How To Make Your Own Travel Migraine Kit for Self-Care
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I purchased my own Loop Earplugs and Block Blue Light Glasses that are mentioned in this post.
Is This You?
Do you suffer from migraine and migraine headaches while on the go?
A way to manage your symptoms of migraine is to assemble a travel migraine kit. With items that suit your particular circumstance. A kit can assist to provide convenient relief together with the items and instructions prescribed by your medical doctors and specialists, and allied health specialists.
And, you can use it no matter where you are.
What suits me, doesn't mean it will suit you and might not work for you. What works for one person, might not work for another person. Everybody is different and reacts differently.
Consult a professional for treatment. If something isn't working, seek appropriate medical assistance.
If traveling, check the travel insurance details are adequate.
If traveling to a country with a foreign language, learn some basic communication. In case you end up in a hospital on your own with no phone and no one speaks English. And you are unable to communicate with your travel companions.
What to Pack in a Travel Migraine Kit Checklist
Checklist for Items in a Travel Migraine Kit
- Glasses for Light Sensitivity and Protect from Blue Light
- Medication & Documentation
- Heat Pack
- Cold Pack
- Eye Masks
- Reusable Bottle
- Neck Pillow
- Remedies like Tiger Balm, Migraine Lavender Sticks
- Salt Lamp
- WeatherX App
- Exercise List
- Mindfulness or Meditation App
- Fidget Spinner
- Stress Ball
- Migraine Journal or App
- Small Notebook & Pencils
- In-Ear Sound Isolating Ear Phones or Headphones or Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Sick Bag
- Hoodie or Jacket with Hood
- List of Foods Allowed and to Avoid in own language
- List of Foods Allowed and to Avoid in foreign languages
- Hidden Disability Sunflower Bracelet/Card & Lanyard or Medical ID Bracelet
See below for further details
I plan my trips. And I try to remember to take the essentials and snacks with me to allow for downtime. I carry water and food with me because sometimes it's hard to find food that is allowed with my dietary requirements.
You read about the travelers who only take carry-on. Well, with my need to be prepared for migraine, medication needing to be in its original containers, and taking food in case I cannot find food that I can tolerate. I can say being on a plane with only fruit and icy poles to eat, one gets very hungry on a long-haul flight.
There's not much room in the carry-on for any luggage with a limit of 7 kg (15 lb) for international flights, cause I need to make room for some food, too.
This is Me!
I have suffered from migraine for 22 years. And, they have interrupted my health during my travels and daily living.
From being hit by a migraine as a plane goes into descend mode. And, having to go and have some downtime in a dark room and rest.
This includes misunderstanding from others. Because I have to recover before I can keep going. For instance, so that I can be okay to do the drive back home.
Does this happen to you too? Do you feel socially isolated?
In 2011, I had an episode and was in the hospital for 17 days. As a result, I was put on preventers and a low-tyramine migraine diet.
Then, in 2022, I had an adverse reaction to a third dose of the vax. Even though covid has been in my household, I have not had it. But, the adverse event sent me into a 24/7 migraine gave me auras and blurry vision, and made the impairments of light, sound, smell, brain fog, slurred speech, nausea, etc. way worse. And then, the ice pick migraine headaches started which kept me bedridden too. And, I get the migraine headaches where you feel like your head is being crushed and it is going to explode.
Migraine Attack during Flight
Have you ever traveled and been hit with a migraine and forgotten to pack one of the essentials that you use when you have migraines? Well, I did.
When I traveled to Singapore on a direct flight from Melbourne. The plane went into landing mode at the airport, and I was struck with a migraine.
I had forgotten to pack Tiger Balm. Would you believe it's manufactured there? And, it wasn't until the second last day when I was at a market that I found some to purchase it. Because I still had that migraine.
So, now I have my Travel Migraine Kit Checklist.
Do you have a travel migraine kit or a travel kit for your health conditions?
Travel Kit for Migraine Self-Care
What goes into a Migraine Kit for Travel?
You can use a selection of the below items to make a Travel Migraine Kit to suit your needs. And, you can add to your list too.
I use polarised sunglasses in a dark black tint of a large frame. I used to have a wrap style with a mirrored effect. And, I had worn them for over a decade but had to change to these last year. I cannot tolerate shades of browns, oranges, and yellows for sunglasses.
Glass for Light Sensitivity and Blue Light Glasses
Glasses that protect your eyes from blue light like Block Blue Light and light sensitivity.
I recently purchased ScreenTime Billie Computer Glasses in Tortoise, DayMax Billie Glasses in Pearl Grey and NightFall Billie Blue Blocking Glasses in Crystal. See more about these below.
There are different glasses for light sensitivity. My reading glasses are prescription and tinted, back when I got them, there weren't migraine and blue light options.
There are TheraSpecs FL-41. And, the more expensive ones are the Aulux.
So, you need to try them to see which glasses suit you. They might work for you and they might not.
See below for more details about the Blue Blocking Glasses.
Earplugs & Headphones
For earplugs, I now use Loop earplugs, Loop Quiet, Loop Experience Plus (Pro), and Engage Plus. Previously, I used yellow foam earplugs and use them occasionally now. You can read more about these, see below.
Headphones or noise-canceling headphones block out noise or you can use them with a device. However, I can't stand wearing noise-canceling headphones. I could only use a one-ear headset for phones and wear a foam earplug in the other ear.
I use In-Ear Sound Isolating Ear Phones which block up to 37 dB of ambient noise to use with a device like listening to my mobile.
We are all different and we all react differently. So you need to find what works for you. I also find what works on a particular day or moment, won't work on another day. So I need to change it around a bit.
For instance, with the Loops, I change which ones I wear for different scenarios, I take the mutes out or I need to put them back in. Or I wear them in one ear to block the noise from the side and can have a conversation with one person on the other side. Some people can wear these as I can, and some people cannot.
WeatherX App can be used to check for barometer pressure shifts. It sends notifications to consider wearing their earplugs. I have been using my Loop earplugs.
See below for more details about the Loop Earplugs.
Eye Mask, Pillow, Hat
Eye Masks, Neck Pillow can be used on flights to get some sleep
A Hat to protect you from the sun and block out the light
I wear a hoodie or jacket with a hood because it helps me block out the overhead and side lights.
Managing Migraine & Mindfulness & Gadgets
You can use a Migraine Journal or App to work out your triggers. This can help manage migraine attacks when you are traveling.
Mindfulness or Meditation Apps. I have a book and CD combination. So, see if you can find one to suit you.
Prior to the pandemic, I was going to markets. A lady at one of the stores, that I befriended gave me a Fidget Spinner, And, you can use a Stress Ball
A small notebook or coloring book and pencils can be used to help destress the mind.
Carry a sick bag just in case, You should find some on the plane at the seat. Make sure there are some.
In 2014, I used a few on one flight. We hit turbulence, and I threw up for two hours, right through breakfast. And, I was required to take the sick bags myself to the toilets to empty and I did this several times. And, I was like that until we landed in Los Angeles. Once we landed, it stopped, and I was able to walk off the plane like nothing had happened.
In my car, I usually have an empty ice cream container.
Medication, Remedies, and Health Care
Medication and documentation prescribed by your doctor and specialist and letters documenting it. Take extras in case of delays. I'm not addressing medications, refer to your medical professional for assistance. If you are in Australia, I have listed two websites in the resources below.
I use remedies like Tiger Balm. Before I used Tiger Balm, I used the Migraine Lavender Sticks.
For pain, I use heat packs and cold packs to reduce the tightness in the shoulders, back, and muscle spasms. Because it ends up triggering a migraine, especially neck migraines for me.
In regards to the massagers, I have balls and rollers. You need to check with your medical and health professionals whether any electronic equipment is allowed.
I have a list of exercises designed by a physiotherapist for me specifically, So, check if you can have a program designed specifically for you.
I organize appointments overseas. And, I obtain instructions from my health professional here. Then, I contact the overseas professional and check whether they are able to give me the same or similar treatment.
When I go on road trips, I take a salt lamp and Humidifier.
Food and Drink
Reusable Bottle and water. Check if you can use a hydrating aid in the water.
Make sure you take with you a list of foods allowed and to avoid in your own language, printed and/or on your phone.
This is handy for a list of foods allowed and to avoid in foreign languages, printed and/or on your phone.
You can wear a Hidden Disability Sunflower Bracelet or a Card and Lanyard. Check to see if the airport you are going through has a Hidden Accessibility Program.
Or you can look into using an ID Bracelet with your disability and details.
What's in your kit?
What do you have in your migraine kit or health kit for travel?
I Purchased Loop Experience Plus, Loop Engage Plus, Loop Quiet
If you are looking for sleep and sensitive to noise then Loop Quiet Earplugs are ideal for travel. In situations like when you are on a plane, train, or other public transport and places. And, you would like to block out as much noise as you can. Because they reduce noise up to 27 dB, are reusable, and have flexible soft-touch silicone.
Maybe you want to focus, you want to read a book or work on the computer in a noisy setting, then Loop Quiet is designed to reduce the noise up to 27 dB.
Loop Experience Plus
Loop Experience has filtered noise reduction up to 18 dB. And, Experience Plus comes with the Loop Mute, an extra 5 dB of noise reduction. So together that makes up to 23 dB noise reduction. I use them when I am sensitive to noise. For instance, if I walk into the shopping centre and it's really noisy or a shop with overhead music playing loudly,
I can wear the Loop Experience Plus to manage the noise. They come in a small case, so it's easy for me to carry them around in my bag. And I can wear them to music gigs, and live events.
Loop Engage Plus
Loop Engage takes the edge off up to 16 dB of filtered noise reduction and Engage Plus includes Loop Mute with the extra 5 dB of noise reduction. And, together that makes up to 21 dB noise reduction. I use Loop Engage Plus in social and networking settings so that I can hear the conversations and engage too.
For instance, I wore the Loop Engage Plus when we went to a restaurant for dinner. And, I could hear the others at my table speak clearly. A musician was singing and playing the guitar, and I could hear clearly the words he was singing over the noise of the people speaking. Although I am learning to adjust the volume of my voice. Previously, I would struggle in this kind of situation.
In the accessories section, there is now a Loop Link that you can attach to hang around your neck when you take them out, which I don't have.
Please Note: Some people can wear Loop Earplugs as I can, and some people can't.
Tip: Make sure you safely and regularly remove ear wax.
Light and Sun Sensitivity
Light and Sun Sensitivity
Because of the adverse event, I was unable to tolerate the white of the screens. And, I changed apps and screens to dark mode. However, not all apps, software, and websites have colors that convert well to dark mode. Some actually look worse.
I couldn't stay on the computer for long, the text was blurred, and the screen snowed. I didn't turn my laptop on for days. This went on for ten months until the combination of medication (including two new), meant I could use the computer when the sun went down. It was summer by now, and for the whole three months, I was stuck with an aura around my eyes during daylight hours.
So, I changed the settings on the overhead lamp to candlelight at eight percent because the light and sun sensitivity was way worse because of the adverse event. And, I needed to keep the blinds shut.
For my own website, when I was able to stay on the computer long enough. I converted it to an off-white greyish background. And, I find I can tolerate it. Furthermore, the colors I feel look pretty to me.
Block Blue Light Glasses
Block Blue Light Glasses
Recently, I purchased Block Blue Light ScreenTime Billie Computer Glasses in Tortoise, DayMax Billie Glasses in Pearl Grey, and NightFall Billie Blue Blocking Glasses in Crystal. And, I find that the ScreenTime Billie Computer Glasses are my go-to glasses for working on the computer. I find that they convert the screen tone to a similar light source as the candlelight in the room.
Make sure you read the Lens Colour Guide section.
Flying and Block Blue Light Glasses
Now, I am thinking I would like to use them when going on a flight to look at screens and adjust for sleep. Usually, I cannot look at screens for long on a plane, so I wonder if the ScreenTime or DayMax glasses could make a difference. And, for sleep, the NighFall Blue Blocking Glasses block blue and green light, so I would give these a go.
Block Blue Light ScreenTime Billie Computer Glasses
You need to refer to resources and medications that apply to your country. And, you will need to check what is available or allowed in your country and any countries that you may be traveling to.
Some resources for migraine in Australia are:
Carl Cincinnato gives tips to avoid a migraine while traveling. See his point four regarding packing a migraine bag, number five about using a personalized mobile emergency kit, and point twenty-one about minimizing ear pressure.
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Create a Travel Kit for Migraine
What is in your migraine or health kit for travel?