Alarming facts about migraines and millennials

Dec 9, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Image: Tara Moore/Cultura/Getty Images

The first time I had a migraine I kept seeing strange flickers of light, which I now know is a migraine aura, followed by a headache that lasted several days. Lucky me, I found out that this type of headache runs in our family. I often get them about once a month — and at first they appeared to come out of nowhere until I started keeping track of them.

I discovered that there are several things that can bring on a migraine, but for me, stress (and the subsequent lack of sleep) is a top trigger. A change in hormones can also bring on a migraine, for me. A few days before my monthly cycle hits, I am almost guaranteed to get a migraine. I also notice that my migraines can be triggered by preservatives in certain foods, red wine and, strangely enough, bright lights.

If you are a migraine sufferer, you know how much this can affect your life. According to the Millennial Migraine Report commissioned by the makers of Excedrin® Migraine, millennials say migraines negatively affect work, family life and their social life. Among those millennials, 70 percent cite stress as their number one trigger compared to more than 60 percent of Gen-Xers and 50 percent of boomers. My kids know that when I have on dark sunglasses in the house, I'm not trying to channel my inner diva.I often have to lie down in a dark room and rest, especially until the vision changes subside. Between shuttling my kids to school and sports as well as working, I simply don't have time to rest, so most of the time I just suffer through it. This means wearing sunglasses 24/7, keeping ice packs on my head and neck and probably being an overall grouch (sorry, Honey!).

Millenials and Migraines

Migraines are tough, especially if those around you think you are "just dealing with a headache" and they don't understand the other symptoms that go along with them. Knowing my triggers and taking migraine medication as soon as I start seeing the aura or feeling sensitivity to light and sound has been helpful.

This post was sponsored by Excedrin.

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