Stores can be minefields of symptom triggers! Here are a few tips for shopping with MdDS and Vestibular Migraine.
- To cope with bright lighting, try blue-blocking glasses, migraine or FL-41 glasses, sunglasses, or wearing a hat with a brim.
- Avoid shopping at peak times. Go when the store isn’t busy. When there is less people, there is less visual motion. It will also be easier to navigate the store if you are struggling with depth perception – there won’t be lots of people or carts to avoid or pass through.
- Shop at smaller, local stores or boutiques. Often, the lighting and layout is more sensory-friendly. There is typically less visual stimuli without the giant displays and shelves stocked to the brim. This is also a good place to start if you are just getting back into shopping in person.
- Use a cart if it makes you feel more stable. If you struggle with depth perception, stores with smaller carts of half-carts can be very helpful.
- Bring a buddy. If you need to leave the store, take a break in the car, or you need walking support, it will be great to have someone with you. Being with a loved one can also make the task more fun and distract you from your symptoms.
- Bring rescue medications. If you are triggered while in the store, or you need to shop despite symptoms are high, ask your doctor about using rescue or preventative medication before or after your shopping trip.
- If you get triggered or feel your symptoms increasing, leave the store. Sometimes it can take a while to get back to baseline after a trigger, and it isn’t worth “sticking it out” if it’s going to ruin your week.
Looking for help with the mental and physical aspects of dealing with triggering environments or situations? We would love to meet with you and create a personalized action plan! Learn more about coaching services for vestibular migraine and mal de debarquement syndrome.