Back to blog

What to Do if You Get a Migraine at an Inconvenient Time

What to Do if You Get a Migraine at an Inconvenient Time Image
Dr. Betty Acker

Medically reviewed by Dr. Betty Acker, MD on September 4, 2020

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’re doing, or how much of a nuisance it will be: migraines can strike anytime, anywhere. Migraines can be difficult to deal with even if they begin while you’re resting at home, so developing one when you’re at work, socializing or just going about your life can be an extra burden.

As longtime sufferers know, migraines come and go as they please. If you’re developing migraines symptoms right when you need them the least, make sure to follow these steps in order to avoid the worst of it:

  1. Remove yourself from danger.

“Inconvenient times” can range from an important business lunch to while you’re operating heavy machinery, so it’s important to immediately recognize the danger that your migraine might be putting you in. 

While getting a severe headache while you’re socializing or during work might be frustrating, it doesn’t pose the same problems that developing a migraine behind the wheel does. If you’re in a situation that requires high levels of focus and attention in order to be safe, pause the activity and rest as soon as possible. 

Migraines can significantly increase sensitivity to light, and some people may experience flashing light-like auras as part of their headache. These symptoms, along with partial vision loss, make visual activities such as driving particularly dangerous while experiencing a migraine. If you do start to feel one coming on as your drive, pull over as soon as possible to a place where you can safely rest and administer self-care.

The ideal way to handle a migraine is in a relaxing position somewhere calm and isolated — wherever you are when your migraine begins, try your best to move to a location that has these qualities. 

  1. Take your medications.

Once you’ve moved into a safe situation, it’s time to start treating the migraine itself: if you’ve been prescribed migraine abortives, take those as soon as possible. The right abortives at the right time can help you move past the pain and get back to what you were doing before.

For those without prescriptions, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and painkillers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin can help bring the pain down to a manageable level. When combined with a bit of caffeine, these drugs can become even more effective — helping you get your migraine under control as fast as possible. 

  1. Hydrate.

While some migraines simply appear and disappear, others are caused by physiological factors within your control — the most common of which is hydration. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of traditional headaches, and it can exacerbate the symptoms of an existing migraine significantly. 

While it’s important to stay hydrated all the time, it’s especially crucial to do so once you feel a migraine coming on. Taking care of your health during a particularly painful headache can be difficult, so maintain high levels of hydration in order to help your body fight the headache off.

  1. Relax.

Some migraines you simply have to wait out, and one of the most important things you can do is try to relax your way through it. Exit any stressful situations, get to a place where you can effectively decompress, and do whatever it takes to relax you. Taking even just a short break for listening to relaxing music or napping can make it much easier to tackle whatever you were dealing with before.

While the methods on this list are a good place to start, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for migraines. If you’re hoping to find out what will work best for you, fill out our healthcare questionnaire and our medical team here at Nurx will help find the right treatment option for your migraines.

Back to top