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What Can Doctors Do For Migraines

How Are Individual Attacks Of Migraine Treated

Migraine Surgery

Some patients are able to tell when a headache is beginning. They may find that early use of simple strategies can stop a migraine before it starts. These simple strategies include such things as eating, having caffeine, meditating or taking an over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

When headaches are moderate or severe, additional treatment may be needed. Most headache medications work best when they are taken in time to stop the headache before it becomes too severe. Some patients find over-the-counter combinations of simple analgesics in combination with caffeine to be helpful. Other patients try a class of prescription medications known as triptans.

Triptans are specially designed to work on receptors on blood vessels and brain cells in order to halt a migraine at an early stage. Triptans are typically taken orally, but they also come as injections and nasal sprays. These medicines are generally not considered safe in patients with a history of stroke, heart attack, or other vascular diseases.

An isolated aura without headache does not require any acute treatment, since the visual symptoms resolve on their own.

Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men

Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.

What Are Additional Symptoms Of A Migraine

Some people have additional symptoms before or after a migraine starts. These symptoms are called auras and can include:

  • Numbness or a feeling of pins and needles in your arms, legs, fingers, or face
  • Problems with your vision
  • Trouble speaking
  • Weakness or difficulty moving your arms, legs, or face, although this is rare

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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

  • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
  • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
  • Your headache comes on suddenly.
  • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

  • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
  • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

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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

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What Is The Process Of Getting Ssdi

Social Security Disability Insurance provides assistance when someone develops a disability or illness that makes them unable to work. Workers give a portion of their paychecks to SSDI. They can then access that benefit if they, or someone in their family, becomes disabled. Typically, if you are awarded a benefit, it would be in the neighborhood of around $15,000 a year, says Dr. Shapiro. SSDI is only available to those who give a portion of their paychecks to the program. It provides more monthly income than Supplemental Security Income , which provides financial assistance to older adults and the disabled.

You can apply for SSDI benefits online or by calling the National Social Security Administration office toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. However, the Social Security Administration recommends that applicants review the Adult Disability Checklist to collect the documents and information necessary to complete the application ahead of time. Heres an overview of the process:

  • Show youre unable to work. You must show you are unable to work and earn a liveable income long-term as the result of migraine. The official term is being unable to perform substantial gainful activity, explains Dr. Shapiro. You cant earn enough money to be able to live because of the disease that you have, he says. However, you or a family member must have had a recent job and paid into the program to be considered insured.
  • Talking With The Er Doctor

    You may want to talk with the ER doctor about:

    • Your history of severe migraines and whether you have been to the ER for a severe migraine before
    • Any medicines you have taken to treat a severe migraine in the past, how well they worked, and any side effects you experienced from them
    • Which medicine might be best to treat your severe migraine
    • The possible benefits and side effects of the medicine

    Ask your doctor

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    Why To See A Neurosurgeon If Youre Experiencing Migraines

    Headache disorders are one of the top reasons for doctors visits. According to WHO, these conditions affect up to three-quarters of adults in the world.Some of the most common types include tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Migraines are common as well. In the United States alone, they affect more than 39 million individuals. Do you suffer from migraines? Wondering whether or not you should see a neurosurgeon? If so, youre on the right page.Well be going over everything that you need to know below. So make sure to read the rest of the post!

    How To Use Medical Marijuana For Migraines

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    When it comes to using marijuana for medicinal purposes, the dosage is important. The subjects in the aforementioned review experienced relief with approximately 21 milligrams of THC, but everyone metabolizes cannabis differently. For people just starting out, its best to limit the dosage to 5 to 10 mg and see how your body reacts. Then increase the dosage gradually depending on your tolerance.

    If you arent sure how to measure the THC content with smoking or vaping, there are more precise delivery methods you can use. For example, tinctures and caplets offer precise dosage measurements that you can follow. Monitor your dosage carefully. Because cannabis has a biphasic effect, it may react differently in the body at high doses than at low doses. In other words, while a low dose may cure your headache, a high dose could potentially make the problem worse.

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    Doctors For Children With Migraine

    Children are not little adults, so treating migraine in children means different kinds of specialists. Most children with migraine and other headache disorders see their pediatrician first. A pediatrician is a doctor who is trained to treat illness in children. If a child has migraines that are hard to treat, you may need to see a specialist.5

    A pediatric neurologist specializes in treating children with migraine and other nervous system issues. A pediatric headache specialist or pediatric neurologist may work on a team in a headache center. This team may also include psychologists, physical therapists, and dietitians who all treat migraine in children.

    How A Doctor Will Treat Your Migraine

    If your doctor decides your headaches are, in fact, migraines, you have lots of options for treatment and prevention. Keeping a headache diary can help you and your doctor identify your migraine triggers. Those are things that set off your migraines. Avoiding stress, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep and not skipping meals will probably help you prevent migraines. Other options include:

    • Over-the-counter pain medications. These include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin combined with caffeine.
    • Prescription pain medications. These are called “abortive medicines. You take them at the first sign of an attack. They can keep a migraine from getting severe. Examples are ergotamines and triptans. They come as pills or nasal sprays.
    • Prescription medications for prevention. For severe, frequent migrainesmore than four a monthyour doctor may prescribe a migraine prevention drug that you take every day. They include certain antidepressants, antiepileptics, antihypertensives, and new drugs called CGRP blockers, which target specific molecules involved in instigating migraines.
    • Non-medicine options. Lying down in a dark, quiet room usually helps. Massaging your scalp may help. Or, try putting a cold compress on your forehead.

    If your treatment does not get rid of your headache in 2 to 4 hours, talk with your doctor about trying a different strategy.

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    What Kind Of Tests Are Done For Headaches

    CT and MRI examinations are called imaging tests because they take pictures, or images, of the inside of the body. Many people who have headaches want a CT scan or an MRI to find out if their headaches are caused by a serious problem, such as a brain tumor. Most of the time these tests are not needed.

    Know Your Triggers Prevent Headaches

    When Should I See a Doctor About Migraines?

    The more you know about what causes your headaches, the better prepared you are to prevent and stop them.

    Many headaches, especially migraines, are triggered by certain foods, activities or changes to your environment. If you know your triggers, you can work to avoid them. Common triggers include:

    • Caffeine

    • Changes in your normal routine

    • Chocolate

    • Strong odors

    • Weather changes

    Regular exercise and drinking plenty of water can help prevent headaches. Exercise reduces stress and helps relieve muscle tension.

    Treatments and research

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    Three Tips For Success

    These tips will help you navigate the SSDI process:

    If youre unable to work due to disabling migraine, SSDI exists to help people like you. Use Dr. Shapiros tips or to set yourself up for success.

    The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.

    Prescription Medication For Migraine Prevention

    NINDS reports that preventive treatment of migraine involves the use of drugs as well as behavior changes. People who experience frequent migraine headaches should practice stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, biofeedback, and other methods of relaxation.

    According to Mahan Chehrenama, MD, a neurologist and migraine specialist in McLean, Virginia, patients should consider preventive medications if their migraine attacks are frequent or severely disabling. Preventive medications are generally prescription-based, except for certain supplements like magnesium oxide, she says. These preventative drugs might also help patients better respond to pain relieving medications if a migraine does occur.

    Preventive medications are taken daily, even when you dont have a headache. They can include:

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    How Is Abdominal Migraine Diagnosed

    There is currently no test to confirm abdominal migraine. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on specific criteria that details the type, frequency, and severity of symptoms associated with abdominal migraine. The diagnosis will typically be made only after all other causes of abdominal pain have been ruled out.

    How Are Migraines Treated In The Er

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    Many medicines are used to treat severe migraine headache pain in the ER, including those listed on the next page. The ER doctor may also give you other medicines for nausea and may treat you for dehydration .

    Medicines for Pain Relief

    Researchers found that the medicines listed below work to lessen or stop migraine pain. Nearly all of these medicines are given as a shot or through an intravenous tube in your arm. Some NSAIDs can also be taken by mouth.

    • Metoclopramide
    • Prochlorperazine
    Neuroleptics and antiemetics are medicines that change the way certain chemicals act in your brain. Some of these medicines may also treat nausea and vomiting.
    SumatriptanSumatriptan is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.Note: People with heart problems, such as narrowing or hardening of blood vessels in the heart, should not take this medicine.
    NSAIDsNSAIDs are medicines that relieve pain.
    Opioids

    • Nalbuphine
    • Tramadol
    Opioids are medicines that relieve pain. But, these medicines are rarely used for migraines because of possible side effects and the fact that other medicines work well to relieve migraine pain.Note: Taking opioids repeatedly to relieve pain can lead to overuse. Opioids can be addictive.
    DihydroergotamineDihydroergotamine is a headache medicine that narrows the blood vessels in your brain.

    Medicines To Stop the Migraine From Coming Back

    The doctor may also give you a medicine to help stop the migraine from coming back within the next day or two.

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    What Tests Can I Get Done To Detect If I Have Migraines

    • A magnetic resonance imaging test. This allows the doctor to look at the soft tissues of the brain and to rule out dementia, nerve problems and tumors. The MRI, which uses a strong magnetic field, reads pulses coming from the tissues in your brain. During the MRI, you will lie on a table and be moved into a big tube, which makes thrumming sounds. The test allows doctors to see a detailed, 3-D view of your brain’s tissues. The test can take 20 to 45 minutes and can be uncomfortable for people who are claustrophobic .
    • A computerized tomography scan. A CT scan is done to rule out cancerous tissues or blood clots. CT scans produce very detailed views. While most x-rays use a single ray, CT scans use many rays from different angles to achieve a 3-D image of your head. A doctor sometimes will inject a contrast dye into your veins to provide a better look at your brain. The test typically takes about 15 minutes.
    • Spinal tap. A spinal test tests for serious brain diseases such as encephalitis and bacterial meningitis. It also can check for multiple scleroses and certain cancers. When a spinal tap is done, the doctor gives you something to numb your spine, then uses a long needle to pierce the base of your spine and collects some fluid there. The cerebrospinal fluid protects your spine and brain from getting hurt.

    Chronic Migraine And Pain Management

    • Reactions 0 reactions

    Speaking as a caregiver for someone who has suffered about 10 years living with chronic migraine, I have seen actions, or more to the point, inaction from more doctors than I care to count.

    It makes me question the oath doctors take when they begin their careers. There seems to be a philosophy that since there is no clear cut diagnosis or specific set of medically testable or provable things that cause some individuals migraines, then either the patients are making it all up, or that it simply cannot be as bad as they would lead the doctors to believe. This thinking leads to problems for the patient.

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    What Is Chronic Daily Headache

    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.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

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    The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

    Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

    • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
    • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Feeling very warm or cold .
    • Pale skin color .
    • Euphoric mood.

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    Not All Doctors View Pain Management The Same Way

    It would be naïve to say that all doctors view things this way. Unfortunately, it seems they are growing in numbers. I personally know several chronic migraine patients with doctors that freely prescribe them with enough oxycontin to take as many as 4 or 5 per day.

    I am not saying this is the right way to handle things or that it is the wrong way. As a result, there are a growing number of doctors that simply refuse to prescribe any real pain medication for fear of being monitored .

    Are there people who abuse these medications? Absolutely! Does that mean that every patient that asks for some type of strong pain medication is a drug seeker? No! My wife had an ongoing prescription for Toradol injections for years. Then the manufacturer had manufacturing problems for a while and that medicine became scarce. Now the manufacturer is back up and running just fine, but the doctors are no longer willing to write prescriptions for it. Why is that, do you suppose?

    Toradol, in a simple non-medical definition, is a liquid form of Ibuprofen, inasmuch as how it works. Same concept. Toradol is an anti-inflammatory medication that functions like Motrin, but functions more efficiently. It isnt a medication a patient can get high with. It simply helps to break the cycle of a migraine. Its also used as an immediate pain medication for patients dealing with kidney stones.

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