Can Riding In Or Driving Cars Give You A Headache Or Migraine?

Question

Asked by bonnie

Can Riding In Or Driving Cars Give You A Headache Or Migraine?

I get bad headaches whenever I go over 20 minutes or so in a car. I'm ususally riding as my husband usually drives, but it doesn't make any difference. I'm wondering if the scenery that goes by as the car goes down the road could be a trigger for a migraine?

Answer

Hello, Bonnie,

Are you talking about headaches or Migraines? You've hit on a possible answer -- the scenery going by. The flashing scenery or the flickering of sunlight through scenery is a common Migraine trigger just as strobe light and some animations are.

The "visual Migraines" you mention may well be Acephalgic or Silent Migraines. Not being able to think of the right words is also a common Migraine symptom called aphasia. Here are a couple of articles that address your questions:

Acephalgic or Silent Migraine - The Basics
Anatomy of a Migraine

Have you talked to your doctor about this? Depending on how frequently this happens, he may suggest taking a Migraine abortive such as a triptan when this happens. Some people who tend to get Migraines in the care have told me that taking a medication for motion sickness, such as Dramamine, when they start out keeps them from getting Migraines in the car. That's something else you can suggest to your doctor.

Hope this helps!

Teri