I’ve had migraines for around 40 years now. At first, doctors just gave me prescriptions for pain pills that I absolutely hated. My neurologist “fired” me several years ago because I questioned the pain pills, and that ended up being a good thing. My new neurologist prescribed Imitrex for me and introduced me to triggers, which nobody had ever explained before. She even suggested a special elimination diet, and that revealed that a couple of foods were triggers. That’s the back story. My question is this — Could I have developed new migraine triggers after 40 years? Perfume never bothered me before, but now it seems to be giving me migraines. It happens with my own perfume and with perfume others wear. Thanks for your time, Yvonne.
Dear Yvonne;It’s really good to “hear” that you were proactive in finding a new doctor when you were uncomfortable with your treatment. Your new doctor sounds like a better fit for you, and it was time that someone explored migraine triggers with you.Yes, you can develop new migraine triggers. That’s not at all unusual. In fact, we have an article on that very question. Please take a look at Can You Develop New Migraine Triggers?, and you’ll see that you’re not alone in this phenomenon.Thank you for your excellent question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer. © David Watson and Teri Robert, 2017.
Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialist and the director of the West Virginia University Headache Center. Dr. Watson takes a special interest in migraines, cluster headaches, and tension-type headaches. He strives to stay up-to-date on current research and treatments and regularly attends continuing medical education conferences. “Dr. Dave” is also very active in the migraine community, taking part in and leading advocacy efforts to benefit the entire community. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Runnin’ for Research, a nonprofit organization that helps interested patients and doctors set up races in their areas to raise research funding for headache disorders. He’s also a regular participant in the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy’s “Headache on the Hill” event and is co-secretary of the American Headache and Migraine Association. You can follow Dr. Watson on Twitter.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.