Home for Headaches

By: Li Ming Wong

When a migraine strikes, many migraineurs head for home and settle in to wait out the excruciating headache. This may be the problem. While current genetic studies of rare migraines types show the condition to be about sixty percent inherited, the other forty is environmental. If someone already prone to migraines is exposed to an environmental trigger, fireworks, or at least a few prodromal symptoms, will ensue.

How can migraineurs make sure their homes aren't giving them headaches? Clear out known offenders, one at a time. Things to look out for:

* Common household allergens, things like mold, mildew, and dust and dust mites.
Changing the air filter and switching to cotton sheets both help with these household horrors.

* Tobacco smoke. Whether it's a cigarette or a pipe, ask smokers to take it outside.

* Carbon monoxide. This odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas can come from poorly ventilated fireplaces, furnaces, gas appliances, or cars running in the garage. Installing carbon monoxide detectors near possible carbon monoxide sources and checking the batteries regularly may not only prevent migraines, it may save a life.

* Water-borne impurities. Eliminating potential chemical trouble from the faucet can be as simple as purchasing a small water filtering pitcher for drinking water. For extremely sensitive people a household filtration or softener system may be the answer.

* Pesticides. No one wants to share their home with insects and rodents, but the chemicals used to repel them may be inviting in migraines. Temporarily eliminating pesticide use or switching to organic pest control may help.

* Pet dander. Migraineurs who are allergic to their pet may want to consider allergy treatment to help them live with the problem.

* Cleaning solutions. The number and variety of harsh chemicals found in cleansers is boggling. Switching to all-natural cleansers may clean up migraines.

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