Air Quality, Smoke, and Migraine Headaches

Recently I’ve been posting “Triggers of the week” on Instagram, discussing different triggers that cause patients to have migraine headaches.  There has been a lot of responses to these posts, with patients chiming in that “even if foods are cooked with wine. Within minutes my head reacts,” or “BRIGHT lights – flashing or not flashing – ALL BAD .”

One of the most difficult triggers to control is that of air quality.  With the fires in California, this year’s toll on life and property has been unimaginable, and our hearts go out to those victims who have lost so much.  Also suffering throughout California are migraine headache patients subject to the smoke, ash, and fumes that fill the atmosphere and air.   

In the Los Angeles region, the more frequent fires that occur most if not every year are something that migraine headache patients have come to dread.  Can you imagine what it must be like to be a migraine headache patient in the larger cities of China, where haze and poor air quality are an every day fact of life?

For our California migraine headache patients subjected to the smoke and ash of fire season, or for that matter our Los Angeles migraine patients that may deal with more frequent air quality issues, try to filter the air you breathe by running your air conditioning if possible, and certainly limit your activity outside on those hazy days if you know that smog and poor air quality is one of your migraine triggers.  Of course, from our perspective at Migraine Surgery of Southern California, consider a surgical treatment for your migraines, particularly if you are nearby in the Los Angeles area.  A life changing surgical relief could be an answer to this and many other migraine triggers.  I dearly wish we were as successful at preventing forest fires as we can be with providing migraine pain relief.

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