That deep throbbing pain in your head coupled with the inability to tolerate light or loud noise is intolerable. It can take time away from your job and family and cause you to miss out on your daily activities. The exact cause of migraine headaches has not been determined but it is believed that dropping serotonin levels and swelling blood vessels are major contributing factors. While migraines can be debilitating, too many people do not seek help in treating them. There are medical professionals available to help you strategize in treating your migraines and minimizing your discomfort.
What Causes Your Migraines?
Some people have identifiable places or things that bring on a migraine. Some women experience these just before a menstrual cycle or during major hormonal changes. Other people find that they are susceptible to loud noises or certain types of lighting. If your migraines are triggered by specific items you can work to eliminate, avoid, or minimize your exposure. If you have severe sensitivity to light, avoid dance clubs with strobe lights. You may also want to minimize time in places with artificial lighting such as shopping malls. Once you have pinpointed your triggers, you are empowered to manage them. That being said, you do not want your migraines to limit your quality of life and there are other ways to treat them.
How to Stop Them
While migraines may not be 100% preventable they can be treated. Your lifestyle, as well as medical treatment options, are available to keep these headaches in check.
Be Your Healthiest Self
While taking care of yourself is always recommended, it is particularly important if you suffer from migraines. Certain nutritional choices and habits can exacerbate your migraines. Sleep, for example, plays an important role. If you do not get enough sleep, you can experience more migraines. Similarly, if you drink too much caffeine or alcohol you may find more serious headaches occur with more regularity. The right amount of rest and balanced nutrition can go a long way in limiting the number of migraines that occur.
Health Isn’t Limited to the Physical
Your physical health is crucial but it works in tandem with your emotional wellbeing. Stress has been identified as a migraine trigger for some people. Caring for your emotional well being can be equally beneficial in treating or preventing severe headaches. If you are suffering from high levels of stress try management techniques such as meditation, achieving proper work-life balance and creating a support system.
Therapy such as acupuncture can provide
Herbs, vitamins, and minerals may be another source of nontraditional relief. Essential oils can also give comfort to those suffering from migraines. Always consult with your regular physician before taking any new herbs or supplements.
There are many different medications prescribed to assist migraine sufferers. There are several different classes of medications your doctor may recommend.
Beta blockers: These types of medications are usually prescribed for high blood pressure but may also be used to help treat migraines. Beta blockers may work by relaxing and opening up blood flow. While these types of medications have had some success helping treat migraines, the exact science of why is still undetermined.
OTC’s: Over the counter medications used to treat the migraine pain and tension headaches include ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and naproxen. These types of medications are often used to help treat the pain associated with migraines.
Triptans: Triptans are able to stop headaches by stimulating the production of serotonin. This class of medication is most effective when taken early.
Ergots: Ergot reduces pain by constricting blood vessels in the brain. This constriction can decrease the pain of severe headaches.
One or multiple medications may be prescribed to help you manage your migraines. Each of these medications has possible side effects and may interact with other drugs or supplements you are taking. It is important that you discuss your migraines, lifestyle and any other medications with your medical team so that together, you can create the best treatment plan possible.
Adjust Your Environment
If you do feel a migraine coming on, take some simple steps to help minimize your discomfort. Steer clear of loud noises and dim the lights so you don’t make your discomfort worse. Try applying a hot compress or ice pack to the back of your neck. If you are able, lie down and rest. As soon as you recognize the warning signs of a migraine, take precautions to make it as manageable and short-lived as possible.
If migraines are interfering in your ability to live your best life, call our office. We are here to help you manage your symptoms and find the best solutions possible tailored to your needs.