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Take control of migraine attacks

February 28, 2024
If you have experienced a migraine attack, you know it can mean more than just a throbbing headache. It can come with other woes — from nausea and fatigue to numbness and blurry vision. These episodes can take a major toll on your daily life, but the good news is there are ways to head off the symptoms and find relief.

What can trigger migraine attacks?

  1. Stress
  2. Certain foods and drinks, such as aged cheeses, processed food, and alcohol — especially wine
  3. Too much caffeine or cutting out caffeine too fast
  4. Weather changes, such as when the seasons change or there’s a storm
  5. Poor sleep, including disruptions to your sleep schedule or not sleeping enough
  6. Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or the menstrual cycle
  7. Dehydration
  8. Certain environmental triggers, like strong smells, bright lights, and loud noises
  9. Smoking

Make a migraine diary

Looking for patterns can help you and your doctor figure out when and why your migraine attacks happen. After you recover from a migraine attack, log:

  • What time of day the migraine attack started and how long it lasted.
  • What medications you took for the migraine attacks and how much they helped.
  • The foods and drinks you consumed in the 24 hours before the migraine attack.
  • Any extra stress you’re dealing with at home or at work.
  • What you were doing when the migraine attack started.
  • What the weather was like the day of the attack.
  • Any hormonal changes you’re going through.

Migraine treatment

Migraines don’t have a cure, but there are ways to treat them. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They might be able to prescribe a medication that either stops a migraine attack in its tracks or helps keep them from happening in the first place.

When a migraine attack strikes

If you feel a migraine attack coming on, these remedies can help ease the symptoms.

  • Take any medications your doctor has prescribed for migraine attacks.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Lay down in a dark, quiet room — nap if you can. • Apply an ice pack or heating pad to your neck, shoulders, or forehead.
  • Drink a small amount of caffeine. These tips might not work for everyone. Check with your doctor about what’s right for you.
Find help
Try a virtual visit with a doctor anytime 24/7. You can download our SydneySM Health app or go to