Strategies To Help You Manage Migraine At Work:
It’s possible to thrive in the workplace with the right support, environment and quick action in the event of an attack.
When To Consider Talking To Your Boss Or Teacher About Your Migraines
Some people get migraines often, while others get them every once in a while. If you only get migraines occasionally, you might not need to involve your teacher or boss. On the other hand, if you are using up all your sick days, failing at your job, or falling behind in school because of migraines, it might be time to ask for accommodations.
Begin this process by talking to your provider. Explain that your migraines are causing you major problems at work or school. Ask if theres anything else you can do to prevent or treat them. If there isnt, your boss or teacher might need to make changes in your work or school day to accommodate your migraines.
What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine
There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.
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Magnesium May Reduce Migraine Frequency And Intensity
In a meta-analysis published in 2016 in Pain Physician, oral magnesium was shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. There was also evidence that intravenous magnesium could help reduce the severity of an acute migraine attack within 15 to 45 minutes.
Try A Different Temperature
There are two tried-and-true methods that most of us turn to when facing an injury and its pain: hot or cold therapy. While it might seem odd to consider placing an iced or heated pack on your head, it can make all of the difference in just a few minutes.
As Stress Knots and the Mayo Clinic both recommend, simply choose which works best for your migraines. When you apply heat, your muscles will relax, and pain will lower. If you choose icy cold, you will numb the areas most in pain to all that they are feeling.
Try out one of these headache hat or other ice pack headbands â keep the included ice pack in the freezer so it’s cold when pain strikes. If heat works for you, try this moist heat headache wrap or eye mask.
Image via Shutterstock
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Migraine Triggers During Pregnancy
Hormonal change is a common trigger for women with migraine. During pregnancy, oestrogen levels increase sharply, while progesterone levels decrease and rise again towards the end of the pregnancy.
Overall migraine improves during pregnancy especially during the second and third trimesters. This improvement may be due to the increased oestrogen levels and increased levels of natural pain-killing hormones .
These hormones are several times higher during pregnancy, and though the relief from migraine attacks they provide might last the whole pregnancy, the levels settle back down after delivery, normally allowing migraine attacks to return.
However, not everyone will see an improvement in their migraine, especially in the early weeks of pregnancy. For some women, their migraine is unaffected. Some women experience worsening migraine during pregnancy although this is rare.
During breastfeeding, stable oestrogen levels continue to be protective against having headache again after pregnancy.
However you are affected, it can help to identify any migraine attack triggers that you have, such as lack of sleep, stress, missed meals and dehydration. Keeping a headache diary may help pinpoint your triggers so you can avoid those things. Log when the headache happened, what triggered it, and how long it lasted. Common triggers include but are not limited to:
What Are Common Migraine Symptoms
Migraine progresses in four distinct phases, although not every person who gets migraine will go through all of them. That said, you might experience, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
Prodrome: This is the preheadache phase when you may start to see some warning signs like neck stiffness, mood changes, and frequent yawning. The prodrome phase can happen about 24 to 48 hours before the headache starts. Approximately 30% of people who get migraine experience these preheadache symptoms.
Aura: Up to 20% of people with migraine will experience sensory changes known as an aura. Most commonly, an aura changes how you see things, so you might notice sparkles, dots, flashing lights, wavy lines, or blind spots in your vision. Aside from affecting your eyes, an aura can make you feel numb, tingly, and cause ringing in your ears. These symptoms usually disappear just before the pain in the head begins. Headaches that occur with auras are known as migraine with aura, and headaches that dont are known as migraine without aura.
Attack: This is when the actual migraine head pain hitsand you may also have nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound, as we mentioned above.
Postdrome: After an attack ends, some people get a migraine hangover, meaning they feel depleted, fatigued, and just out of it for a day or so. Postdrome is more common than prodrome, with roughly 80% of people who deal with migraine getting to this stage.
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Remedies To Get Rid Of Headaches Naturally
Headaches are a common condition that many people deal with on a daily basis.
Ranging from uncomfortable to downright unbearable, they can disrupt your day-to-day life.
Several types of headaches exist, with tension headaches being the most common. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in groups or clusters, while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headache.
Although many medications are targeted at relieving headache symptoms, a number of effective, natural treatments also exist.
Here are 18 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.
Massage The Pain Away
A regular massage may seem like a luxury, but when a migraine strikes, it can be the best way to relive all that’s built up in your head.
Learn how to give yourself a calming and pain relieving massage, and you can prevent your migraines from growing worse, quickly. As you stretch and massage both the neck and the base of the scalp, you will stimulate blood flow and relaxation, sending the pain away from your head.
Check out Theory & Practice of Therapeutic Massage for more on how to relieve the pain of headaches and migraines through massage.
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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.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
Alternative migraine treatment options such as those discussed here are generally considered to be safe. However, even innocuous substances and supplements can interact with prescriptions. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any treatments that you are considering incorporating into your routine. You should also talk to your healthcare provider anytime you experience changes in your migraine symptoms, such as experiencing more frequent headache days.
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Find A Dark Quiet Space To Rest
The first thing you should do when you feel a migraine coming on? Find a dark, quiet space to rest. If youre home or can get home easily, draw the curtains in your bedroom, turn the air conditioning down, and lie down in bed with an eye cover on. If you cant get home, try to find a quiet corner somewhere to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Sensitivity to light and sound is one of the most common migraine symptoms, so finding a way to minimize your sensory experience can make a world of a difference.
Are Migraines Dangerous During Pregnancy
The only danger is when your headache may be a sign of something else. You should ALWAYS call your health care provider when:
- Your headache is accompanied by a fever
- Your headache persists for more than a few hours or returns frequently
- You are experiencing blurred vision
It is ALWAYS important to let your health care provider know when you are experiencing any headaches and the details about them.
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Take A Break From Screens
One of the most common symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain is headaches, the American Optometric Association states. Whether it’s a computer, cell phone, or tablet, just scrolling up and down can trigger headaches in some people, Dr. Newman says. To prevent discomfort, the AOA recommends following whats called the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.
Home Remedies To Deal With A Migraine
If you are dealing with a migraine with any degree of regularity, then you know escaping from symptoms like throbbing pain, blurred vision, nausea, sensitivity to light, smell, sound, and even touch is all you desire. You can try just anything to find relief from migraine symptoms. While several pain relievers are available to treat migraines, once the migraine treatment begins you can also do things to help avoid the throbbing pain in the first place and reduce the severity once a headache strikes.
Once the headache increases, most people want something that helps to make it easy for them and help to go away symptoms as quickly and effectively. Medications play a significant role in preventing a headache, but sometimes home remedies can also help prevent and relieve migraine symptoms.
There are a lot of things that you can to prevent headaches, as well as to decrease severity, frequency, and duration. Here are five natural ways in which you may be able to reduce or even stop a migraine headache.
- Establish a regular sleep routine
- Exercise regularly
- Focus on your diet
- Include calming herbs in your diet
A lot of herbs with calming and soothing properties can reduce stress which is known as the biggest migraine trigger. Sipping soothing herbal teas can be a part of relaxation. Calming herbs may include chamomile, lavender, and peppermint.
- Apply ice packs
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What Are The Best Migraine Treatments For Relief
Migraine treatment is very individualized, so youll want to speak with your doctor about how to find the best option for you and your symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a neurologist, who better understands the intricacies of brain disorders.
When patients have headaches that are not being well controlled, we take into account their medical history, what other medical problems they may have, and what the possible side effects of each medication are, Anne Csere, D.O., an assistant professor in the department of neurology, pain, and headache medicine at the University of South Florida, tells SELF. For example, certain migraine treatments are not recommended for people who plan to become pregnant or who have a history of heart disease, she explains. Price is also an important factor because some medications are expensive and not covered by insurance.
Heres a breakdown of the most common treatment options for migraine relief:
Abortive medications are designed to stop migraine once it has started, and these can include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The important thing with these medications is to take them soon after the headache starts, says Dr. Csere. These medications work best early in the migraines phase.
If OTC meds dont work for you, there are several prescription drugs under the abortive medications umbrella your doctor might prescribe. These include:
How To Avoid Migraines At Work
More important than treating migraines once they come on is avoiding episodes to begin with, says Diamond. That means taking steps to adjust your work routine and office environment as much as possible in order to mitigate the specific factors that prompt episodes.
Ultimately lifestyle plays a role, and so we talk about the migraine brain being more irritable, says Diamond. It doesnt like change. Establishing solid routines and sticking to them can be an important factor in avoiding migraines, she says. That means waking up and going to sleep at a regular time every night, staying hydrated, keeping daytime naps relatively short and not skipping meals.
Some people who experience migraines may want to avoid fluorescent lighting, as bright light can trigger their headaches. So can strong odors for some patientsso if a colleague uses strong-smelling perfume or aftershave that triggers your symptoms, that might call for a respectful conversation between co-workers.
You might not be able to change everything about your work environment to avoid migraines, but its important to adjust what you can control to make episodes less likely to occur.
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What Is An Aura
An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.
Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:
- Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
- Blind spots in your vision.
- Numb or tingling skin.
Use Meds In Moderation
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:
- Choose liquid over pills. Your body absorbs it faster.
- Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you have heart failure or kidney failure.
- Do not give aspirin to a child under age 18.
- Take painkillers as soon as you start to hurt. Youâll probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you wait.
- If you get sick to your stomach when you get a headache, ask your doctor what might help.
- Ask your doctor what to take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that sets in after a few days of pain relievers.
And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.
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Prevent The Next Migraine
The best thing you can do for yourself if you experience frequent migraines is to take as many steps as possible to prevent a migraine ahead of time. That includes getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, pinpointing your food and beverage triggers so you can avoid them, and getting enough magnesium in your diet. If you experience frequent migraines, you could also talk to your doctor about the possibility of being prescribed preventive medication.