Prophylactic Treatment Of Chronic Migraine
Prophylactic treatment, that is the use of preventative medications for chronic migraine aims to reduce the frequency of acute attacks, lessen the impairment the individuals experience during an attack and reduce the use of acute medication. Most of the medications used in migraine have not been evaluated for efficacy in treating chronic migraine, however they are commonly used and considered effective in clinical practice. However, there is now a clinically proven injectable treatment that is licenced under the PBS that is effective for prevention. The reduction in headache days, intensity and improvement of quality of life measures have been statistically shown to be significant. Advantages of this therapy include no sedative properties or interaction with other medications. In Australia, patients are required to satisfy criteria for chronic migraine and have tried or be unsuitable for 3 prophylactic oral agents.
Medication And Painkiller Headaches
Some headaches are a side effect of taking a particular medication. Frequent headaches can also be caused by taking too many painkillers. This is known as a painkiller or medication-overuse headache.
A medication-overuse headache will usually get better within a few weeks once you stop taking the painkillers that are causing it. But, pain may get worse for a few days before it starts to improve.
When Should You See A Doctor About A Headache
Headaches not only cause you pain, but can result in loss of productivity and income. If you have ongoing headaches, its important to see your doctor to try and figure out the cause, rather than just put up with the pain. Keep in mind that most headaches do not point to a serious illness, extra worry about your headache might make it worse!
See your doctor if your headaches are frequent, youve had a headache for more than a few days, or your headaches are causing you stress or worry.
Rarely, a headache might be a sign of a serious medical condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you:
- have a sudden, very severe headache, and its the first time its happened
- are experiencing any of the signs of stroke including a dropped face on one side droopy mouth or eye cannot lift one or both arms or have slurred or garbled speech
- have a headache accompanied by a stiff neck and fever
- have signs of severe dehydration or heat stroke
- may have been poisoned by ingesting, inhaling or touching a substance, or being bitten or stung by a poisonous animal or plant
- or have injured your head from a fall, blow or bump.
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Avoiding Pain Is Easier When You Understand How To Prevent Headaches
It’s hard to think about the causes of headaches when you’re struggling with pain. Once you’re feeling better, figuring out what leads to the agony can help you dodge it in the future. This requires you to pay attention to the environment, eating habits, and activities that spark headache discomfort.
What Happens When You Start Taking Iron Pills
In addition to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, and constipation, iron supplements can also cause side effects. Constipation is a common problem for pregnant women. It is possible to relieve this symptom by adding more fiber to your diet. It is also possible to feel better after using a stool softener.
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Migraine Triggers: What Causes A Migraine
For millions of people who get regular migraines, pain and discomfort in an unfortunately regular occurrence. Migraines are a type of headache, but they differ in many ways. Migraines start with vasodilation, which is the enlargement of the blood vessels in the brain. This causes, the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around the large arteries of the brain. This physical effect cannot explain all the extreme symptoms and scientists think its a more complex process.
There are known triggers of migraines. 75% of migraine sufferers are women, and it affects of 30 million Americans each year. If you regularly are afflicted by migraines, a good idea would be to try and avoid migraine triggers.
We have listed 15 known migraine triggers, but there are many more out there.
What Is A Chronic Daily Headache
According to Dr. Soni, a chronic daily headache is any headache that occurs 15 or more days out of the month and is present for three months or longer. She adds, A chronic daily headache is a primary headache disorder which means its not caused by another condition.
People of any age are susceptible to chronic daily headaches, she says.
Some risk factors include:
If you develop regular headaches and you suspect this could be the onset of a chronic daily headache, Dr. Soni says to reach out to your primary healthcare provider.
She also recommends keeping track of your headaches. It can be helpful to track your headaches or keep a journal so you have a good idea of how often they occur.
This information can also be useful when you see your healthcare provider because it can be difficult to remember every headache you have over several days or weeks. And the notes you take about your headaches where it occurs, other associated symptoms can also help determine what type of chronic daily headache youre dealing with.
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Why Do I Get Frequent Ocular Migraines
For migraine sufferers, visual disturbances like zigzag lines or flashes of light are common occurrences, especially in those who experience an aura prior to a migraine. But some people experience these visual disturbances and do not get the pain associated with a migraine. These visual disturbances are known as ocular migraines or migraines of the eye. But what exactly are they and why do they happen so frequently?
What Can Cause Migraines
Different factors can cause migraine
Hormonal imbalances in women: when estrogen level fluctuates, especially during menstruation, pregnancy or during menopause, it can trigger severe migraine attacks.
Using oral contraceptives can also cause this condition.
Drinks: indulging in regular alcohol consumption such as wine or caffeine beverages such as coffee can trigger such pains.
Stress: if you are facing stressful conditions at home or work, it can lead to a migraine headache
Sensory stimulus: some people, when exposed to flashy lights, loud sounds and strong smells, can trigger these pains.
Change in sleep pattern: sleeping late or sleeping long hours can also help trigger migraine pains.
Food: processed food and additives such as sweeteners, aspartame or MSG found in various food sources can also help trigger migraines.
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What Causes Chronic Tension Headache
This condition tends to develop in people who start off with having tension headaches with increasing frequency, until they occur on most days. However, the cause of the tension headaches is not always clear, and may be more than one thing. They may be due to tension in the muscles at the back of the head and neck, but it is now clear that this is not always the cause. Other causes reported by patients include stress, tiredness, hunger and eye strain. Many chronic tension headaches develop for no apparent reason. Working long hours bent over a computer may trigger them.
Some people get tension headaches if they drink too much caffeine or alcohol, if they don’t drink enough water or if they go for a long time between meals and become tired and hungry. Occasionally, tension headaches can be caused by poor vision, particularly if reading in low light for long periods. Some may be triggered by environmental discomforts such as heat, cold, brightness or wind.
Some research suggests that your genetic make-up may be a factor. This means that some people may inherit a tendency to be more prone to develop tension headaches than others when stressed or anxious.
Note: medication-overuse headache can be similar to chronic tension headache.
Medication-overuse headache is caused by taking painkillers too often for tension headaches or migraine attacks. See the separate leaflet called Medication-overuse Headache .
What Are The Triggers For Migraine
People living with migraine disease have triggers that cause migraine attacks. Learning what triggers your migraine attacks and finding ways to avoid or reduce these triggers is an important part of managing migraine disease. There are many different trigger factors that may start a migraine attack or episode. Keeping a diary of when you have a migraine episode and what may have started it is a useful way to work out your triggers.
|Triggers can include one or more of the following:|
Some foods such as chocolate, brown vinegar, cheese, citrus fruits, onions and MSG can be a trigger for some people. Food may be considered a trigger for a migraine episode if an attack occurs within 6 hours of eating and you don’t get migraine attacks when you don’t eat that food.
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Other Lifestyle Tips To Stay Headache
In addition to your diet, there are other lifestyle choices you can make to avoid headaches:
- Try to get good sleep. Experts recommend trying to wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Avoid oversleeping or getting too little sleep.
- Stay active. Exercise for at least a half-hour a few times per week.
- Limit your stress. Seek ways to resolve conflicts peacefully. Make sure to take time to destress and relax each day. Examples include deep breathing or listening to relaxing music.
Follow your doctor’s advice. If you have chronic headaches or migraines, your doctor may give you prescription medication, supplements, or lifestyle advice. Follow the treatment plan your doctor suggests to avoid headaches.
Impact Of Chronic Migraine
If you have chronic migraine it will have a huge impact on your daily life. Chronic migraine is related to greater disability and has a huge impact on your physical, social and work life. It can also have a huge impact on your relationships. Many people with chronic migraine report lower quality of life and poorer health than people with episodic migraine.
It can be challenging to find an appropriate treatment and you may have spent years trying to find a way to make your migraine manageable.
If you are struggling with chronic migraine speak to your GP, specialist or contact our Helpline.
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How To Get Rid Of Headaches And Dizziness Everyday
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How Are Serious Headaches Treated
If you have headache symptoms to worry about, your doctor may order different tests and have you see a neurologist. A neurologist is a nervous system and brain specialist.
Some common tests are:
- Physical exam
- Spinal fluid test
If youre suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, your doctor might need to give you treatment through an IV.
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How To Prevent Headaches
When debating how to prevent headaches, the easy answer is to try to avoid the causes of headaches in the first place. But doing that takes careful planning. You’ll have to note your triggers first, and write down the characteristics of your headaches, including their frequency, duration, intensity, as well the circumstances surrounding your headaches, including:
- your medications
What Are The Symptoms Of Each Tension Headache
- Tension headaches are usually felt as a band or across the forehead. They can be uncomfortable and tiring, but they do not usually disturb sleep. Some people feel a squeezing or pressure on their head.
- It usually occurs on both sides, and often spreads down your neck, or seems to come from your neck. Sometimes it is just on one side.
- The pain is usually moderate or mild. Tension headaches can interrupt concentration but are usually not bad enough to send you to bed. Most people can work through a tension headache if they really need to.
- A tension headache can last from 30 minutes to seven days. Most last a few hours.
- Tension headaches tend to become worse as the day goes on and are often mildest in the morning. They are not usually made worse by physical activity.
- An exception to this would be a headache caused by sleeping in an awkward position, causing a sore neck, or an ache in the face and jaw due to tooth grinding.
- There are usually no other symptoms.
Sometimes migraines are mistaken for chronic tension headaches. Some people don’t like bright lights or loud noises, and don’t feel like eating much when they have a tension headache. However, marked dislike of light or loud noise, and visual disturbances, like zigzag lines, are more suggestive of migraine. A mild feeling of sickness can occur, especially if you are using a lot of painkillers. However, marked nausea is, again, more a feature of migraine.
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Seek Help For Your Chronic Daily Headaches
In the United States, while there are not many of them, there are health professionals dedicated to the pursuit of headache medicine. There are around 720 doctors who are UCNS-certified headache specialists, and have taken an interest in treating headache disorders. There may be one of these health professionals in your state who can help you deal with your headache.
IF YOU HAVE HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN AND ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS ON ANYTHING RELATED TO IT, A HEADACHE SPECIALIST IS HERE TO HELP, FOR FREE!
FIRST, LETS DECIDE WHERE TO START:
IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, HOT TOPICS, AND TREATMENT TIPS, VISIT OUR FREE BLOG OF HOT TOPICS AND HEADACHE TIPS HERE. THIS IS WHERE I WRITE AND CONDENSE A BROAD VARIETY OF COMMON AND COMPLEX MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE RELATED TOPICS INTO THE IMPORTANT FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS YOU NEED TO KNOW, ALONG WITH PROVIDING FIRST HAND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A HEADACHE SPECIALIST.
A Unique Approach To Fixing Everyday Headaches
If youre having trouble figuring out why you get headaches every day, try tracking information about your diet, water intake, and stress levels.You might also add sleep time, exercise, and other factors that could potentially play a role in headache development. Be consistent while keeping a diary might feel pointless at first, the information could prove vital when youre looking for ways to treat the issue.
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How Can I Be Sure It Is Not A More Serious Type Of Headache
With tension headaches, you are normally well between headaches, and have no other ongoing symptoms. A doctor diagnoses tension headaches by their description. In addition, there is nothing abnormal to find if a doctor examines you . Tests are not needed unless you have unusual symptoms, or something other than chronic tension headache is suspected. Of particular note, medication-overuse headache should be ruled out as this can often be mistaken for chronic tension headache.
Compared to migraine, a tension headache is usually less severe, and is constant rather than throbbing. Also, migraine attacks usually cause a one-sided headache, and many people with a migraine attack feel sick or are sick . Some people have both migraine attacks and tension headaches at different times. In addition, some people find that one of the types of headaches is followed by another, perhaps because the pain and tiredness due to the first headache cause the second.
You Drink Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine causes vasoconstriction in your blood vessels, meaning they get a little narrower. If you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks every day, your body gets used to it, Dr. Hutchinson explains. So when you skip it one day, your blood vessels don’t become constricted and can make your head hurt. It becomes a vicious cycle, slugging back a mug to find relief, and just further deepening your need for caffeine. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic says that adults can safely consume up to 400 milliliters of caffeine per day , butkeeping in mind that everyones tolerance is differentafter that, your body might begin to rebel.
Fix it:“It’s unrealistic to tell all headache patients to avoid caffeine,” Dr. Hutchinson says. Instead, she recommends moderationa maximum of two caffeinated drinks in one dayto avoid that withdrawal headache when you go without.
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What Happens During A Migraine
Every migraine begins differently. Sometimes people get a warning that a migraine is on its way. A few hours or even days before the actual headache, people might feel funny or “not right. They might crave different foods, or feel thirsty, irritable, tired, or even full of energy. This is called a “premonition.”
Some people get auras. These are neurological symptoms that start just before the headache and last up to an hour. An aura is different in every person, but it often affects vision. For example, a person might:
- have blurred vision
- see spots, colored balls, jagged lines, or bright flashing lights
- smell a certain odor
- feel tingling in a part of their face
Once the headache starts, light, smell, or sound may bother people with migraines or make them feel worse. Sometimes, if they try to continue with their usual routine, they may become nauseated and vomit. Often the pain begins only on one side of the head, but it might eventually affect both sides. Trying to do physical activities can make the pain worse.
Most migraines last from 30 minutes to several hours some can last a couple of days.