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Can Anyone Get A Migraine

Tips For Managing And Preventing Visual Migraines

Headache or Migraine?

If your visual migraine occurs frequently, here are some tips to help you prevent or manage the condition.

  • Acupressure. This is an evidence-based practice of applying pressure with hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be an effective alternative therapy for migraine headaches.
  • Lavender oil. Lavender oil can be inhaled or applied diluted to the temples to ease your migraine pain.
  • Peppermint oil. According to a 2010 study, the menthol in peppermint oil can minimize migraines.6 The research showed that applying menthol to the forehead and temples relieved migraine-related pain, nausea, and light sensitivity.
  • Yoga. Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being, relieving the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines.
  • Massage therapy. Massage reduces stress and enhances coping skills. It also lowers heart rate, anxiety, and cortisol levels.
  • Herbal supplements. Butterbur and feverfew are common herbal remedies that may aid with migraine pain and frequency reduction.
  • Avoid Triggers. Ocular migraine triggers such as caffeinated foods, alcohol, dehydration, smoking, or stress
  • Unwind at the end of the day. Basic things like listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath after a long day can help your body relax and prevent migraines.

Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.

If medication is essential, then your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drugs or triptans may be prescribed. Speak to your GP or midwife before taking medication when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Is The Treatment

Migraine is complex and there are different treatments available. The right treatment for you will depend on the type of migraine, your symptoms, how often you have attacks and how bad they are. It will also depend on your medical history.

Migraine treatment usually includes acute treatment such as painkillers and anti-sickness medication to stop or shorten an attack. If you are having more than four attacks a month you can ask your GP about preventive treatment. This is usually taken every day to reduce how often you have attacks and how bad they are.

Reviewing any lifestyle factors or triggers that may contribute to the attacks, such as stress, change in routine and sleep patterns, can help. There is currently no cure for migraine.

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How Are Migraines Diagnosed

To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:

  • Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
  • Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
  • Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
  • Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
  • Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
  • Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
  • Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
  • Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
  • Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.

Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.

Karamo Brown Wants Men And People Of Color With Migraine To Know Theyre Not Alone

15 Migraine Prevention Tips Never to Ignore

Television host Karamo Brown had migraine attacks in his teenage years, but it wasnt until he met a college classmate with migraine that he put a name to his debilitating headaches. Now, the Queer Eye culture and lifestyle expert is speaking out to remove the stigma around migraine and raise awareness that anyone, of any race, ethnicity, or gender, can have migraine.

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Whats A Migraine Journal

  • Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
  • The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
  • What are your symptoms? Be specific.
  • Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
  • Note the weather.
  • Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
  • Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
  • Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
  • List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
  • How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
  • Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?

Research Data On Race And Ethnicity

Migraine can be a debilitating condition that is underdiagnosed and challenging to treat. This can be seen especially in BIPOC populations. People of Color are less likely to receive the diagnosis of migraine and the treatment than white people.

In fact, only 47% of African Americans have an official migraine diagnosis, compared with 70% of white people in the country. And other research found that Latino people are 50% less likely to receive a formal migraine diagnosis than white people. These disparities can impact treatment and therapies.

While these figures could lead to the conclusion that white people experience more migraine episodes than other groups, looking at the average prevalence of severe headache or migraine from 2005 to 2012 in the U.S. found that the prevalence rates of episodes across all groups were similar:

  • 17.7% of Native American people
  • 15.5% of white people
  • 14.45% of Black people
  • 9.2% of Asian people

Furthermore, females in all groups were approximately twice as likely to experience migraine episodes than males.

Overall, studies that discuss migraine and use racial and ethnic differences for clarity often do not consider contributing factors. Further research is warranted, and this should consider behavioral, environmental, genetic, and socioeconomic factors, as well as access to healthcare.

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Are There Different Types Of Migraine

There are different types of migraine. There is an international classification system for migraine which doctors use to diagnose and treat them.

The most common types of migraine fall into two categories:

Migraine with aura also covers some rare types of migraine such as hemiplegic migraine and migraine with brainstem aura.

Not everyone will have a typical migraine. Your experience of migraine will be unique to you.

Always Discovering New Symptoms

Migraines: Not Just Another Headache

Its far too often I think as migraineurs that we experience symptoms we feel are just our own. We feel they are just in our heads, but with the quirkiness of migraine, I have found that anything is possible. When I take the time to research migraine and its symptoms I always seem to find something I didnt suspect.

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Strategies To Head Off Migraine Treatment Failure

Your doctor may recommend daily preventive medication if you have frequent attacks or long-lasting headaches that don’t respond well to treatment.

Treatment for migraine is very individualized, and there is no typical treatment. People with migraine should work with their healthcare providers to figure out what works best for them.

What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.

Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.

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What Are Common Headache Triggers

Headache triggers can vary from person to person. The most common triggers for tension headaches and migraines range from alcohol to certain foods, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, stress and or a change in weather.

It’s not as easy to distinguish triggers when it comes to cluster headaches, but there are several risks, including age , smoking, alcohol use and family history. Unlike with migraines, cluster headaches are more common in men than in women.

Migraine Without Head Pain

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Also called a Silent or Acephalgic Migraine, this type of migraine can be very alarming as you experience dizzying aura and other visual disturbances, nausea, and other phases of migraine, but no head pain. It can be triggered by any of a persons regular triggers, and those who get them are likely to experience other types of migraine, too. The International Headache Society classifies this type as typical aura without headache.

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Headache Caused By Infection

Many infections of the nose, throat and ear can cause headache. Depending on the disorder, treatment can include medications such as antibiotics, decongestants or antihistamines. Persistent problems, such as chronic tonsillitis, may need surgery as a final resort. Consult with an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Managing Depression And Migraine

Depression is a psychiatric comorbidity of migraine, meaning that people frequently have both, although neither condition appears to be directly caused by the other.

Underlying depression, particularly if untreated or inadequately treated, could lower the threshold for frequent and severe migraine attacks, says Ferhad F. Bashir, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Memorial Hermann the Woodlands Medical Center in the Woodlands, Texas.

Similarly, if migraines are untreated or inadequately treated, it could result in a state of depression secondarily, Dr. Bashir adds. Certain antidepressants can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks, so those medications may prove doubly beneficial for people who experience both migraine and depression.

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When Should You Worry About An Ocular Migraine

Although the symptoms of ocular migraines can be frightening, the condition is harmless and short-lived in most cases. However, ocular migraines can indicate serious health problems, such as increased risk for stroke or severe carotid artery disease.

Its essential to see an eye doctor when you lose your eyesight suddenly for the first time or if your eyesight deteriorates to check for any serious conditions.

A Dog With A Migraine: A Case Study

Migraine : What you need to know

In 2013 researchers I.N. Plessas, H.A. Volk and P.J. Kenny wrote about a 5-year-old cocker spaniel that exhibited some of the symptoms associated with migraines. The team published their findings in a 2013 issue of Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and although they do not make a definitive diagnosis, their work yielded some interesting results.

But be warned: The study has some hauntingly heartbreaking passages regarding how terribly this poor dog seemed to suffer, so read with caution .

Understand that migraines arent typical headaches . Not only do they cause moderate to maddening levels of head pain, migraines often cause photophobia , nausea, and fatigue.

Some people even suffer truly bizarre symptoms called prodromes before the headache sets in. For example, some people see auras around everything or, experience tingling on one side of the body, while others suffer from aphasia .

Prodromes occur in roughly three-quarters of all migraine sufferers.

In total, migraines can last for anywhere between 4 and 48 hours or so. Most people feel extremely fatigued following a migraine and require a day or two of rest after the pain subsides. Some even suffer from temporary depression after recovering from a migraine.

The dog in the 2013 study occasionally experienced episodes of apparent fear, which were followed by the dog emitting vocalizations. These episodes were observed throughout the dogs life, beginning when she was about 6 months of age.

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Diagnosing And Treating Ocular Migraines

When you visit your doctor, they will ask about your symptoms, examine your eyes, and order additional tests to rule out other serious conditions such as:

  • Amaurosis fugax
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Spasms in the blood vessels that carry blood to the eye
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack
  • Drug abuse

Professional Treatments

If you have been diagnosed with retinal migraines, consult your doctor about the best treatment options. There is no one recommended treatment regimen since it varies from person to person.

If you dont experience ocular migraines very frequently, your doctor may advise you to use over-the-counter NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen when the episodes occur.4

Your doctor may also recommend the following:

  • Anti-nausea medication to reduce nausea and related symptoms
  • Calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure
  • Anti-epileptic medications to prevent seizures
  • Tricyclic antidepressants to alter the brains chemistry

Doctors dont usually use traditional migraine treatments such as triptans and ergotamines for people with ocular migraines.5

Triptans, for example, arent safe if youre at risk for a stroke, which may be the case for people experiencing temporary blindness in one eye.

A recent technique for treating or preventing ocular migraine is to use a self-administered device that delivers electrical stimulation to the forehead or back of the head.

These devices include:

Home Remedies

Essential Oils For Treating Headache Pain

Essential oils have a variety of uses, and you can add essential oils to the list for how to get rid of a migraine. Theyre natural painkillers, help lower stress or anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, help balance hormones, and lower muscular tension.

Essential oils can be applied to the painful side of the head, neck and elsewhere to soothe muscular tension and stress. You can also numb any pain directly by applying several drops of an oil to a heated towel .

Essential oils for headaches include:

Peppermint: Reduces pain and inflammation. Works by having a natural cooling effect on the skin, inhibiting muscle contractions and stimulating blood flow around the head when applied topically.

Lavender: Soothes stress and anxiety. Can improve sleep quality, decrease muscular tension, and has natural antidepressant and sedative qualities.

Eucalyptus: Improves blood flow, is uplifting, helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful substances, and reduces high blood pressure and pain.

Rosemary: Reduces pain through regulating blood flow, helps decrease withdrawal symptoms of caffeine or medications, aids digestion, and soothes an upset stomach.

6.Reduce Stress

Get Enough Sleep

Balance Hormones

Exercise

Originally published at

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What Causes Migraines

Doctors dont know exactly what causes migraines. It appears that migraine headaches may be caused in part by changes in the level of a body chemical called serotonin. Serotonin plays many roles in the body, and it can have an effect on the blood vessels. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict . When serotonin levels fall, the blood vessels dilate . This swelling can cause pain or other problems. Another aspect that is being studied is that migraine headaches go along with a spreading pattern of electrical activity in the brain.

Some research suggests there could be a heredity factor for migraines, meaning they may run in families. Researchers have identified some genes associated with migraines. They are unsure, though, why these genes seem to impact some people more than others. The American Migraine Foundation reports that if one of your parents has migraines, there is a 50% chance that you will, too. If both of your parents have migraines, your chances jump up to 75%. Ultimately, migraines seem to be caused by a combination of factors: genetic, environmental, and lifestyle.

Women are more likely to have chronic migraines . This is likely linked to hormones. Hormones fluctuate each month around the time of your period. They can also fluctuate if you are pregnant or going through menopause.

What Causes Migraine

Migraines

Scientists and doctors think migraine is the result of abnormal brain activity affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. We dont know what causes this brain activity, although for many people there is a link to their genes. If you are sensitive to migraine there are certain triggers which can have an impact. These include stress, skipping meals and low blood sugar, alcohol, hormonal changes , lack of sleep and the environment you are in .

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What Are Migraines

A migraine is a type of headache that recurs , and also causes other symptoms. The pain is often throbbing and can happen on one or both sides of the head. People with migraines can feel dizzy or sick to their stomachs. They may be sensitive to light, noise, or smells.

Migraines can be disabling, and teens with migraines often need to skip school, sports, work, or other activities until they feel better.

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