When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches
Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:
- You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
- Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
- You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
- You have pain around the eye or ear
- You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
- You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
- You have a headache with convulsions
- You have a headache after a blow to the head
- You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot
What Causes Ocular And Visual Migraines
Ocular migraines are believed to have the same causes as migraine headaches.
Migraine headaches have a genetic basis, and some studies say that up to 70 percent of people who suffer from the disorder have a family history of migraine headaches.
According to the World Health Organization, migraine headaches appear to be triggered by activation of a mechanism deep in the brain, which releases inflammatory substances around nerves and blood vessels in the head and brain.
Imaging studies have revealed changes in blood flow to the brain during ocular migraines and migraine auras. But why this happens and what brings about the spontaneous resolution of ocular migraines and visual migraines remain unknown.
Common migraine “triggers” that can cause a person to have a migraine attack include certain foods, such as aged cheeses, caffeinated drinks, red wine, smoked meats, and chocolate.
Food additives, such as monosodium glutamate , and artificial sweeteners also can trigger migraines in some people.
Other potential migraine triggers include cigarette smoke, perfumes and other strong odors, glaring or flickering lights, lack of sleep and emotional stress.
Weakness On One Side Of The Body
When an arm goes limp, it can be a sign of a migraine.
Some people experience muscle weakness on one side of the body before a migraine attack. This can also be a sign of a stroke, however, so consult a doctor to rule out any other causes.
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Who’s More Prone To Migraines
Certain people are more prone to developing migraines. Theres a strong genetic component. In fact, approximately 80% of people who experience migraines have a parent, sibling, or child with the condition. People who menstruate are more likely to get migraines than people who do not. Obesity is another risk factor.
Reading Literature About Migraine Makes Us Feel Less Alone
Literature captures the essence of all forms of joy and pain, and readers of all ages and backgrounds connect with grief and struggle. Sometimes, it helps us confront fear, hopelessness, and weariness. It cracks open the door on subjects we have buried, rationalized about, or hidden from. It tackles the grey areas of life, grappling with subjects that arent black and white, often leaving us in inevitable ambiguity rather than clear resolution.
This state of ambiguity is where many migraineurs find themselves. There are no simple solutions for migraine and its complexity of pain and suffering there is no cure. The answers come in fits and spurts through the right combinations of treatments, lifestyle, and support.
James Baldwin, one of our great writers, with his words so relevant now in times of such profound, continued systematic racism, speaks also to the power of literature to bring us together during periods of pain, to help us know we are not alone. This unifying force is also true for physical pain, chronic pain, when we feel we are misunderstood, invisible, not taken seriously. My hope is that my anthology on migraine and literature serves just the purpose Baldwin speaks of here:
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.
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What Causes A Migraine
Although migraines are extremely common, their exact cause remains unknown. It appears likely that the visual aura relates to a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression which temporarily affects electrical impulses in the brain. The pain of a migraine headache probably relates to spasm or irritability of blood vessels in the brain, which are sensitive to pain . Beyond these hypotheses, however, the exact mechanism that triggers a migraine remains unknown.
It is often possible to identify certain risk factors that increase the chance of having migraines. A positive family history is very common, so the doctor will often ask about headaches in ones parents or siblings. Overall, migraines are more common in women than in men. In addition, a persons hormonal status can affect the pattern of migraines they experience therefore, it is natural for a woman to notice a change in headaches and other migraine symptoms in adolescence or around the time of menopause.
Many individuals can identify specific triggers for their migraines. These triggers include fatigue, skipping a meal, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and certain foods . For many patients with isolated visual migraines, however, the events can be very infrequent and no definite trigger can be determined.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
Some people find relief from migraine symptoms using home remedies. These include:
- practicing relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga
- getting enough sleep each night
- resting in a dark, quiet room when symptoms start
- placing an ice pack on the back of the neck
- gently massaging painful areas of the scalp
- keeping a diary to help identify migraine triggers
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Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe For Children
Children can and do get migraine. While the treatments are similar, many parents may be hesitant to give medication to their children. Some children have side effects from medications. Many migraine medications are made with adults in mind.
Children do get chiropractic care for various ailments. In 2010, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners found that about 17 percent of people getting chiropractic care were younger than 18. However, the evidence that exists is low quality and not enough to draw accurate conclusions.
The American Chiropractic Association found evidence of adverse effects from chiropractic treatments in children, but said they were minimal.
Speak with your childs pediatrician about whether they recommend chiropractic care for migraine. If you do seek chiropractic care, find someone with experience working with children.
complaint among those who see a chiropractor.
How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Fast With The Chill Method
You arent at your best when a Migraine attack hits. The beginning of an attack brings exhaustion, difficulty thinking, and anxiety. It can be tempting to panic and give in to the fear especially if you dont have your abortive meds in reach.
Panicking will make only make it worse I know from experience. Your breathing becomes more shallow when youre stressed, kicking your nervous system into fight-or-flight mode and depriving your brain of the oxygen it needs.
You dont have to remember how to get rid of a Migraine fast, just remember to CHILL.
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Are There Different Kinds Of Migraine
Yes, there are many forms of migraine. The two forms seen most often are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
Migraine with aura . With a migraine with aura, a person might have these sensory symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before an attack:
- Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots
- Numbness or tingling in the face or hands
- Disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch
- Feeling mentally “fuzzy”
Only one in five people who get migraine experience an aura. Women have this form of migraine less often than men.
Migraine without aura . With this form of migraine, a person does not have an aura but has all the other features of an attack.
Headaches Or Migraine Attacks That Occur Following Vaccination Can Be Treated As Usual
After getting the vaccine, if a person has a headache, they can take either their regular migraine abortive drug or an over-the-counter medication to help ease any of the symptoms, says Estemalik.
There was initial concern that if you took an over-the-counter medication after your vaccine that it might make it less effective, but there isnt evidence to support that, says Strauss.
Since people can manage any headache that may come on as a side effect of the vaccine with their normal medications, I hope that takes a little of the fear away. This headache might last longer than what youre used to, but you can certainly treat it, she says.
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Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided
Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.
Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.
There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.
Preventive Medications And Treatments
A wide range of drugs may be prescribed to prevent migraine attacks from forming, and some medical treatments can help. Such approaches are considered especially in cases of chronic migraine, in which you have 15 or more headache episodes a month.
Several types of preventative migraine medications may be prescribed. The most common of these are:
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Elavil and Pamelor
- Beta-blockers: Tenormin and Inderal
- Antiepileptic drugs: Depakote and Topamax
- Calcium channel blockers: Calan
- Calcitonin gene-related monoclonal antibodies: Vyepti and Ajovy
Additionally, in cases in which medications arent yielding results, Botox injections can be considered. In this therapy, doctors target specific areas in your forehead, temples, the sides and back of the head, and the neck. Though the frequency and intensity of migraines are reduced, the effect is temporary, and appointments are needed every three months.
When the condition is associated with the menstrual cycle, hormone replacement therapy may be attempted.
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Nasty Weather Doesnt Have To Mean A Nasty Migraine For Many Of Us An Approaching Storm Signals The Start Of A Series Of Weather Related Migraines
Dark clouds dont just mean take cover to a person with Migraine. For many of us, an approaching storm signals the unavoidable beginning of another raging attack.My friend Nan used to say she was a human barometer she could predict a storm before the weatherman. Can you sense migraine weather on the horizon?
Understanding What Causes Headaches And Finding Treatments To Relieve The Pain
Nearly everyone has had headache pain, and most of us have had it many times. A minor headache is little more than a nuisance thats relieved by an over-the-counter pain reliever, some food or coffee, or a short rest. But if your headache is severe or unusual, you might worry about stroke, a tumor, or a blood clot. Fortunately, such problems are rare. Still, you should know when a headache needs urgent care and how to control the vast majority of headaches that are not threatening to your health.
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What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers
Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .
Common migraine risk factors include the following:
- Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
- Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
- Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.
Common migraine triggers include the following:
- Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
- Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
- Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
- Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
- Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
- Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.
Foods that may trigger migraines:
- aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
- aged cheese
- soy sauce
Massage The Bridge Of Your Nose Drilling Bamboo Point
This acupressure point is great to treat headaches too. Its located at the very top of your nose, just above and right between your eyes. Its on either side of the spot where the bridge of your nose meets the inside of your eyebrows.
1.Using both hands, instead of making small circles just use your index fingers to apply firm but gentle pressure to both points at once.
2.Hold the pressure to at least 10 seconds, maximum 15.
3.Release the point, wait a few seconds and repeat. You can do this for about 10 minutes, or more if the pain is escalating.
If the pain is escalating, and it feels like a migraine is imminent, be sure to take action.
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How Are Migraines Treated
Migraine has no cure. But your migraines can be managed with your doctor’s help. Together, you will find ways to treat migraine symptoms when they happen, as well as ways to help make your migraines less frequent and severe. Your treatment plan may include some or all of these methods.
Medicine. There are two ways to approach the treatment of migraines with drugs: stopping a migraine in progress and prevention. Many people with migraine use both forms of treatment.
Acute treatment. Over-the-counter pain-relief drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen relieve mild migraine pain for some people. If these drugs don’t work for you, your doctor might want you to try a prescription drug. Two classes of drugs that doctors often try first are:
- Triptans, which work by balancing the chemicals in the brain. Examples include sumatriptan , rizatriptan , zolmitriptan , almotriptan , eletriptan , naratriptan , and frovatriptan . Triptans can come as tablets that you swallow, tablets that dissolve on your tongue, nasal sprays, and as a shot. They should not be used if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
- Ergot derivatives , which work in the same way as triptans. They should not be used if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
Prevention. Some medicines used daily can help prevent attacks. Many of these drugs were designed to treat other health conditions, such as and . Some examples are:
You Should Not Skip Or Delay The Second Dose Even If You Had Side Effects After The First
Even if you had a bad headache after your first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should absolutely not skip or delay the second shot, says Estemalik. The J& J vaccine requires only one dose.
In simple terms, you could think of the first dose as the primer the second booster dose is what really elevates the antibody production and drives the high efficacy of the vaccines 94 percent for the Moderna vaccine and 95 percent for the Pfizer vaccine, he says.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given three weeks apart, and the Moderna vaccine doses four weeks apart, according to the CDC.
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Your Guide To Research Risks And How To Get Started
Medical cannabis for Migraine has received increasing attention in recent years, but the drugs relationship to pain dates back thousands of years. The loosening of cannabis laws finally made research a bit easier. Hence, scientists wasted no time exploring marijuanas potential for treating several conditions Migraine being only one of them.
Still, our knowledge is far from complete. If youre looking to try medical marijuana for Migraine, there are a few things you need to know.
Articles On Living With Migraine & Headache
Researchers are still trying to figure out why some people get migraines and others don’t.
What experts do know is that certain things can be migraine triggers for some people. Staying away from those things can lower your chances of getting one. Here are some things to avoid.
Donât stick with things that trigger headaches. Things that trigger a migraine are different for everyone. Once you figure out what yours are, stay away from them, or talk to your doctor about how to manage them better. Common ones include stress, exercise, fatigue, and medications. Women often get them from changes in hormones just before their periods. Alcohol and caffeine can bring them on, as can foods like cheese, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, cured meats, and things with a strong smell.
Don’t skip meals. Being hungry to the point that you feel shaky can bring on a migraine. Some researchers think low glucose levels may cause changes in your brain that bring them on.
Don’t take pain meds for more than 3 or 4 days. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen , aspirin, ibuprofen , or a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine can sometimes help ease migraine headaches. It’s best to take one of these as soon as you feel a migraine coming on. But using them for more than a few days in a row can lead to “rebound headaches.” Your body starts expecting the pain medication, and migraines can happen if you don’t have it in your system.
TRC: “Food, Herbs, Supplements.”
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