Ugh, it’s a humid or balmy, rainy day and you feel a migraine about to come on. It’s the worst feeling, and one I wish we could collectively figure out how to make go away for good. But until then, the best thing we can possibly do is have some preventative measures and some migraine relief tools in our toolbox.
When I first began to experience chronic migraines, my top priority was to find ways to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. Like many other women who experience migraines, I have a number of preventative measures that I follow as diligently as possible. For example, consistently getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, reducing my alcohol intake and going to weekly acupuncture appointments helps manage my condition — but the bottom line is that migraines still strike, often at the most inconvenient times. At that point, the key is to ease the painful symptoms as much as possible until the attack passes.
I’m far from alone — over 38 million Americans experience migraines, and, for between two and three million sufferers, the condition is chronic. Although migraines don’t discriminate, they disproportionately affect women — 18 percent of American women report experiencing migraines compared to six percent of men. Migraine sufferers have unique pain and symptoms that require special care and accommodations. From soothing essential oils to my trusty ice pad, I keep my apartment stocked with products that help ease my migraine symptoms and I make sure to pack them just in case every time I travel, even if it’s just an overnight trip.
Everyone is different, and based on my many conversations with other migraine sufferers, there are a wide range of products that can help make a migraine attack less excruciating. We spoke to women who experience migraines about the items they can’t live without, and our editors added some of their favorite migraine relief products too. Here are nine migraine relief products we swear by.
A version of this story was published January 2019.
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Skin Gym IceCoolie
Keep this guy in your freezer at all times: The Skin Gym IceCoolie is basically an ice pack and jade roller combined. It’ll feel great on your sinus pressure, in between your eyes, and even on the back of your neck for some migraine relief.
Skin Gym IceCoolie$30Buy now
DoSensePro Acupressure Mat and Pillow
This may not look like the most comfortable thing, but accessing the pressure points on your neck especially can be beneficial for migraines. This acupressure mat and pillow set comes with a pillow that will support your neck and an ice pack you can prop on top of that pillow, plus a handy carrying case so you can store it when you (hopefully) don’t have a migraine or tote it to the office.
DoSensePro Acupressure Mat Set$42Buy now
This tool, called the Zok, was created exactly for migraine and tension headache relief. It was developed by a neurologist to stick lightly in the ear canal: The idea is to press on the bulb, and create suction in the inner ear that can activate a sense of equilibrium in the brain, ideally releasing that tension causing your migraine. Pretty cool, huh?
“I love Tiger Balm for the numbing effect on pressure points. I’ve had migraine [attacks] since I was a kid.” —JM, 42
Tiger Balm$62Buy now
Cooling Eye Mask
“My go-to is a cooling eye mask. It blocks out the light and the cooling effect is really soothing.” —Alicia, 27
IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask$15Buy now
“I couldn’t live without my aromatherapy humidifier. I use peppermint, spearmint and lavender oils and the scents are really soothing. Plus, anything that helps keep me hydrated makes a migraine pass more quickly.” —Kate, 29
ASAKUKI Aromatherapy Diffuser$26Buy now
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
“I put these blue light blocking glasses on when I feel a migraine coming, or wear them often during months when blue light, a component of sunlight, is more prevalent. There are times of the year when [blue light] is more prevalent. For me, the sun’s rays bother my vestibular system more in the fall months (around October and November). But blue light is also emitted from manmade products, like flat-screen TVs, smart phones, and fluorescent lights. So if I notice a migraine starting, I avoid blue light-emitting things, or I at least put on the filtering glasses.”
TheraSpecs Wrap Glasses$119Buy now
“Ice packs are the only thing that provide me relief during a migraine attack. I wrap my head in a wearable ice pack and lie down in a dark room until the migraine passes.” —Emily, 32
ICE Down Migraine Head Wraps$30Buy now
“I’ve recently found a new product I like for migraine nausea, called Biolyte. I have to drink it the minute I feel one coming on or it’s too late, but this really helps.” —Jennifer, 40
“Saje’s halo roller [a blend of peppermint, lavender, and rosemary], that you can roll on your head, helps with the pain. In addition to the oils, it has a cooling effect and the fact that it’s an all-natural product puts my mind at ease because I prefer to use natural remedies whenever possible.” — Maggie, 36
Saje Peppermint Halo Wand$24Buy now
“iFlux has saved my eyeballs. Based on your location, it slowly yellows the screen as the sun goes down. It even reminds you, ‘You’re waking up in nine hours’ (or however long). When I’m doing tons of writing, I use darkroom mode. It completely gets ride of blue light so the whole screen is just red and black. Seriously, I instantly noticed a change in my eye health.” — Syd, 26
“Using regular ice packs during a migraine can be really inconvenient, especially if you need to be upright or if you can’t get the ice pack to stay in a place on your head where you need it to be. The Headache Hat makes sure your entire head is covered in ice packs and makes sure they stay put, so you can get up and go about your business or you can lay down and pull it over your eyes when the migraine gets really bad. It’s a game changer.” — Nicole, 28
Headache Hat$40Buy now
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