Social media may be the bane of many of people’s lives, but for scientists who research migraine and headache triggers— it’s a gold mine of information.
The Social Media Study
A team of researchers have released the results of a study into migraine triggers and causes that was conducted across social media. In particular, they wanted to know how prevalent phantom tastes, sounds and smells are among headache sufferers.
Over a period of three weeks, the team used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts linked to Daily Migraine to ask followers to list their migraine-associated symptoms elicited by sensory experiences.
The Most Common Migraine Trigger and Symptom
Phantom smells were the most commonly-reported symptom, especially cigarette smoke, animal scents and cleaning products. However, some reported experiencing pleasant smells like food aromas, perfume and flowers as being headache triggers.
Many people also reported auditory experiences during migraines – including ringing sounds, buzzing and music.
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Phantom tastes were the least common symptom – with those who reported them experiencing the taste of either blood or food.
‘A Unique Resource’
“Given the onerous physical and emotional impact of migraine, an online forum is a unique resource to the professional headache community to help us improve how we diagnose, care for and treat headache and facial pain syndromes,” said Cynthia Armand, who contributed to the study.”
The team’s research was presented this month at the conference of the American Headache Society.
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