Health | Did You Know

10 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Headaches

Getting a headache is never a good time, and while they make medications to help soothe the pain, they don't always work. But the best way to avoid issues with medications is just to avoid getting the headache in the first place.

It's obviously not like any of us want to get headaches, but as it turns out, a lot of the things we're doing are actually making it worse. The things you do in a day are actually triggering your headaches to happen more frequently, so if you want them to stop you will have to make a few simple changes.

Luckily, many of them are easy enough to add to your day. So give these a try and see if they help out your headaches.

1. Drink more water

person drinking water
iStock

It's simple advice that you've heard a million times, but you know that you never take it seriously.

According to Dr. Noah Rosen of the Northwell Health's Headache Center, dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches because people don't realize just how much water they need to drink.

”A good rule in hand is to drink half your body weight in ounces of fluid daily; for example, a 120-pound person should drink 60 ounces of water," Dr. Rosen explains.

So that means depending on your weight, you may need more than the eight cups a day you so often hear recommended.

2. Pack snacks

I know that when you're on a diet or when you're really busy it can be easy to just skip lunch and have a bigger dinner or just not eat breakfast at all, but as it turns out it's one of the worst things you can do.

If you know that you aren't going to have time for a meal, make sure you pack some snacks with you that'll keep you going, because otherwise you're going to end up regretting it.

3. Get odor-free cleaning supplies

When you need to clean the house, we all tend to reach for those strong-smelling chemicals that are full of chemicals. While they get everything super clean, then can trigger headaches. Even some of the natural products you can use can trigger headaches in some people.

When possible, use scent-free products. A lot of places make them now and they work just as good as the other cleaners, just without leaving your head pounding all afternoon.

4. Get up and move

exercise
iStockphoto / Lajosrepasi

Exercise is one of those things that we all know would help us in a lot of ways, but that doesn't make it easier to get motivated to actually do it.

But Dr. Grosberg from the Hartford Healthcare Headache Center says it doesn't even need to be a lot all at once.

“Everyone can do something physical every day,” Dr. Grosberg said. “Start slowly and find an exercise that works for you to improve your overall health and reduce headache risk.”

5. Slow down on that second coffee

Caffeine headaches
Colin Hawkins/Cultura/Corbis

I know it's almost impossible to make it through the day without that second (or third) cup of coffee, but it may actually be the cause of those headaches you've been getting.

Caffeine withdrawal headaches are some of the worst imaginable, believe me, I've been there many times. But the thing is, if you can reduce the amount you drink to no more than one cup a day, you'll find that the morning withdrawals symptoms stop.

Another reason behind the caffeine headaches is actually because it dehydrates you significantly. So if you are going to be drinking coffee, make sure you still drink the water that you need too.

6. Get a blue light filter

Many of us spend basically our entire days looking at screens. Between TVs, phones, computers, and everything else, every single day we are subjected to a lot of what is known as blue light. This blue light is a known cause of headaches.

If you find that by the end of the day your head hurts and your eyes feel tired, consider investing in a blue light filter. A lot of times you can actually get blue light filters in your glasses, so next time you need a new pair check them out.

7. Quit smoking

If you smoke, there is a chance that those headaches are caused by by the nicotine. Nicotine causes your blood vessels to narrow, which causes a pressure build up.

While quitting smoking is obviously difficult and leads to a bunch of withdrawal symptoms, once you do manage to quit you'll likely notice a big improvement.

8. Lose weight

Weight loss is one of those things that is a huge hassle, but there are a lot of health benefits, including fewer headaches.

Being overweight can lead to episodic migraines or intracranial hypertension headaches. Dr. Scott Kaham from the National Center for Weight and Weellness said “Headache is core symptom, and weight loss generally improved it by decreasing the intracranial pressure.”

9. Don't overload your senses

If you spend time in places where there is too much going on, your sense will overload and cause your head to hurt.

It might just be that the lights are too bright, or that the sound is too loud, or that the smells are too strong, pretty much anything that causes one of your senses to go into overdrive can trigger a headache.

It can be as simple as changing to lower wattage bulbs in your own house, or changing perfumes to a less powerful scent. Simple changes will make it easier and more comfortable for you in your daily life.

10. Stop chewing gum

Chewing Gum
iStock

If you are one of those people who is constantly chewing on gum, you may find that it's actually the cause of your chronic headaches.

Because chewing using your jaw muscles in a repeated motion, you are actually straining them more than you'd realize. It can cause a headache simply from overuse.

The most important thing to do is to talk to your doctor and make sure there isn't an underlying cause first, and then together you can work through all of these preventative measures.

Source - Health / Everyday Health / Reader's Digest

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com