Neurology Community
45.2k Members
299912 tn?1341623100

How fast can a trigger actually trigger a migraine?

Quick history - 38 year old male, good health though a little overweight. Good BP, good labs last time I went to doc (Sept 2016). Have had recurrent BPPV (if I had to guess, maybe 5 times a year on average) - Epley Maneuvar fixes it 99% of the time, first try (THANK GOD!). I also have classic migraine (aka Migraine with Aura). I generally have a migraine about 1 time a year, though over the past several years it may be more like a couple. I hate it every time, but am mostly lucky I guess as the headache isn't generally terrible, but the aura scares the crap out of me. I have visual aura that for the most part presents the same each time with slight differences.

Anyway, I had a migraine as I was getting ready to leave work on Friday and had an aura that gradually built from a small blind spot in the center of my vision to the jagged lines, bright spots, etc. then moved to the left and then away about 20-30 minutes or so later. This is a little longer than usual and the headache (always on the right side) was a little more prominent and longer lasting than usual - although, most of the time I have had them before I am at home and take meds, lay down and take a short nap, so it could just have been the situation that made it seem worse.

I still haven't quite nailed down my triggers, if I have any. I think this is due to them being so infrequent but I think a likely culprit is aged cheeses (but only sometimes) and sun glare. Although, I do think that it is possible that chemical smells might be a trigger (again, only sometimes). Long story as to why I think this.

Ironically, I work for a chemical company (In IT though, so I am not around the smells most of the time). Friday, I went into an area where silicone is used on product but was in a break room area and the smell was noticeable but not strong. Then within 30 seconds or less, I noticed the blind spot and i KNOW it when it is the beginning of an aura - I mostly notice when looking at written text.

Before this, I was actually feeling pretty well. So, my question is as the title states - how fast can triggers actually start a migraine. I can't really find any information on this. I only ask because only about 10 minutes and then again about a couple minutes before, I walked past a door that was open to the outdoors and the glare was pretty bright.

Any subjective experience would be helpful in sorting this out. Thanks!

Oh, one last thing related, but not related - has anyone ever heard of MARD? Migraine-Anxiety Related Dizziness? As I mentioned, I have BPPV and I have never heard of this or put 2 and 2 together (I also have had GAD/Panic disorder for more than a decade now). As it so happened, I had probably the worst BPPV the day after my migraine. When I did the Epley, the initial position made me feel I was being thrown around the room I was spinning so hard and that is unusual.
1 Responses
1756321 tn?1547095325
I found a study on migranes triggered by sunlight. An excerpt from the study...

"The mean times to headache onset after sunlight exposure were 5-10 min in summer and 60 min in winter."*

*Migraine headache triggered specifically by sunlight: report of 16 cases.  Eur Neurol. 2013;70(5-6):263-6. doi: 10.1159/000354165.

5 minutes is pretty fast. I personally had migranes, anxiety, panic attacks and many other symptoms due to magnesium deficiency.

"...magnesium deficiency may be present in up to half of migraine patients, and that routine blood tests are not indicative of magnesium status, empiric treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers."**

**Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012 May;119(5):575-9. doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0790-2.

I also had vitamin D deficiency as well. Vitamin D, magnesium and calcium all work together.  Optimal vitamin D levels are 40 - 60 ng/mL (100 - 150 nmol/L). Interestingly I found this about BPPV and vitamin D...

"The present study indicated that improvement of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels is associated with substantial decrease in recurrence of BPPV.”"***

***Reduction of recurrence rate of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo by treatment of severe vitamin D deficiency. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2016 Jun;43(3):237-41. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2015.08.009.
Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease