What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
What Is An Ocular Migraine
An ocular migraine is an eye problem characterized by short episodes of vision loss or visual disturbances.
For example, you may see flashing lights in one eye accompanied by a headache.
Your doctor may also refer to this type of migraine as ophthalmic or monocular migraines.
These episodes may be scary. But in most cases, they are harmless and short-lived. However, ocular migraines can be a sign of a more serious condition.
Some people experience retinal migraines every few months, but the frequency varies from person to person.
Retinal migraine is a unique condition that should not be confused with headache-type migraine or migraine with aura, which often affect both eyes.1
How To Treat A Migraine Headache
There are many treatment modalities for migraines, including lifestyle changes, alternative/complimentary treatments and, most commonly, medication.
At The Migraine Institute, we offer two cutting-edge treatments for migraine headaches:
- Minimally Invasive Migraine Surgery: We provide minimally invasive surgery for migraines to reduce or remove faulty sensory nerve signals that can cause migraines.
- Botox®: Our Botox® for migraine treatments have been shown to help migraine sufferers prevent this same nerve pain irritability that can trigger migraine symptoms.
Once qualifying for these treatments, Dr. Cabin designs an individualized treatment approach, which can include one or both of these treatments .
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Other Types Of Headaches
Other rare types of headaches include these varieties:
- Cluster headache These intensely painful headaches last 15 to 180 minutes without treatment and happen in cycles, or clusters.
- Paroxysmal hemicranias Severe, sometimes throbbing pain on one side of the face or around the eyes lasts 2 to 30 minutes and occurs more than 5 times a day.
- Ice-pick headache As the name implies, an ice-pick headache is a migraine characterized by stabbing pain. Fortunately, it is relatively uncommon and typically short in duration.
- Intractable headache Any headache, including migraine, that doesn’t respond to treatment.
- Occipital neuralgia This disorder causes pain in the back of the head and upper neck.
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
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Nerve Stimulation Devices For Migraine Relief
When medications arent providing adequate migraine relief, it may be worth trying a nerve stimulation device. These devices, of which there are several types, reduce pain or help prevent migraine episodes by delivering electrical or magnetic pulses to selected nerves.
They are unlikely to replace medications in a persons migraine management plan, but they may help control pain when used alongside meds.
Side effects from nerve stimulation tend to be mild and mainly include redness, irritation, or muscle twitching at the site of the stimulation.
The main drawback of nerve stimulation devices may be that theyre expensive and not always covered by health insurance plans.
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Major Causes Of Migraine Headaches
Comments: 0 | January 17th, 2018
Do you suffer from painful, recurring migraines? Would you like to learn how to prevent them from happening in the first place? The key lies in the underlying cause. Watch as Dr. Hotze discusses 6 major causes of migraine headaches.
Podcast Video Highlights:
1:17: Migraine is a form of headache. The headache is just a symptom of underlying problems.
1:52: The headaches can last for several hours to several days, and theyre very debilitative, and oftentimes, cause people to miss work or just not be able to function at all in their household activities or in their work activities.
2:36: Remember, when a doctor tells you that you have headaches, or migraine headaches, or cluster headaches, or neurological headaches, hes simply taking the symptom and converting the symptom to a diagnosis, which its not. Headaches have underlying causes theyre not caused by low levels of pharmaceutical drugs.
3:22: There are really six major causes of severe headaches, which oftentimes are referred to as migraine headaches.
3:54: If it happens at the same time every month, thats very classical for headaches caused by hormonal imbalance.
5:09: Low magnesium can be a cause of migraine headaches because, when a person has low magnesium, they can get spasm of their arteries. This can occur in their brain, and when it does, itll cause headaches, severe headache, which are oftentimes referred to as migraine headaches.
Podcast Video Transcription:
What Are The Signs Of Migraines
The main manifestation of migraine is headache. The pain is often described as throbbing or pounding. It could start with a dull ache, but becomes pulsing pain which is mild, moderate , or severe. If you dont treat it the headache pain can turn into severe to moderate. The pain can move from the part of the head and opposite or be felt in the front of your head, your rear of the head, or appear to be all over your head. There are people who experience pain in their eye or temples, and occasionally on their face, in their sinuses jaw, neck or.
Other signs of migraine headaches comprise:
- Sensitivity to noise, light and smells.
- Vomiting and nausea, stomach upset and abdominal discomfort.
- A loss of appetite.
- Feeling extremely comfortable as well as feeling cold .
- Pale skin color .
- The mood is euphoric.
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Foods And Food Additives
Certain foods and beverages, particularly alcoholic beverages, can be triggers. The flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate can also be a trigger, as can caffeine.
Foods containing the amino acid tyramine have been associated with migraine onset. Examples include aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, certain beans, and red wine.
The nitrates in cured meats such as bacon, hot dogs, salami, and other lunch meats are a trigger for some.
Research has also suggested that the artificial sweeteners aspartame and sucralose can be triggers.
And for some people, fruits such as avocados, bananas, and citrus as well as some nuts and seeds can trigger migraine.
Missing or skipping meals can trigger attacks, too.
One approach to discovering migraine food triggers is to try an elimination diet, in which certain foods are eliminated from the diet for a few weeks, then reintroduced one at a time to see whether a migraine attack occurs.
For that reason, most experts recommend consulting your physician before trying an elimination diet for migraine and, if you do decide to try it, working with a registered dietitian to maintain good nutrition.
Medications To Treat And Prevent Migraine Attacks
Medical treatment options for migraine are twofold: drugs that work to alleviate symptoms once an attack has started, and medications that prevent attacks from happening or reduce their frequency and severity.
Over-the-counter medications include:
Metoclopramide and chlorpromazine are available in tablet and liquid form, or by injection. Metoclopramide is also available as a nasal spray. Prochlorperzine is given by tablet, suppository, or injection.
These days, ergots arent prescribed as often as the newer triptans, which tend to be more effective and have fewer side effects.
Dihydroergotamine can be given by intravenous injection or taken as a nasal spray. Ergotamine is available as a pill or a suppository.
Dexamethasone is a steroid medication given by IV or injection that, when given with another acute migraine treatment, can reduce the risk of recurrence. It is also available in a tablet.
Another category of abortive migraine treatments is the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonists, which suppress pain. They include the oral medicines ubrogepant , and rimegepant .
Another abortive migraine treatment is lasmiditan , which is taken as an oral tablet and is the only approved drug in the 5-HT1F receptor agonist class.
These medications have been shown to reduce migraine days in both episodic and chronic migraine.
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What Foods Help Prevent Migraines
Maintaining a diet that includes one or more of the following foods may help an individual prevent migraines:
- Orange, yellow and green vegetables
- Cereals that do not contain nuts, dried fruits or aspartame
- Natural sweeteners
Additionally, research shows salmon, red meat and other foods high in vitamin B-2 help reduce migraine frequency. Avoiding preservatives or artificial sweeteners or maintaining a vegan diet may also help an individual avoid migraine attacks.
If a person is considering a new diet to prevent migraine pain, it generally helps to meet with a doctor. That way, an individual can discuss his or her migraine concerns with a doctor and receive expert tips to treat migraine pain.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Ocular Migraines
Researchers are working to fully understand the relationship between high blood pressure and ocular migraines.
Current research points to the fact that migraine attacks are prevalent in people with high blood pressure.
Anyone suffering from high blood pressure is advised to get it under control, especially those with a known history of ocular migraines.
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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.
How Do You Diagnose Migraines
In order to diagnose a migraine, your doctor will take an extensive medical history. This includes not only your own history of headaches, but your familys too. Additionally, theyll need to know the history of your migraine-related symptoms. probably noting:
- Define your headache symptoms. What is the severity?
- Remember when you got these. In your period, say?
- Define the kind and area of the pain. Are you feeling pain? Pulsing? Throbbing?
- Keep in mind if something causes your headache get worse or worse.
- Inform us how often you experience migraine headaches.
- Discuss the events that caused stress, food, or other situations that could cause migraine.
- Discuss which medications you use to ease pain , and the frequency you are taking them.
- Write about how you felt prior to, after and during the headache.
- Be aware if someone in your family suffers from migraine headaches.
Your doctor may also require blood tests and scans to confirm there arent any other reasons that are causing your pain. A Electroencephalogram may be required to rule out seizures.
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Are There Different Types Of Migraine
There are different types of migraine. There is an international classification system for migraine which doctors use to diagnose and treat them.
The most common types of migraine fall into two categories:
Migraine with aura also covers some rare types of migraine such as hemiplegic migraine and migraine with brainstem aura.
Not everyone will have a typical migraine. Your experience of migraine will be unique to you.
Diagnosing And Treating Ocular Migraines
When you visit your doctor, they will ask about your symptoms, examine your eyes, and order additional tests to rule out other serious conditions such as:
- Amaurosis fugax
- Giant cell arteritis
- Spasms in the blood vessels that carry blood to the eye
- Autoimmune diseases
- Stroke or transient ischemic attack
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What Commonly Triggers A Migraine
People who get migraines may be able to identify triggers that seem to kick off the symptoms. Some possible triggers include the following:
- Stress and other emotions
- Biological and environmental conditions, such as hormonal shifts or exposure to light or smells
- Fatigue and changes in one’s sleep pattern
- Glaring or flickering lights
Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause
If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, menopause may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.
But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens. Menopausal hormone therapy, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.
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How Are Migraines Prevented Or Managed
There are many ways to manage migraines both to prevent an attack and to treat an attack once it starts . It is important to have a migraine management plan and this will probably involve lifestyle changes and medication.
If you suspect you are getting a migraine, you may get some relief from pain-relief medicines. Some people find they can prevent a migraine by treating it early.
Some people can manage migraine with pain relief available from pharmacies others might need prescription medications to deal with an acute attack. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about options.
During the migraine, rest in a quiet, dark room. Get as much help as possible with responsibilities at work, for family and so on.
If you get migraines fairly often, there is a wide range of preventive medicines that can reduce the number and severity of the attacks.
If you have just started getting migraines, keeping a diary about them can help you understand when they happen, and what triggers them. That may help you prevent them, and may also help you to explain what you are experiencing with your doctor.
In the longer term, non-medicine therapies can also help to prevent migraine. These include:
- relaxation training, such as yoga and meditation
What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine
Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:
- Visual symptoms or vision loss.
- Sensory symptoms .
Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:
- The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
- Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.
Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
- Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.
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Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors
Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:
- Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
- Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
- Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
What Is The Treatment
Migraine is complex and there are different treatments available. The right treatment for you will depend on the type of migraine, your symptoms, how often you have attacks and how bad they are. It will also depend on your medical history.
Migraine treatment usually includes acute treatment such as painkillers and anti-sickness medication to stop or shorten an attack. If you are having more than four attacks a month you can ask your GP about preventive treatment. This is usually taken every day to reduce how often you have attacks and how bad they are.
Reviewing any lifestyle factors or triggers that may contribute to the attacks, such as stress, change in routine and sleep patterns, can help. There is currently no cure for migraine.
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