What are environmental triggers of migraine in children?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Environmental triggers of migraine include the following:

  • Fluorescent light

  • Bright light

  • Flickering light

  • Fatigue

  • Barometric pressure changes

  • High altitude

  • Strong odors

  • Computer screens

  • Rapid temperature changes

Some report that complex visual patterns such as stripes, checks, or zigzag lines may trigger migraine attacks.

Hansen et al found that the most common trigger factors reported by patients with familial hemiplegic migraine were stress, bright light, intense emotional influences, and too much or too little sleep, which are similar to the triggers associated with migraine with aura. [6]

Physical exertion can trigger childhood migraine. Some migraineurs report that they are more likely to develop a headache after participating in sports or being extremely active. Minor head trauma (eg, being hit in the head with a ball, falling on one's head) may result in exacerbations of migraine lasting from days to months. Travel or motion may cause migraine, particularly in young children.

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