6. Bright or flickering lights
Migraine sufferers often mention bright, flickering, or pulsating lights as headache triggers. But even people who don’t get migraines can come down with a regular head-throbber in the presence of overwhelming brightness. “Bright, strobe, and fluorescent lights provide a very intense visual stimulation,” says Lay. “But you can have the same problem looking at fall colors in the country. When the sun is shining through leafless branches, you get that sun on, sun off, sun on, light flickering through the trees. It’s very problematic.”
The fix: Wear sunglasses on a sunny day, and avoid environments where flickering or fluorescent lights may be used. “A lot of migraine patients feel that the compact fluorescent bulbs can aggravate or trigger headaches so use older types of lightbulbs,” says Lay. If you’re at a theater production or concert where strobe lighting is used, close your eyes during those moments.