Migraines are no fun at all, and sometimes they cause the sufferer to miss out on holiday fun, from birthdays to Christmas.
Since there are 39 million migraine sufferers in the US alone, you likely know one. A quarter of households has at least one sufferer, and migraines affect everyone, not just the person with head pain. Frequently disrupted gatherings, canceled events, and more can wear on friends, family, and coworkers alike.
Four million of those who experience migraines have a chronic condition, suffering through at least 15 migraine days a month. That's a lot of holiday fun missed. You can make it a bit more bearable with some practical gifts for your beloved migraineur (that's someone who suffers migraines).
Gifts to Avoid
Many migraine sufferers have what are called triggers. These are things that can trigger a migraine, and each individual can have more than one. Not every person has the same trigger. However, triggers are commonly tied to the senses. When you go shopping, the following types of gifts can be problematic:
- Anything with a strong scent - perfumes, lotions, candles, soaps, and powders.
- Things that make loud noise - concerts and certain toys or accessories.
- Things with bright lights, especially flashing lights.
- Foods such as chocolate, wine, and aged cheese.
Unless you know the migraineur well enough to know their triggers, you may wish to avoid anything that invades through a sense of smell, sight, or hearing, as well as certain foods that tend to be triggers once eaten.
If you're unsure of their triggers, don't be afraid to ask. Your friend, family member, or coworker won’t mind letting you know what’s appropriate and may be grateful you asked.
Look for These Gifts
Most migraine sufferers appreciate gifts that:
- Soothe migraine pain
- Block light and noise so they can recover
- Distract them from the pain
- Help them relax or sleep
- Cheer them up
Many who experience migraines also have problems sleeping or develop depression. Distractions, relaxation, and sleep aids can help immensely.
In general, comfort items are always welcome. Give your migraineur a blanket, weighted or not. A set of blackout curtains can help them prepare a room for resting. Earplugs and eye masks go a long way toward blocking out bright lights and loud noises. A head cooling pillow is a great gift when head pain or insomnia hits.
Here are some categories of gifts for more ideas.
Therapy gifts can help treat migraines after they occur or help prevent future migraines.
A gift certificate for a massage or the gift of a facial roller can help loosen tense muscles that might cause a migraine. An herbal neck pillow or acupressure pillow provides comfort in the right place or offers aromatherapy that chases the migraines away.
If scents aren’t a problem, many people use essential oils to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere. Some oils can help reduce head pain. Peppermint, which is very popular this time of year, helps ease pain and stress when applied to the temples or used in a diffuser.
Other therapy items include magnesium roller balls, soothing creams, and nausea reduction inhalers.
You can find several types of wraps, towels, and hats specially made for migraine relief.
Huggaroo makes a neck wrap, ice head wrap, migraine hat, and eye mask that can be filled with ice, cooled in the freezer, or warmed in the microwave. Cooling items for the head have a long history of relieving head pain, and Huggaroo makes it simple to keep the cold in place.
Koldtec makes and sells cold therapy items, too. One of their best sellers is called the Ice HALO, a head wrap that resembles an ear band that goes around the forehead and back of the head. It has several pockets to target the cold therapy if the wearer desires.
Koldtec is also the home of Headache Hattie, a pull-on that looks and wears like a stocking cap, which can be placed in the freezer. It can double as an eye mask, too.
The ReLeaf Pack is another purveyor of weighted cold therapy. You can shop products in various patterns and colors, including seasonal items. The company also includes more masculine designs, if that's something you're looking for. In most cases, you can add a scent to the pack, either dried lavender or peppermint.
The Cefaly wearable device sends tiny electrical impulses through a nerve on the forehead to modify pain transmission and processing in the trigeminal nerve, which can be responsible for migraines.
You might give the migraineur in your life a way to avoid migraines as much as possible. Blue light blocking glasses, migraine shields, and sunglasses all reduce the potential for light-based migraines to occur. These are excellent choices for someone who sits in front of a computer screen all day or spends a lot of time outside in the sun.
The Allay lamp radiates narrow-band green light suitable for reading or relaxing. The company states that these wavelengths calm hyperactive neurons.
Perhaps you would like to give someone the gift of relaxation. Subscribe your migraineur to a mobile application that helps them meditate or promote mindfulness. Meditation is one of several therapies that reduce stress and loosen tight muscles.
Books and Educational Materials
Maybe you or your migraineur would appreciate resources that can help you learn more about migraines, what causes them, and how to reduce them.
Here are a few books about migraine management:
- The End of Migraines: 150 Ways to Stop Your Pain by Dr. Alexander Mauskop, in paperback and Kindle editions
- Managing Your Migraine by Dr. Katy Munro, in paperback and Kindle editions
- Fighting the Migraine Epidemic - A Complete Guide by Angela A. Stanton, Ph.D., in paperback or Kindle edition
The Migraine World Summit is an annual event that pulls together experts in migraine research, therapy, and treatment. A gift pass to the summit doesn’t depend on the recipient traveling anywhere. They can watch online in the comfort and privacy of their own home.
The summit provides cutting-edge research, best practices, and the latest therapies from researchers all over the world. This gift is appropriate for migraineurs and those who care for them.
The Curable app is a mobile application that offers resources for migraineurs and others who experience chronic pain. It uses a multi-factor approach to easing and avoiding chronic pain. Annual subscriptions are payable monthly. Keep an eye on their website for discounts.
There are many different approaches to living with migraines. Most people can find relief and experience a better quality of life using multiple techniques and consulting with migraine specialists, like our team at the Migraine Relief Center.
While we are not paid to endorse any products in this post, we can help you or your loved one determine what is causing the migraines and put together a strategy for therapy, treatment, and prevention that fits your lifestyle.
We wish you a happy, pain-free holiday season. And here’s to reduced migraine pain in the New Year!