hung a light weight blanket over the window until I can get room darkening shades or what have you. I find this helps tremendously when I have an attack and able to sleep better during the early morning hours.
    Another option is to look into glasses that help with photophobia or light sensitivity. A member of my support group wears these and loves them!! We have information from both TheraSpecs and Axon that may help; and

    I hope this helps with trigger identification.


  • By Pendragon

    Hey Nancy, thanks for your reply.

    Part of my problem with identifying triggers is that I don’t get “migraine attacks”. I just have a migraine at all times. I feel like trying to keep a detailed enough diary would mean sitting in a room all day writing down everything that occurs, and I wouldn’t be able to get anything done trying to work out what’s actually occurring around me.

    Also, do you know if the theraspecs work better than a regular pair of tinted, polarized sunglasses? The Axon Optics websites claims they do, but they are attempting to sell a product, and wouldn’t be the first company to make claims they can’t back up to sell a cure to sick world.