Draw The Curtains & Block Out The Lights
A good way to help someone who experiences photophobia is to have an eye mask or a pair of sunglasses ready, and better yet, light-blocking curtains in the room. Changing light bulbs to warm lights instead of fluorescent lights could help too. Another good trick which migraine sufferers use is the night mode or blue light filter on their electronic devices.;
Find A Quiet Dark Place To Relax
Sensitivity to light and sound is one of the most common migraine symptoms. Get away from these things if you can. This can help you find relief from your pain and can alleviate stress. Lie down and pay attention to your breathing. Try taking slow, deep breaths from your diaphragm. Feel your stomach rise with the inhale and fall with the exhale. This can help you relax.
and can help shorten and relieve migraine attacks. They may also help you prevent some migraines from happening.
Why Migraineurs Need Support
A migraineur is someone who suffers from migraines. A migraine is a disabling, debilitating condition that causes so much pain it can keep someone from doing anything more than lie in a bed with the lights off.;
Life continues to flow all around them, but they cannot participate, sometimes even in their own care. Daily routines are disrupted, meals arent prepared, and jobs arent performed. At the worst, a migraineur may not be able to call or visit a healthcare provider on their own, nor can they clearly articulate their concerns.
Remembering instructions and following through on treatment can be an immense challenge. You can do so much to help.
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Create A Migraine Care Package
Migraines often occur without warning. Once the discomfort starts, nobody wants to rummage around the house looking for things to make them feel better. Put together a kit and put it in an accessible place for these emergencies. Here are some suggestions for what to include in your migraine care package:
- Earplugs, eyeshades, and ice packs
- Bland crackers and plenty of water
- Menthol and/or lavender-scented oils, ointments, or sachets
- Socks and comfortable clothing
Watch Out For Depression
Mental health disorders, especially depression and anxiety, are common in people with chronic headache disorders and migraines. But the symptoms of depression can be difficult for the person experiencing them to actually recognize, let alone articulate these distressing symptoms to othersincluding a doctor.
Keeping an eye on your loved one and watching out for signs of depression can be a tremendous help. You may even notice signs before she does.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- A change in sleep pattern; for example, not sleeping well, difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more than usual
- Loss of appetite or, less commonly, an increase in appetite
- A loss of interest in activities or hobbies he or she once enjoyed
- Difficulty concentrating; for example, not paying attention to a movie or conversation
- Increased irritability
- Expressing feelings of shame, guilt, excess worry, or hopelessness
- A loss of interest in sex
Of course, it’s normal for everyone to feel down or blue once in a while. But with depression, symptoms occur daily for at least two weeks. Besides looking out for these signs, follow your gutmost people are right when they sense something is wrong with their loved one.
If you do suspect your loved one is depressed, anxious, or experiencing another psychological disorder, discuss it with her and suggest that she see her neurologist or primary care physician. You can also offer to come along to the appointment.
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Tips To Relieve Migraine Pain
Rest in a quiet, dark room. Many people with migraines report sensitivity to light and sound. Make your bedroom dark and quiet, and you may be able to sleep, Good says. Not all headaches respond to sleep, she notes, but the chemicals released in your brain during sleep may help ease your pain. Also, she says, if youre sensitive to sounds, blocking them out could help.
Apply a hot or cold compress. Place the compress across your forehead or the back of your neck. Many of my patients prefer a cold compress, says Lawrence C. Newman, MD, director of the Division of Headache at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and a board member of the American Migraine Foundation.
Ice can have a numbing effect. It detracts the brain from the migraine, says Good. Youre stimulating other nerve endings where youre putting the compress.
Some people may prefer a warm compress, Dr. Newman says. Heat can help relax tense muscles. You may also try taking a warm bath or shower.
Smell the lavender. The scent of lavender may help you relax. You can sip some lavender tea, or inhale lavender essential oil, which is available in pharmacies and health food stores. A small study published in European Neurology in 2012 evaluated the use of lavender essential oil in people experiencing a migraine. In the trial, those who inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 minutes reported greater reduction of headache severity than those who did not.
What Do I Need To Know About Caring For Someone With Migraine Headaches
When caring for someone with migraine headaches, keep in mind that the disorder significantly affects them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Intense head pain hinders their ability to perform daily tasks. Children with the disorder may be hindered from partaking in school activities. Be sure to provide medication or therapy according to the doctor’s advice. Also, you may need to help with essential tasks as these headaches can be physically debilitating. Also, try to encourage the individual to be as active as possible when headaches are not present.
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What Type Of Food Causes Migraines
The type of food you eat could also cause migraines to happen. Some of the biggest migraine triggers are:
While they vary in how and why they cause migraines, most of the time its because these foods cause your blood vessels to dilate. Many of these items also contain high amounts of tyramine which can adjust your brain chemicals and lead to migraines.;
Things Not To Say To Someone With A Migraine
Those of us who get migraine headaches know the unique suffering an attack can bring: excruciating pain, sometimes along with light and noise sensitivity, and even nausea or vomiting. And when well-meaning friends and loved ones offer support or advice, it’s often clear that they just don’t get it.
And if you don’t get migraine attacks, chances are you know someone who does and have struggled to find the right words to provide comfort.
“People try to say these ‘helpful’ things that just drive people crazy. And the funny thing is you hear the same things over and over,” says Dawn Buse, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York. “Generally they’re saying these things because they want to help, it often comes off sounding uncaring or flippant or they just don’t get it.”
To save everyone from the additional, er, headache, we asked our and communities, along with Buse and Jason Rosenberg, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Headache Center in Maryland , for their least favorite comments about migraine headaches.
“I get headaches, too.”
In fact, as much as 80 percent of the adult U.S. population suffers from occasional tension headaches, while only about 12 percent of the population get migraine headaches . “Just saying that you get a headache doesn’t even scratch the surface,” Rosenberg says.
“Move around, you’ll feel better.”
“You should stop _________.”
“You don’t look sick.”
“It’s all in your head.”
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Let Us Know Youre There
You dont always have to help. Sometimes we just want to be left alone to recuperate. Your patience and empathy means the whole world to us. Just knowing that we have someone who cares for us on days things feel like theyre falling apart is enough. Your presence and thoughtful actions help us to pick ourselves up when the storm ends and it gives us strength to move on.;
Sometimes, all it takes is to look at things from a different perspective. If that were me, how would I want to be treated? Although a simple question, it is often taken for granted and forgotten. Acting whilst having this thought at the back of our minds may just be the key to helping you help the people around you who suffer from migraines.;
Does Coffee Cause Migraines
Too much coffee that contains caffeine can cause migraines.;Caffeine affects the activity of a natural substance of the brain called adenosine. When someone experiences a migraine, the adenosine level in the blood goes up. Similarly, injecting adenosine in veins can trigger migraines.
Studies didnt find an active mechanism behind the effects of caffeine on the brain, but they have identified the target of caffeine in the brain and different nerves outside the brain.
Adenosine is present in the brain in large amounts and acts by sticking to receptor molecules on the surface of your brain. It provides many health benefits:
- Reduce brain electrical activity
- Wide the blood vessels temporarily
- Control some sleep and movement aspects
When you consume too much caffeine, it blocks the action of these receptors and affects the activity of adenosine. However, no evidence shows this action of caffeine on adenosine can cause acute migraine attacks.;
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Dont Sweat The Small Stuff
So what if thereâs an undone load of laundry, a few dishes in the sink, or a couple of minor household repairs awaiting your attention? Stop worryingthe house almost certainly wonât fall down around you.;
Stress can trigger tension headaches and contribute to migraines, so try your best not to stress over the small stuff. Learn to prioritize and do what youâre able to do each day without stressing.
How To Get Rid Of A Headache Naturally
A lot of factors such as stress, food intolerances, lack of sleep can trigger headaches. Knowing and identifying which factor caused your headache or migraine can help you tackle it accordingly and get rid of it faster. While there are medications that work to relieve headaches, you can also try a few of these natural headache treatments at home. Below are a few ways that you can get rid of a headache naturally.
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What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
You Sit And Sit And It’s Not A Migraine
We all know that triage rules apply, and Migraine isn’t a life-threatening condition like a gunshot wound. That doesn’t make the long wait any easier.
“I get ushered from one waiting room to the next with more people in each one. The final one is set up as a cubicle style and they talk to you like you’re an addict.” Jeannette G.
“Last time I went to the ER, I was charged $500 to sit on a bed in a hallway.” Anna K.
“I HATE BEING IN THE ER with a migraine especially. No one ever seemed to observe the no perfume/scents rule. The fluorescent lights are horrible. The noise is extra, extra noisy.” -Laura M.
“I’m sensitive to light, sound, smell and none of the injections I get ever help so why in the world would I go to the loudest, brightest, smelliest place there is just to sit and be ignored for hours to maybe get meds that don’t even help?” -Barbara D.
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Snoring And Sleep Apnea
While your bed partners snoring may cause you to get fragmented sleep, your own snoring is a risk factor for chronic daily headache. Snoring is often a sign that you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Snoring loudly and feeling tired after a nights sleep are warning signs for sleep apnea.
People at risk for;obstructive sleep apnea;are usually overweight and have a short neck, Rosen says.
With;central sleep apnea, on the other hand, the brain doesnt tell the breathing to drive at night. The problems with sleep apnea arise when oxygen levels drop below 90 percent during sleep, which can injure brain cells.
According to Rosen, right now, its not clear that length of sleep matters as much as sleep quality when it comes to chronic migraine. This is a wake-up call for those who get 12 hours of sleep and still do not feel refreshed.
Independent of obesity, Rosen says treating snoring and sleep apnea may help chronic migraine, especially in people who wake up with a headache.
Practice A Relaxation Technique
Many people who have migraine have difficulty falling asleep, according to Rosen. He tells his patients to build relaxation skills with regular exercise, deep abdominal breathing, and biofeedback.
There are many studies being done now on mindfulness and headache, says Rosen. Practicing yoga positions while being mindful before bedtime may be just what the doctor ordered to quiet an active mind and manage migraine.
Yoga nidra, a form of guided meditation that is practiced lying down, may be the most relaxing type of yoga. A monthlong study published in September 2020 in Current Psychology found that people who practiced an 11-minute yoga nidra meditation showed lower stress, greater well-being, and improved sleep quality compared with a control group.
Free yoga nidra recordings in a variety of languages can be heard on the Yoga Nidra Network website.
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How Does Coffee Help A Migraine Headache
Coffee helps with a migraine headache through the stimulant caffeine. The caffeine in coffee acts as a vasoconstrictor which narrows the blood vessels. Migraine is caused when blood vessels enlarge around your brain, increasing blood flow to your brain. Caffeine constricts these vessels and reduces blood flow which ultimately helps cure migraines.
Study shows caffeine decrease cerebral blood flow ;by 27%.;
Another study was conducted by the Journal of Headache and Pain on migraine patients. And results show that caffeine works faster and more effectively than most drugs and pain relief medications for headaches.
The exciting thing is that studies have mixed and conflicting findings of the link between caffeine and migraines.
A study published by the Journal of Headache Pain recommends that people experiencing migraine relieve their pain with a medication called triptans when they completely cut of caffeine from their daily food intake.
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much Caffeine
The recommended daily caffeine limit let by the FDA is 400mg, any number above that is too much caffeine.
Caffeine in moderate amounts around 200 mg daily can cure headaches, plus create alertness. Make sure to not over-consume caffeine. Daily consumption can develop tolerance. Hence the drug becomes less effective.;
American Migraine Foundation suggests the following on whether caffeine helps migraine or cause it, depending on how often you take it:
- The recommended amount for people who consume coffee daily is 300 to 400 mg, and those who dont take it daily should keep the intake around 100 mg whenever they wish to drink coffee.;;
- Suppose you are someone who suffers from 14 episodes of headache per month, you should take caffeine in the limited amount of 200 mg to cure the migraine.
- According to National Headache Foundation, if you experience migraines daily, you need to avoid caffeine altogether.
The wise thing to do is to consume it in moderation to avoid the potential withdrawal episodes
Check out the table below to know the amount of caffeine in your cup of happiness.
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Ways To Help Someone With Migraine
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Whether someone has chronic migraine, high-frequency episodic migraine, or the occasional migraine attack that knocks them out for days on end, nearly everyone with migraine could use help during a flareup.
Unfortunately, uttering the ubiquitous phrase “Let me know what I can do to help” is often of little help. Even if you mean well and really do want to help, responding to this statement is difficult. Not only is it tough to think of tasks that need to be done when youre put on the spot, asking someone to do unpleasant chores seems rude, and admitting that you cant cope with the stuff of daily life is embarrassing.
Instead of making a vague offer of help, here are 10 different concrete ways to provide assistance. If youd be willing to do a few different things, saying Id like to help you out. I can do either X, Y, or Z gives the person the chance to tell you which of those needs are most pressing.
1. Can I pick up something at the store for you? Specify if you can only pick up a few things or if youre prepared to shop their entire grocery list.
2. Do you need a ride to any appointments? Between specialists and treatment providers, the appointments add up and driving with a migraine can be dangerous. Be clear about your availability is this a one-time thing that you happen to have time for next week or can they call on you when they desperately need a ride to the doctor and cant find anyone else?