You arrive home after a busy day of work with one goal in mind: Finish your daily chores and responsibilities as quick as possible so you can plop down and relax. You quickly throw on your sweats, pull your hair into a messy bun and get started on job #2. After a few of hours (which seem like 10), aaahhhhh, the time has come. You get comfortable, switch on your favorite reality show and then something terrible happens. A horrible headache sets in!
Does this sound familiar? You’ve escaped hell (work), battled with hungry, cranky, and dirty(now clean) kiddos, wiped down every surface, and just as you relax you get a headache?!?! What in the What? Well, I have something to tell you……your home and some of the items in it could be the cause.
what causes that throbbin’ Noggin’?
There are several products and environmental factors within your home that can trigger headaches. The following 8 items are common culprits for your aching head.
1. Bright Lights
Bright fluorescent lights, TV, and computer screens are all around us. Cell Phone use is at an all-time high with individuals looking at their gadgets an “average of five hours a day — that’s roughly one-third of their total waking hours (Gregoire, 2015).” This type of screen time can be very harmful. When a person is sensitive to bright lighting, they have a disorder called Photophobia. “Photophobia is a condition in which bright lights hurt your eyes (Delago, 2015).” A person who has migraines or frequent headaches most likely has this disorder and should take appropriate steps and precautions to limit their exposure to bright lights.
Suggestions: If you are sensitive to light and you feel they are the cause of your headaches there are a few options you can try.
1.Eyekepper Glasses provide headache and dry eye relief caused by eye Strain from blue lights, UVB Light, and HEV light.
2. Smell Goods (Candles, Air Fresheners, perfumes, Shampoo)
The majority of items in our homes that “smell good” contain “fragrance..” What makes a fragrance? Well, truthfully, no one but the company(and those they are required to inform) knows. Fragrances are considered “trade secrets.” Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose specific fragrance ingredients on product labels. Instead, the generic term, Parfum, is listed. This term alone can represent a mixture of potentially DOZENS of dangerous chemicals that cause headaches (and tons of other symptoms). The European Health Commission prohibits 1,300 chemicals, shown to cause headaches as well as cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive problems, and birth defects, for use in cosmetic/perfumed products (European Prohibited Cosmetic List). The United States ONLY bans 11 of these same chemicals(United States Prohibited Cosmetic List). This information terrifies me when it comes to my family’s health and safety.
Suggestions: If you feel fragrances are the cause of your headaches the best choice is to remove those items from your home. You can replace them with natural and organic ingredients that are safe and headache free. Check out these links below for more information.
3. Pets (Dander and Treatments)
Pets are an excellent addition to the family, but sometimes they carry hidden downfalls. Our furry friends are commonly allowed to roam the home and they leave minimal or no evidence of dander, saliva, urine, and feces. These “invisible” deposits then stick to furniture, carpet, beds, etc. Many times parents hear their little one complain of a headache or even suffer from headaches themselves. Even though sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or other allergy symptoms are not present the person, in fact, could be allergic to their pet. When most people think of allergies they think hay fever type symptoms. That’s not always the cases. Allergies do come in the form of headache quite often. For those of you that may have allergy headaches caused by their pet, there are some ways to help.
Suggestions: If removing your pet from your home is a no-go, here are some ways to calm down your headaches.
1.Bathe your pet frequently with allergen-reducing shampoo
2. Purchase a Pet Air Filter for your home ventilation system (Wal-mart).
3. Apply or diffuse essential oils for immunity support. Peppermint, lavender, lemon, rose, oregano, and clove oils are great choices.
Loud Noises have always been known to cause headaches but did you know that constant low sounds and repetitive sounds can cause them, as well. “In one small study in Headache, 79 percent of people exposed to 50dB of white noise developed a headache, and 82 percent reported that the headache was the same or similar to their usual headaches, which were either migraines or tension-type headaches (Doherty, 2016).” Sound familiar?
Suggestions: Constant noise can be mind-numbing. Here are some ways to quiet it down to silence those migraines.
1. Purchase Flesh Skin Colored Plugs s for help secretly calm the noise.
2. Use a white noise app or White Noise Machine.
3. Wear noise-canceling headphones. Nowadays people walk around with all types of headphones, and these look no different than any other!
4. If you feel overwhelmed by the noises, take a walk and let yourself calm down.
5. Household cleaners
According to the Organic Consumer Organization, “In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers, of these, 120,434 exposures involved children under six, who can swallow or spill cleaners stored or left open inside the home( How Toxic, n.d.).” Many store bought cleaning products contain chemicals that are neurotoxins. Neurotoxins alter neurons, affecting brain activity, causing a range of problems from headaches to loss of intellect (Household Cleaning, n.d).”
Suggestions: If you feel cleaners are the cause of your headaches the best choice is to remove those items from your home. You can replace them with natural and organic ingredients that are safe and headache free. Check out these links below for more information.
Pesticides are used in our home routinely to kill mice, insects, and mold. The Toxic Action Center states, “Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substances that kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents (rodenticides), and others (The Problem with Pesticides, 2015).” With low-level exposure headaches, digestive issues, mood swings can occur and over time pesticides can cause cancer, Parkinson’s disease, neurological problems, infertility, and reproductive harm.
Suggestions: Pesticides are very dangerous to our health, but there are some safe and natural remedies to help.
1. Diatomaceous Earth – When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (such as bed bugs, ants or fleas) it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky.
2. Essential Oils – Essential Oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, clove, neem, tea tree, oregano, thyme….just to name a few have all shown to get rid of things like fleas, ticks, mice, spiders, beetles, and the list goes on.
3. Baking Soda/Vinegar for ant control. Just sprinkle a little, and the bubbles release carbon monoxide into the air which kills the insects.
7. Headbands/ponytail holders
People that wear ponytails or headbands often are doing more damage than they truly understand. Individuals that often put their hair up are causing the nerves in their head, overtime, to perceive it is being harmed. According to Dr. Denise E. Chou, neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, ” “When you put your hair in a tight bun or ponytail, or a weave or extensions, that will pull the nerves in the scalp. That pulling of the nerves will activate the sensory nerves even more,” Chou continues, “That can result in the headache itself, or it could be that the headache is beginning.”
Suggestions: It’s important to be careful and listen to your body. If you are getting frequent headaches when wearing your hair up make sure to loosen or take down your hair.
8. Carbon Monoxide/radon
“According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly one out of every 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Short term, radon can cause headaches, breathing issues, and dizziness. Over time, however, breathing in radon gas can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer. Another invisible, odorless, yet poisonous, gas is carbon monoxide (CO)–it’s responsible for killing almost 4,000 people in the United States each year. CO is produced when fuels from your fireplace, water heater, boiler or furnace burn incompletely, and it can fill a home without anyone taking notice. Once exposed, symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and even death. (sixwise, 2016).”
Suggestions: If you feel that Radon or Carbon Monoxide are a concern in your home, I would suggest buying an at-home testing kit.
If you are suffering from constant and frequent headaches or migraines, it’s important to listen to your symptoms. Always make sure to find the cause so that you are certain your headaches are not due to a more serious health concern!
HAVE A QUESTION, SUGGESTION, OR STORY? PLEASE COMMENT BELOW! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Gregoire, C. (2015). You Probably Use Your Smartphone Way More Than You Think. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96
Delago, A. (2015).What causes photophobia? 32 possible conditions. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96
Martin, P.R., Reece, J., & Forsyth, M. (2006). Noise as a trigger for headaches: relationship between exposure and sensitivity. Headache, Jun;46(6):962-72.
Doherty, C. (2016).Coping with Noise Triggered HeadachesNoise as a Headache Trigger and Densitization as a Coping Strategy. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96S
Another invisible, odorless, yet poisonous, gas is carbon monoxide (CO)–it’s responsible for killing almost 4,000 people in the United States each year. CO is produced when fuels from your fireplace, water heater, boiler or furnace burn incompletely, and it can fill a home without anyone taking notice. Once exposed, symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and even death.