Approximately one in four American households includes a person living with migraine. Nearly everyone either knows someone affected by debilitating migraine or personally experiences migraine episodes themselves. The good news is that many products are available to help manage those episodes.
Here are some thoughtful and useful gift ideas that may help bring migraine relief to a friend or a loved one.
Uncomfortable light sensitivity is a common symptom associated with migraine attacks, so glasses can provide a nice assist to those living with migraine.
Because many people living with migraines experience discomfort from sunlight, sunglasses are a staple accessory. Regular UV-protected or polarized sunglasses are an easy and fashionable gift, and a wide range of prices and styles make them an ideal gift suggestion for people with migraine.
Because regular sunglasses can be impractical for indoor settings, blue-light blocking and tinted glasses may be the solution. They help filter out light wavelengths — emitted by fluorescent light, as well as by computer and cellphone screens — that potentially trigger migraine attacks.
Research into these glasses is ongoing, but some have been shown to decrease visual discomfort by almost half in people with migraine. They can be a useful gift for people who spend a lot of time under artificial lighting or looking at screens.
Recent research shows green-light therapy can potentially help reduce stress levels and anxiety which often trigger migraine. The theory is that green light generates the smallest electrical signals in the brain, causing the least amount of irritation which potentially decreases the frequency of migraine attacks and may relieve some symptoms. Green-light lamps, such as the Allay lamp, are available online or at many pharmacies.
Lavender eye pillows are dried-leaf lavender pouches, shaped as eye masks, for placement over the eyes during sleep to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Lavender has been used through the ages to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, and other stress-related conditions. These eye pillows can also be placed in the freezer or in the microwave for an extra-soothing effect, making them a simple and useful gift for anyone who experiences frequent migraine attacks.
One of the most disabling symptoms of migraine is pain. Cold compresses placed on the forehead and neck can be very useful to help relieve soreness. Flexible cold packs, such as the Koldtec and the ReLeaf Pack, can be curved easily around the head and neck, offering cooling relief of migraine pain.
Similar to flexible cold packs, headache wraps or hats also offer a close-fitting cooling effect. The compression they provide can further soothe pain from migraine. These items are adjustable, and some include built-in cooling eye masks that also work to alleviate discomfort. Most can even be used during sleep, making them a great gift for those who experience migraine pain.
Migraine cooling patches are adhesive stickers with cooling properties, ideal when an ice pack isn’t available. Drug-free and very portable, they are handy for traveling or for carrying regularly — a great gift for people on-the-move who live with migraine.
Headache and migraine pillows have excellent potential to help relieve migraine pain and pressure on the head and neck and provide a better night’s sleep. Migraine pillows are available in a variety of types and sizes, including those designed for specific back or neck support.
Acupressure pillows and mats are covered in small spikes, activating pressure points to help the user relax, and massaging tense muscles to reduce soreness. Not only can acupressure pillows potentially help with migraine relief, they may prevent stress-triggered migraine from occurring in the first place. Pillows and mats can also be sold as sets, and make a thoughtful and relaxing gift for people with migraine.
Loud noise can sometimes trigger a migraine. Ear plugs can muffle noises, preventing migraine from occurring or helping with symptoms from a migraine that’s in progress. Products such as WeatherX earplugs can also be useful for filtering out barometric pressure changes that may trigger migraine attacks. Ear plugs make a simple and useful gift for people sensitive to noise or weather changes.
Noise-canceling headphones work much like ear plugs, by tuning out loud sounds that may trigger migraine in some people. Calming music can also help some people relax, reducing the potential for migraine episodes or offering some relief from head pain already underway. Noise-canceling headphones are widely available and can be a helpful gift for people with migraine.
Books on migraine, particularly those written by headache specialists, can help those who experience it to better comprehend their neurological condition and explore ways to manage symptoms. Strong reads, such as "Migraine" by Dr. Oliver Sacks or "The Migraine Brain" by Dr. Carolyn Bernstein, can offer the reader solid insights into symptoms and management.
Informational programs cover causes of migraines, their effect on mind and body, and steps to prevent or manage migraine episodes. They can provide guidance on dietary, exercise and lifestyle choices that may help people with migraine to live their best life, with reduced migraine frequency and decreased symptoms. Available online, support programs can be a good gift for those affected by migraine.
Pleasant distractions are another way to decrease focus on the sensory pain of migraine, and may lessen the amount of pain that’s actually felt. Distractions can also help migraine sufferers relax, which may be useful in reducing overall symptoms.
For avid readers living with migraine, subscriptions to Audible or Kindle Unlimited make a great gift. The Audible platform features thousands of audio books, perfect for people on-the-go who prefer to listen to their reading material. While Kindle also has an impressive variety of audiobooks, its specialty is ebooks, online versions of books typically available at bookstores. Subscriptions to these reading tools can be a welcome treat for book lovers who also happen to experience migraine.
Coloring books are an easy distraction for people of all ages! Adult coloring books can be an unexpected treat for someone who could benefit from a new hobby or amusement to help manage the effects of migraine.
If you have a friend or loved one who experiences migraine, try some of the gift suggestions on this list. It’s always thoughtful to give the gift of a product or tool that may help prevent or manage their pain and discomfort.
Helpful gifts are an excellent idea but, ultimately, the optimum goal for your or your loved one may be to find a migraine solution tailored to the individual.
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