13 Surprising Ways to Beat Headaches

A few simple tweaks can stop headaches and migraines in their tracks.   

prevent headaches

1. Treat your allergies
About a third of people with allergies also have migraines, according to the American Headache Society. People who get allergy shots have a 50 percent reduction in migraines, research indicates.

2. Take supplements
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), has been shown to cut headache frequency by half. The effective dose is 400 milligrams per day; speak with your doctor before trying it.

3. Check the weather
For every 9-degree-Fahrenheit rise in temperature, the risk of having a migraine goes up 7.5 percent, according to a report in the Harvard Gazette. Stay in air conditioning during heat waves.

4. Pop the birth control pill
Many women report migraine relief when taking the Pill regularly.

5. Get injections
Botox can be used to prevent chronic migraines in those who suffer from them more than 15 days a month. Insurance might cover the injections if that's your diagnosis and you get the injections from a doctor. Check to be sure.

6. Hit the sheets
In one study, more than half of migraine sufferers felt better when they had sex during a headache, possibly because of the release of compounds called endorphins linked to both happiness and pain relief.

7. Lose weight
Women with excess belly fat are 37 percent more likely to get migraines than those with trimmer torsos, according to a study at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Taking off 10 pounds can make a big difference.

8. Support your back
Most chairs are made for an average-size man; if your chair is too big, it might not support your back, causing strain and headaches. A rolled-up towel can help.

9. Dim your screens
Bright screens on laptops and tablets, just like intense lights, can over stimulate the brain and cause pain. Try lowering the brightness setting.

10. Get some fresh air
Paint and floor varnish can create strong fumes that irritate the nerve that runs from your nose to your brain, resulting in headaches. Open windows wide after using such products.

11. Vacuum frequently
Remove dust from upholstered furniture twice weekly to get rid of allergens that can bring on headaches.

12. Dim the lights
The brains of people who suffer from migraines are often very sensitive to glaring light from bulbs. The flickering quality of fluorescent lights also can trigger pain, so steer clear if you have frequent headaches.

13. Skip the scents
If you're prone to headaches, avoid scented candles and air fresheners. Intense odors are triggers.