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Complementary Alternatives Therapies

Smelling salts/ammonia

  • By Joy

    Relief at last! My migraines begin with uncontrollable yawning. I used to think the yawning was a migraine symptom, but I now believe yawning triggers the process of sinking into a migraine. I was explaining this to a friend, and when I said “sinking into a migraine” I pictured one of those old movies when women would swoon into a faint and then be revived by smellling salts, which contain ammonia. I didn’t even know if I could buy it, but they sell it because athletes use them. They are not too expensive, but as often as I yawn, I would need lots. I bought a bottle of ammonia and put some in small shampoo containers you get in hotels so that one is available anywhere I am. I used to dread reading at work or riding in a vehicle because both make me drowsy and start my uncontrollable yawning and “sinking into a migraine” I find that peppermint tea also works to control the yawning, but it’s not as quick and convenient. The quicker I abort the yawning the better I can prevent the migraine.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Joy,

    Thank you for your comments. Yawning, frequent urination, moodiness and others can be symptoms of prodrome, the first phase of a migraine attack. You can read more about the four phases of a migraine here; https://migraine.com/migraine-basics/migraine-phases/.

    If we can identify our prodrome symptoms, as you have, then discuss this with the doctor, treating during this phase can sometimes stop the attack before it starts. But it sounds like that’s exactly what you are doing – good for you!

    Nancy

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