What Are The Basics On Disability Benefits
If chronic migraine makes holding a job very hard or impossible for you, consider applying for Social Security disability insurance , which gives you financial assistance. You or a family member must have had a recent job and made SSDI payments to be eligible for this benefit.
When youâre filing a claim, youâll need to provide medical documents that show you have chronic migraine. Work with your doctor or headache specialist. Youâll need their help to put together the proof that backs up your claim, like a statement from them explaining that you have a serious neurological disorder that affects your ability to work. Other types of relevant documents include treatment plans, medical bills, and any relevant test results.
Be sure to also keep detailed records about your symptoms, trouble doing daily tasks, medications youâve tried, and doctor appointments.
If your SSDI claim gets denied, donât give up. Most claims get turned down at first. If that happens, the Social Security Administration will include instructions on how to appeal the decision. That involves sending in your evidence again with new medical records and claim forms.
If your appeal gets denied, you can request that the Social Security Appeals Council review your application. Consider asking a disability lawyer to help you work through the process.
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.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- You are experiencing “the worst headache of your life.”
- You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a migraine before.
- A headache starts suddenly.
Schedule an appointment or call your provider if:
- Your headache pattern or pain changes.
- Treatments that once worked no longer help.
- You have side effects from your medicine.
- You are taking birth control pills and have migraine headaches.
- Your headaches are more severe when lying down.
Recommended Reading: Migraine Headache And Vomiting
What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain
For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:
- an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.
If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.
What To Do: Meditate
Teachers and therapists can help you get started, or you can just keep it simple. Take 10 minutes every day to breathe deeply and slowly as you relax each group of muscles in your body, one at a time. Afterward, sit quietly for a couple of minutes and clear your mind. That can help anytime, but it may be especially useful if you notice warning signs of a migraine.
Recommended Reading: Can Tylenol Cause Headaches
Migraine Attacks Often Cant Be Prevented
Many people who experience migraines see improvement in their symptoms when they take steps to make life more regular, consistent, and predictable, Cowan says. This includes sleeping, eating, and exercising on a regular schedule. But the benefits of these behaviors are limited for many people.
I do all those self-care routines, and I still experience chronic migraines, says Kessel, who worries that overemphasizing the benefits of preventive steps may further stigmatize those who dont benefit much from them. If I didnt sleep on a regular sleep schedule, would my migraine attacks be worse? Probably. But I still have this condition, she says. Its not the cure.
Jacobson notes that while a small percentage of people who experience migraines can identify a single food that triggers their attacks, most people have multiple triggers, many of which cant be avoided. If you have a hormonal trigger and youre a woman, she says, or a barometric trigger like a cold front coming in, you cannot always avoid it.
Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse
In some women, birth control pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.
The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.
Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.
You May Like: Migraine Pills That Cause Weight Loss
The Headache Or Main Attack Stage
This stage involves moderate to severe head pain. The headache is typically throbbing and is made worse by movement. It is usually on one side of the head, especially at the start of an attack. However, you can get pain on both sides, or all over the head.
Nausea and vomiting can happen at this stage, and you may feel sensitive to light, sound, smell and movement. Painkillers work best when taken early in this stage.
The Difference Between A Migraine Attack And A Stroke
Strokes are typically one-time events and symptoms. Migraine attacks can occur more often, even daily, and symptoms are not permanent. In addition to the rapid onset of stroke symptoms, face droop is a tell-tale sign that you may be having a stroke and not a Migraine attack.
Most importantly, know your risk of stroke and talk to your doctor so no confusion is present if a stroke does occur.
You May Like: Brain Lesions Migraine
Difference Between Headache And Migraine
Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but the truth is, they are very different. They may both result in head pain but how they manifest symptoms and how they are treated will vary.
A headache is pain that causes pressure and aching. They usually come on slowly but some can hit out of nowhere. Pain ranges from mild to severe, usually occurring on both sides of your head, with common areas including the forehead, temples, and back of the neck, according to Healthline. They can last anywhere from a half hour to several days, with the most common type being a tension headache, triggered by stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.
A migraine is a type of headache that is intense or severe, with other symptoms present in addition to head pain, such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain behind one eye or ear
- Pain in the temples
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Seeing flashing lights or spots
Sometimes migraines are so severe that people seek out care at an emergency room. Unlike headaches, migraines usually affect just one side of the head. And while you may be able to take part in activities or go to work with a headache, a migraine causes such intense pain, throbbing, and associated symptoms that it is extremely difficult or impossible to perform daily tasks. Often times, the only way to relieve a migraine is to take medication, then lie down in a dark room in silence until it passes.
Tips For Managing Migraine With Aura
- Confirm you have the right diagnosis. Bring a headache diary into your doctor and review ALL your symptoms, even the strange and seemingly unrelated ones. If you’re not confident with your diagnosis, it may be time to see a doctor who is more familiar with migraine or a headache specialist.
- Act quickly. Think of the aura as your friendly tornado siren. If you know what to look and listen for, you can get to a safe place and sometimes abort an attack before the debilitating headache phase begins. That’ll save you money, time, and a lot of pain. It can allow you to treat early, which experts say is far more effective than waiting.
- Alert others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially with driving and navigating in public. Friends don’t let friends experience an aura alone. Have an alert plan if you feel an aura coming on, like sending a quick pre-formatted text with instructions to your three closest caregivers.
- Re-evaluate your treatment plan. If you indeed have migraine with aura, it may not be wise for you to take medications that further elevate your risk of stroke. You and your doctor can create a treatment plan with lifestyle changes that limits your risks.
Once you recognize the symptoms of Migraine with aura, you can better manage Migraine and all the emotions it brings.
Earlier versions of this article incorrectly stated the device is called “Nerivio Migra.” It should have simply read “Nerivio.” Migraine Again regrets the error.
Also Check: Do Excedrin Have Ibuprofen In It
Stroke Or Migraine How To Recognize The Differences In Symptoms
While its always advisable to seek emergency medical treatment by calling 911 for any signs of stroke, even if youre not sure, there are subtle differences in symptoms that may give you a clue as to whether its a stroke or migraine.
Here are some questions to ask that may help you identify:
- Abrupt or gradual? A stroke typically comes on suddenly, without warning. Symptoms are immediately at peak intensity. A migraine aura usually occurs gradually, with symptoms evolving over several minutes and any accompanying headache building to a peak over time.
- Increased or decreased vision changes? With migraine you see it, with stroke you dont. Someone having a migraine with aura will experience added visual stimuli, such as flashing lights or zigzagging lines. A stroke, on the other hand, typically diminishes vision bumping into something may be the first clue that vision has been impaired.
- Past history of migraine? Although its possible to have a first migraine at any age, its more typical to begin having them as a child. Most migraine sufferers will also recognize their aura, as it tends to be the same every time. If you have never had a migraine or your migraine symptoms differ from their normal course, get to the closest ER or urgent care center. With stroke, its also possible to have one at any age or in any physical shape, so dont ever rule it out. Call 911 immediately, because its better to be safe than sorry.
Key Characteristics Of Migraines
Migraines can disrupt your everyday life
If you have a headache, you can often take ibuprofen or another form of pain relief medication and continue on with your day. You may feel some discomfort in your head, but you can manage to do daily tasks.
If you are experiencing a migraine, there’s a slim chance you can do your daily tasks. Migraines can be debilitating. The more severe symptoms like light sensitivity, and nausea may cause you to stay in bed for a couple of days.
Migraines can have a distinct pattern
A typical headache just comes and goes, but a migraine generally goes through four phases. In the beginning, you’ll likely experience nausea, irritability, light sensitivity, fatigue and muscle stiffness.
These symptoms may be followed by temporary vision loss, or you may see spots. Numbness and tingling are possible as well.
In the next phase, you can expect throbbing pain on one side of your head, vomiting, light sensitivity and neck pain. During the final phase before your migraine ends, you may feel foggy and irritable.
Migraines can happen consistently
Some people who get migraines get them once or twice a month, whereas more chronic migraine patients can experience 10 to 15 migraines a month.
It can be tough to determine what’s he normal frequency of headaches and migraines, so if you’re experiencing more headaches or migraines than usual, contact your doctor or visit Indigo Urgent Care to discuss what’s happening and whether you need to seek out a specialist.
You May Like: What Piercing Stops Migraines
What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine
If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:
Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.
You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.
Stages Of A Migraine Attack
It is often difficult to know when a migraine attack is going to happen. However, you can often tell the pattern of each attack as there are well defined stages.
It is these stages and their symptoms that distinguish a migraine from a headache.
However, not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of each stage and the stages can overlap. In adults, we can divide a migraine attack into four or five stages that lead on from each other.
Learning to recognise the different stages of a migraine attack can be useful. You might get one, all, or a combination of these stages, and the combination of stages may vary from attack to attack. Each stage can vary in how long and how bad it is. Recognising different symptoms at different times during your attack can give your doctor information which may help them make a diagnosis. Taking medication as soon as you notice the pain may stop or shorten an attack.
Migraine attacks in children are often much shorter than in an adult. It may be easier to tell the different headache stages in a child.
Don’t Miss: Naproxen Headaches Migraines
Sinus Headache Vs Migraine
Pain with a runny or stuffy nose is the typical symptom of a sinus headache. But did you know that a migraine can also cause these symptoms? The difference is in the color of your mucus:
- If your mucus is clear and runny, it could be a migraine.
- Sinus headaches can be a sign of a sinus infection that causes your mucus to thicken and sometimes turn a yellowish color.
How Do You Prevent An Attack
- Reactions 0 reactions
Do you take measures to try to prevent a migraine on days that you know will be more demanding than usual? We know that migraine thrives on change, and often the heaviest emotional or logistical days are those that present a shift in our normal patterns. While many migraine attacks are inevitable, it’s worth thinking of proactive preventative steps we can take to increase our chances of being there.
Read Also: Advil Migraine Pills
What Is A Stroke
During a stroke, blood flow to part of your brain is cut off. Cells there don’t get enough oxygen and start to die.
There can be two causes. Either a blood vessel is blocked, for instance with a blood clot, or a blood vessel tears or bursts and causes bleeding in or around the brain.
A sudden severe headache can be a sign of a stroke. Other common symptoms are:
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of your body
- Trouble speaking or trouble understanding others
- Vision problems in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
The kind of stroke that tends to be mistaken for a migraine is called a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. It’s also known as a “mini stroke” because blood flow to your brain is cut off only for a short time. Symptoms are less severe than with a regular stroke and may last less than an hour.
Eek How Can I Tell If Im Having A Migraine Or Just A Tension Or Sinus Headache
Migraine headaches can cause various symptoms before, during, and after the attack. Not all people experience all symptoms, and your migraine may be entirely different than a friends.
Symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they start overnight, causing people to wake up with a migraine, but not always, the Mayo Clinic notes. Basically, every migraine headache is slightly different, and theres no cut and dry list of symptoms that pertain to everyone.
All that said, there are a number of ways migraines differ from regular headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, youre likely suffering from a migraine and not something that’ll go away by popping some Advil.
Also Check: Migraine Medication Without Caffeine