Let’s Take A Closer Look At What Migraines Are And How To Treat Them
If you’ve ever had a searing pain that feels like your skull is being pried open with a crowbar, accompanied by eye pain, nausea, or vomiting, then you’ve probably experienced a migraine. Migraines are often more than just a headache; they can be full-on assaults on our senses. Like with many medical conditions, the symptoms can vary in intensity and nature from person to person.
What Is A Migraine?
As mentioned above, a migraine is similar to a headache, but it’s far more intense and is often accompanied by additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and sensitivity to light. There are generally two different types of migraines:
- With aura: Severe headaches accompanied by neurological symptoms, such as visual disturbances, including (but not limited to) blurred vision, tunnel vision, seeing spots, sparkles, or stars, or even temporary blindness.
- Without aura: The more common type of migraine, usually indicated by throbbing headache pain, accompanied by feelings of nausea.
What Causes Migraines?
While there is no definitive cause, migraines can occur as a reaction to a variety of things including stress, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, dehydration, or even something in the environment. In some cases, they can be a symptom of a larger health problem.
If you think you’re experiencing migraines on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to try to keep track of the context or events leading up to the attack. That will help you and your doctor identify potential triggers that are causing the migraines.
How Do You Treat Migraines?
Depending on the severity of the condition and frequency, there are a variety of treatment options that your doctor may consider. Sometimes this includes taking over the counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. However, if taken too often, these medications can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, and if migraines occur too frequently, your doctor may chose a different approach using other types of prescription drugs. In addition to using medication to treat the pain, your doctor may recommend taking anti-nausea medication or even steroids.
Luckily, there are also a variety of treatments that don’t involve drugs, for those of us who prefer to take that route. These can include acupuncture/acupressure massage, application of cold or hot packs to the forehead, temples, and eyes, or even sensory deprivation. Additionally, there are several foods you can eat to help prevent recurring migraines, including nuts, ginger, and coffee.
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Please call Pain and Spine Specialists in Maryland at 301.703.8767, or 724-603-3560 in Pennsylvania to schedule a consultation or use the contact form on our website to send us a message.