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Can Migraines Cause Breathing Problems

Anxiety Or Panic Attacks

Cold air can cause breathing problems

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety can cause both headaches and chest pain.

A panic attack can often feel similar to a heart attack, which can further increase a persons anxiety. Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • chest pain
  • trembling
  • a feeling of losing control

Panic attacks can arise spontaneously and without warning, or can occur as a result of a stressful event. Learning to recognize the symptoms of a panic attack can ease a persons worry when they arise.

How Long Do Migraines Last

A migraine attack can typically be divided into four phases:

  • A warning phase occurs in up to half of people with migraine. You may feel irritable, depressed, or tired, have food cravings, or just know that a migraine is going to occur. You may have these feelings for hours or even days before the onset of the headache.
  • The aura phase .
  • The headache phase.
  • The resolution phase when the headache gradually fades. During this time you may feel tired, irritable, or depressed, and may have difficulty concentrating.

Typically the headache of a migraine without aura lasts from 4 hours to as long as 72 hours.

A migraine aura usually takes a few minutes to develop then lasts for five minutes to an hour before the headache comes. The headache usually starts within an hour of the aura ending and lasts the same as the headache of a migraine without aura.

Throbbing Pain On One Or Both Sides Of The Head

Pulsating pain is a classic sign of migraines. The throbbing is often felt on one side of the head.

In an online survey of patients with migraines, the National Headache Foundation found that 50% “always” have throbbing on one side, while 34% say they “frequently” have this symptom.

Migraine pain often burrows behind the eye.

People will blame it on eye strain and many will get their eyes checked, but that won’t make their headaches any better, Dr. Messina says.

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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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sinus Headaches And Migraines

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Sinus headaches and migraines have the following symptoms in common:

  • Pain in the head especially the forehead
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Worsening pain when you move

Migraines tend to also have some of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Severe pain located on one size of the head

Sinus headaches and migraines are often confused, and its important to know which type you have so you can receive treatment thats more likely to help.

If youre experiencing headaches, make an appointment today for an evaluation at Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute. Well correctly diagnose the type of headache you have as well as any underlying issues that are causing them and devise an effective treatment plan.

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Can Sinus Pressure Cause Migraines

    Sinus headaches and migraines are often commonly confused, but its important to know which type of headache you have since that affects the type of treatment you need.

    In this blog, Dr. Cecil Yeung of Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute explains more about sinus headaches and migraines, including whether sinus pressure can cause migraines.

    The Link Between Sleep Headache And Mood

    The same brain regions and chemical messengers impact sleep, headache and mood, so inadequate or poor quality sleep increases the odds for headache and mood change. For example, people living with migraine who also experience insomnia often suffer from anxiety or depression, which are also common migraine comorbidities. An effective migraine treatment plan would factor in the patients medical history and psychological factors.

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    Migraine When Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

    The good news is that about 2 in 3 women with migraine have an improvement whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. However, about 1 in 20 women with migraine find that their migraine gets worse whilst pregnant. The bad news is that many of the medicines used to treat migraine should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Learn more about migraine medication when pregnant or breastfeeding in the separate leaflet called Migraine Medication, Treatment and Prevention.

    Loss Of Appetite Nausea And Vomiting

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    Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss have been reported in a number of patients across age groups.

    Theres no question at this point that GI symptoms can be a manifestation of Covid-19, William Chey, M.D., professor of gastroenterology and nutrition sciences at the University of Michigan, told AARP.

    The symptoms can come on without the more typical and recognized markers of a coronavirus infection, such as fever and cough, the doctor said.

    Experts explained that stomach issues can come from the virus infecting cells that line the GI tract, or as a result of your body fighting the infection.

    If you experience a sudden onset of these symptoms, you’re encouraged to check with your doctor.

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    Abortive Medications For Acute Attacks

    • intravenous medications: magnesium, Toradol, and anti-emetics
    • oral medication: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , Ubrelvy, and Nurtec
    • selective serotonin receptor agonist

    Hemiplegic migraine is caused by changes to genes. A few genes have been linked to hemiplegic migraine, including:

    • ATP1A2
    • PRRT2
    • SCN1A

    Genes carry the instructions for making proteins that help nerve cells communicate. Mutations in these genes affect the release of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

    When the genes are mutated, communication between certain nerve cells is interrupted. This can lead to severe headaches and vision disturbances.

    In FHM, the gene changes run in families. In SHM, the gene changes happen spontaneously.

    Migraine often has triggers specific to you that can cause an attack. Keeping a diary of what you were doing or experiencing prior to each attack can help you narrow them down.

    Common triggers of hemiplegic migraine attacks include:

    How Copd Causes Headaches

    COPD is the term for a group of conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

    Oxygen travels down into your lungs and through the walls of your lungs into your bloodstream. COPD can clog or destroy portions of your lungs, making it difficult to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

    COPD is linked to a condition called hypoxia, which occurs when your blood doesnt have enough oxygen. This overworks your heart and slows down tissue functions. COPD is also related to hypercapnia, which occurs when you retain too much carbon dioxide.

    Headaches from COPD happen from a lack of oxygen to your brain combined with too much carbon dioxide. COPD headaches commonly occur in the morning after waking up due to a buildup of carbon dioxide in your blood while you sleep.

    If you have morning headaches with COPD, you may also be at risk for sleep apnea.

    Because headaches are common, you might find it difficult to tell if your headache is related to COPD or something else. These symptoms may suggest that your headache is caused by COPD:

    • chest pain
    • choking upon waking up
    • rapid breathing

    Other symptoms can occur from hypoxia, which may also happen at the same time as a COPD headache. These symptoms include an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. You may also experience red or purple-toned skin spots from oxygen deprivation.

    Headaches that result from COPD can be treated in a few different ways.

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    What Are Migraine Headaches

    Migraines are a type of intense headache, especially those that are recurring and cause throbbing on one side of the head. In the past, experts believed that migraine headaches were different than tension headaches and had separate causes. However, today its widely accepted that headaches actually fall on a continuum with some people only experiencing mild pain occasionally and others having severe migraine symptoms often.

    All types of headaches are now believed to have similar underlying causes, including high levels of inflammation, increased stress and changes in neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin. Migraines tend to peak during someones 30s, become worse during stressful or transition periods of life, and run in families. Because most types of headaches are related, natural headaches remedies like managing stress and improving your diet can help keep both mild and severe migraine symptoms at bay.

    The Tmj And Mouth Breathing

    Can Teeth Problems Cause Migraines in Doral Florida?
    Image: The TMJ may be the cause of headaches & jaw pain.

    Often linked to headaches, temporomandibular dysfunction is a problem in the relationship of the mandible to maxilla. The temporomandibular joint sits between the maxilla and mandible. The tongue guides the movement of the mandible, acting like a sling inside the mandible bone. When the tongue is suctioned up to the palate, it creates a vacuum inside the mouth. Both the muscle support and pressure hold the mandible steady in place, which is a crucial aspect of oral and craniofacial posture.

    Incorrect swallow patterns, narrow crooked dental arches, and tongue-ties all relate to a mandible that doesnt sit comfortably in the TMJ. If mouth breathing becomes normal, open mouth posture can place the condyles of the mandible in an unbalanced position, and as a result oral muscles may need to compensate to achieve proper swallowing and speaking.

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    Are Migraines And Sleep Apnea Related

    According to the American Migraine Foundation, people living with this condition are between two to eight times more likely to experience sleep disorders. That answers our question, right? Well, not exactly.

    Although there is a strong connection between obstructive sleep apnea and morning headaches, the morning headache symptoms are different than a chronic migraine headache.

    A sleep apnea-induced headache will often improve or subside on its own, while a migraine could last for up to 72 hours without the right treatment.

    In addition, apnea-induced headaches usually ache while migraine headaches throb.

    The Connection Between Migraines & Sleep

    Michelle Bachmanns recent revelation that she suffers from migraines brings up an important point that most doctors and the lay public dont appreciate: the importance of proper breathing at night. Its commonly known that sleep deprivation can cause or aggravate migraines, but whats usually assumed is that migraine sufferers are breathing well at night. If youve read my articles or listened to my teleseminars, I can make a convincing argument that migraine sufferers all have some variation of a sleep-breathing disorder, of which only a small fraction have obstructive sleep apnea.

    Not Your Normal Migraines

    The classic migraine headache is described as a one-sided, debilitating, pounding, intense headaches thats associated with nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity. Notice that classically, migraines get better with sleep. Recently, neurologists have expanded the definition of a migraine attack. Any time the nerves in any part of your body becomes oversensitive or overly excitable, then youll experience symptoms that are specific to that part of the body.

    For example, if the nerve endings in your sinuses are suddenly extra sensitive, then youll feel pain, pressure, nasal congestion, and post-nasal drip. In fact, its been shown that the vast majority of chronic sinus headache and pain sufferers actually have a variation of a migraine, with normal CAT scans. Many people are placed on oral antibiotics empirically, when theres no bacterial infection.

    En garde

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    Cigarettes Or Just Cigarette Smoke May Trigger Headache And Migraine

    For some people, the smell of tobacco smoke can be a migraine trigger. For others, smoking cigarettes is thought to trigger migraine attacks, as described in a study of medical students in Spain published in The Journal of Headache and Pain.

    Whats the connection between smoking and headaches? According to the National Headache Institute, the nicotine in cigarettes is the main cause, because it constricts the blood vessels in your brain, which leads to less blood flow to the brain and the surrounding tissues, which in turn can cause a migraine attack or directly cause head pain.

    E-cigarettes, used for vaping, also contain nicotine and can also cause headaches. And stopping either smoking or vaping can lead to headaches caused by nicotine withdrawal.

    This one has an easy fix: Don’t smoke, and do your best to stay away from smokers.

    Medications such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , acetaminophen , triptans, ergots, and opioids have all been associated with this type of headache, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

    Its recommended that people dont take these medications for acute treatment of migraine more than two days a week. If youre finding that you need headache or migraine treatments this frequently, speak to your doctor about alternatives to these drugs.

    The newer classof drugs for the acute treatment of migraine called CGRP receptor antagonists, or gepants, has not been found to lead to medication overuse headaches with frequent use.

    A Teenager With A History Of Shortness Of Breath And Headaches

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    Christian Lilje, MD Kiran Mallula, MD Kenneth Ward, MD and Jane Congeni, MD

    A previously healthy 14-year-old boy presented to our emergency department with a 6-month history of shortness of breath with exercise and frequent headaches. He denied frequent upper respiratory infections, muscle weakness, or other neurologic changes. There was no past medical or family history of asthma, migraines, or congestive heart failure.

    On examination, the boy was in no acute distress. Vital signs were stable, and blood pressure taken in the right arm was 140/90 mm Hg. Color and perfusion were good. His lungs were clear to auscultation, his breathing was unlabored, S1 was normal, and S2 was normally split. A grade 1/6 systolic ejection murmur was heard at the left upper sternal border with radiation to the back. No hepatomegaly or splenomegaly were noted. Perfusion was good, and bilateral radial, femoral, and pedal pulses were 2+. A radiograph of the chest was obtained.

    What could be causing this teenagers symptoms?

    Answer: Coarctation of the aorta


    Christian Lilje, MD, is with the Departments of Pediatrics and Cardiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

    Kiran Mallula, MD, is with the Departments of Pediatrics and Cardiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

    Kenneth Ward, MD, is with the Department of Radiology at Childrens Hospital of New Orleans, Louisiana.


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    Ocular Migraines: Common Questions And Answers

    Below are some frequently asked questions about ocular migraines:

    Can dehydration cause ocular migraines?

    Dehydration is one of the triggers of ocular migraines. Keeping your body hydrated will help prevent or reduce the frequency of occurrence of migraines.

    Can anxiety cause ocular migraines?

    Just like dehydration, anxiety is also a trigger of ocular migraines. The symptoms of ocular migraines can also cause anxiety, which worsens ocular migraines.

    Simple reassurance from your doctor will lower anxiety levels and decrease or eliminate ocular migraines.

    Can high blood pressure cause ocular migraines?

    Researchers are working to fully understand the relationship between high blood pressure and ocular migraines.

    Current research points to the fact that migraine attacks are prevalent in people with high blood pressure.

    Anyone suffering from high blood pressure is advised to get it under control, especially those with a known history of ocular migraines.

    Are ocular migraines a symptom of a brain tumor?

    A migraine that is accompanied by vision issues can be associated with certain tumors, such as the occipital lobe tumor.

    Although this is a rare condition, migraines are common among patients with brain tumors.

    Is an ocular migraine a sign of a stroke?

    An ocular migraine is not necessarily a sign of a stroke, but can indicate increased risk.

    However, research indicates that people with a history of ocular migraines are at a higher risk of stroke.

    In this article

    The American Migraine Foundations Guide To Triggers & How To Manage Them

    The sudden onset of migraine means a dark room, bed, and a cool towel for most of us. While these seem to come out of nowhere, many will find that there are usually some signs that a migraine attack is on its way. These signs can reveal a pattern in your symptoms, and even provide you with preventative tools for managing migraine. Everyone has different triggers, but there are a few common culprits that affect a large number of people living with migraine. When you can identify your triggers, you are one step closer to effectively managing your migraine and avoiding future attacks.

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    Pale Or Discolored Skin

    They say the rare complication in serious Covid cases means oxygen levels in the blood are low.

    The CDC called it an “emergency warning sign” and said people should seek help immediately if you notice the change in color, along with trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, inability to stay awake, or new confusion.

    What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

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    Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

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    Snoring And Sleep Apnea

    Regular snoring is a risk factor for chronic daily headache. Snoring may be the first sign of serious abnormal breathing, but not all snorers have obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition that causes temporary pausing of breathing when asleep. Sleep apnea contributes to poor sleep routine patients often awaken by headache or dont feel rested after a full nights sleep.

    Symptoms of sleep apnea include apparent pauses in breathing, awakenings, nighttime urination, night sweats and daytime sleepiness. A significant proportion of sleep apnea-related headaches will improve or stop with the treatment of the apnea.


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