2007-02-Tips For Headache Free Travel

Tips to Ease Travel Headaches from the National Headache Foundation

Chicago, IL – February 20, 2007 -  As winter takes a stronger hold, more Americans will book air fares and pack up the SUV as they travel across the country to escape the cold or just the cabin fever. However, preparing for vacations and traveling can also produce an added amount of stress and tension -- two key triggers in the onset of headaches. Over 45 million Americans experience chronic, recurring headaches. Based on a recent on-line survey conducted by the National Headache Foundation (NHF) (www.headaches.org), 68 percent of respondents said they experience headaches more frequently when traveling. NHF offers travelers the following tips: 

  • Maintain your normal sleeping and waking patterns - Seventy-three percent of NHF survey respondents attributed the disruption of sleep schedules while traveling as a major cause of their headaches. Late-night visits and early morning tours can lead to headaches by tempting you to stay up past your bedtime and wake up earlier than usual. Try to go to sleep and awaken the same time as you usually do, even on weekends.
  • Plan in advance - Sixty-six percent of survey respondents stated that stress was a contributing factor to their travel headaches. A well-planned trip can ease the stress of traveling. Be prepared for extra long lines and wait times at the airport and arrive at least two hours before your scheduled departure. If you plan to travel by car, plot your course and make hotel reservations in advance. It is also advisable to bring medication in a carry-on bag, as opposed to checked luggage, but be sure to follow Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines about liquids, gels and aerosols.
  • Discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider - Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents stated that do not talk to their healthcare provider about adjusting medications based on their travel plans. If you are flying long distances, ask your healthcare provider about your dosage schedule. Some medications should be adjusted for high altitudes, lack of activity and different climates. 
  • Don’t skip or delay meals- An empty stomach could trigger a headache. Carry snacks with you, sixty-nine percent of survey respondents reported the lack of available food as a travel inconvenience that has negatively impacted their headache condition.

    If you are experiencing headache pain that affects your life, make an appointment with your healthcare provider specifically to discuss your headache problem and seek accurate diagnosis and treatment.

    The National Headache Foundation, founded in 1970, is a non-profit organization which exists to enhance the healthcare of headache sufferers. It is a source of help to sufferers’ families, physicians who treat headache sufferers, allied healthcare professionals and to the public. The NHF accomplishes its mission by providing educational and informational resources, supporting headache research and advocating for the understanding of headache as a legitimate neurobiological disease.

For more information on headache causes and treatments, visit www.headaches.org or call 1-888-NHF-5552 (M-F. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT).

Interviews with headache specialists can be arranged upon request by e-mailing broberts@silbarpr.com. An electronic copy of this press release is also available by contacting the same e-mail address.

Suzanne Simons
National Headache Foundation 
(312) 274-2651

Brent Roberts or Brooke Highline
Merton G. Silbar Public Relations
(847) 729-7333 
broberts@silbarpr.com or bhighline@silbarpr.com

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