Migraines twice a month only when in the office?

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  • Full Question:

    Hi.  My migraines started about 4 years ago after my first child.  I have an episode about once every three-four months.  I did not have any migraines while pregnant with my second child.  Recently, I'm experiencing migraines almost twice a month and noticed that the only time I seem to get a migraine is when I'm in the office. There is usually no warning.  I'm violently ill and essentially have to fall asleep to even function again. I do sit in front of a computer writing reports when in the office. I've adjusted the lights and have an LCD screen but nothing seems to help.  What could be triggering my migraines? Thank you, Danna.

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    Full Answer:

    Dear Danna;


    There are many possible triggers in an office environment. You're going to need to play detective to work on identifying them. Some possibilities include:

    • Chemicals - Cleaning products and the like can leave behind fumes that can trigger Migraines.
    • Fluorescent lighting - We don't know how you adjusted the lighting, but if there are fluorescent lights in your office area, they could pose a problem.
    • Fragrance - Does anyone in your office wear perfume or other scented products? Is air freshener used in the office?

    Something else to consider is that Migraines don't always occur immediately after being exposed to a trigger, so it's possible that your triggers have nothing to do with your office. Foods, for example, can trigger a Migraine for up to three days after they're consumed.


    You can find more on triggers in Common Migraine Triggers. One of the best tools for identifying triggers is a good Migraine diary. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary. Some people have food triggers; some of us don't. It's advisable to determine if you do, and an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.


    Hoping this helps,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated October 17, 2013.

Published On: October 23, 2013