Identifying & Treating Migraines: What You Need To Know
A migraine is an entirely different pain from a headache. It is a different physical disorder with different symptoms from a headache as well as a different set of treatments. Many people who suffer from migraines aren’t even aware that it is a migraine and simply think it is a headache. Here you can learn how to identify whether you have a migraine or not and also a few tips of treating the migraine and how to cope with the symptoms.
What Is A Migraine?
A migraine is usually a very intense pain across a region of the head which can be described as practically unbearable. There may be throbbing, and it is likely to affect one side of the head, but not always. The sensations of nausea or vomiting can be a clear indication that you have a migraine and especially experiencing sensitivity to light, odors, or noise. If the pain intensifies whenever you move, it is likely a migraine attack. Also, the pain lasts for more than 4 hours, even up to several days.
A dangerous symptom that can accompany migraines is an aura. A commonly experienced aura is a visual aura, in which case there are actually blind spots in the sufferer’s vision. It can also take the form of shapes of bright spots or even flashes of light. Blurred vision is common, and the most dangerous can be a complete loss of vision, especially if the migraine onset is particularly sudden — for example while driving.
Treatment and Medication
Migraines are relatively poorly understood as compared to other medical conditions, and it was only in the 90s when the drug by the name of triptans was introduced and used to control the symptoms of migraines. Triptans are a class of drugs that treat migraines once they have already appeared, and there remains to be no medication that can control or prevent the onset of migraines. It is also understood that migraines may be genetic as well. Triptans also do not work for everyone, and since there are millions of people who suffer from migraines, this isn’t good news, especially since there is no other drug that is effective for this ailment.
What Can You Do To Alleviate Migraines?
In spite of the fact that you are severely limited by the medication you can actually take, there is still some measure you can do that will reduce the symptoms you suffer with when a migraine attack takes place. The moment you feel a migraine coming on, it is important to take action by retreating from your usual activities, dimming the lights and resting in a quiet space. If you can, try to sleep, but if you find it hard to do so, do not choose to watch a movie or read a book that requires concentration since that might exacerbate the pain. Apply compresses to your head accordingly, using either hot or cold packs to dull the pain as per whatever is most effective for you. Caffeine can be of great help when suffering from a migraine during the early stages of the condition. Have a small amount in the form of a caffeinated beverage to help reduce the likelihood of the migraine developing further.
Adequate sleep is very important when you are prone to migraine attacks. Too little, or even too much, sleep can actually cause a migraine to brew. However, once you actually have a migraine it can be very difficult to fall asleep or even to wake up. Having regular hours of sleep is a good preventative measure to secure in place to avoid suffering from migraines. Before climbing into bed at night, do something relaxing so that you enjoy a good and solid sleep.
Eating habits can also affect the frequency of your migraines. Focus on nutritious meals and be consistent with your eating habits. Do not skip meals or make drastic changes to your diet in short spaces of time. If you need to make any changes to your diet, it is best to introduce the changes gradually so that you do not trigger a migraine. Certain foods may also cause migraines in some people, though not all are food-related. If you suspect that your migraines may be related to something you are consuming, keeping a food diary can help you to determine what food it is that is the culprit.
Last but not least, it is in your best interest if you engage in regular exercise, even if it is light, and to manage stress levels. Exercise helps reduce stress hormones, so half your battle is won – but you need to also eliminate whatever stress-causing elements you can from your lifestyle.
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