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How to Deal With a Migraine on a Date

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Has this ever happened to you: you have a date you’ve been looking forward to all week, but a few hours before the event, a migraine starts?

While completely stopping a migraine in its tracks can be difficult, there are a few expert-approved tricks that may help you get out the door and help you actually enjoy your date.

Migraine Symptoms

A migraine is different from a typical bad headache because it involves neurological symptoms that often come with a severe throbbing pain on one side of the head. While symptoms can vary from person to person, some include throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head, nausea, sensitivity to sound and light, visual disturbances, and vomiting.

Know Your Triggers Beforehand

If you deal with migraines, it’s important to understand your personal triggers so you can try your best to plan accordingly.

“If one suffers from migraines, it’s important to identify what triggers might be causing them,” Excedrin migraine expert and clinical psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Seng, MD, says. “Identifying your triggers can help ensure a smoother dating experience for all involved. This will help you to develop an effective plan of action that will hopefully help offset any future recurrences.”

Common migraine triggers include hormonal changes in women (such as during period, or during pregnancy or menopause), as well as any medications that affect hormone levels such as oral contraceptives, stress, and sleep disturbances can also trigger migraines.

Treat Your Migraine Immediately

If you’ve done your homework around your triggers, and a migraine is still threatening to ruin a great date, make sure you have supplies to help you start treating it immediately.

Try an Over-the-Counter Medicine

The combination of ingredients in Excedrin Migraine is recommended as a first line of migraine treatment by the American Academy of Neurology and should be taken at the first signs of migraine symptoms. You might need to take some kind of medication before or during your date, and that’s OK! If the person you’re out with is really as cool as you think, they won’t judge you one bit. For some, Excedrin Migraine can relieve migraines in just 30 minutes.

Roll on Some Lavender

According to Kristin Koskinen, RDN, LD, CD, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Eat Well, Live Well in Richland, WA, lavender has been used for centuries to help manage migraine symptoms. A small study published in European Neurology exploring lavender oil as a treatment for migraine headaches shows a positive connection, concluding “lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.”

“If you are prone to migraines, keeping a roller of lavender essential oil with you may be a strategy to consider in case you sense a migraine coming on during a date,” Koskinen said. “Inhaling the essential oil of lavender may be an effective way to treat migraine. You can also try putting a couple drops below your nose or inhaling a diffusion for around 15 minutes.”

Consider Adding More Magnesium to Your Diet

Magnesium deficiency is also associated with migraines,” Koskinen adds. “Adding magnesium supplements to your daily routine can serve as a migraine preventive measure. But always consult with your healthcare professional before beginning any supplementation.”

The American Migraine Foundation is also on board with magnesium supplementation, saying “any patient who has frequent migraines and is considering a preventive strategy to reduce the frequency or severity of their headaches may want to consider this option and discuss it with their physician.”

Talk To Your Date About Your Migraines

If you really like the person you’re scheduled to go out with, you most likely don’t want to cancel on them, but using this not-so-fun situation as a way to open up a little to your special someone may actually bring you two closer.

“If you feel a migraine might be impeding on your ability to enjoy your date, it might be best to reschedule,” Dr. Seng says. “Rescheduling is just an example of effectively communicating with your partner.”