An Overview of Migraines

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A migraine is a headache that usually affects one side of your head. Rarely does a migraine affect both sides of your head. A migraine is more severe than a typical headache. Dallas migraines are mostly characterized by intense throbbing pain. A migraine can happen once a week, a month, or a year. Most people with migraines experience the pain two to four times per month. Research shows that about twelve percent of American adults get migraine headaches in their lifetime. Migraines are more common in women than men. A migraine can make it difficult to perform your daily activities and be accompanied by symptoms like light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances.

What are the triggers of migraines?

Hormonal changes

In women, fluctuations in estrogen, like before or during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause, can trigger migraines. Oral hormonal contraceptives can also worsen headaches in some women.

Emotional stress

Emotional stress is a common trigger of migraines. When you are going through stressful events, certain chemicals in your brain are released to combat the situation, which can lead to a migraine. Other emotions such as anxiety, worry, and excitement can increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels, worsening your migraine.

Drinks

Drinks like caffeine ad alcohol, especially wine, can trigger migraines. Taking too much caffeine or withdrawal from caffeine, especially abruptly, can lead to a headache. Your blood vessels can get sensitized to caffeine, and headaches may develop when you do not take it.

Sensory stimuli

Flashing lights, sunlight, and light from your computer or television can trigger a migraine. Loud sounds and strong smells like perfumes, paint thinner and secondhand smoke can also lead to migraines.

Other triggers

Weather changes like barometric pressure, strong winds, or storm fronts can trigger headaches. Migraines may also result from changes in normal sleep patterns. Dieting, dehydration, and being overly tired may also trigger migraines.

What are the treatments for migraines?

There is no cure for migraines, but they can be managed with professional help. There are two main medications that can help manage migraines, which include:

Abortive medications

Abortive medications are beneficial if you use them when you see the first sign of a migraine. You usually take these drugs when your pain is mild. Abortive medicines stop the headache, helping reduce or end your migraine symptoms. Some abortive medicines constrict your blood vessels and relieve the throbbing pain.

Preventive medications

Your doctor may prescribe preventive medicines if your headaches are severe, happen more than four times a month and interfere with your daily duties. These drugs help minimize the frequency and severity of your migraines. You generally take preventive medications daily to help avoid migraines.

Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and naproxen can help relieve mild to moderate migraines. Ensure you talk to your doctor when taking over-the-counter painkillers. Overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or dependency issues.

Stress, certain drinks, sensory stimuli, or hormonal changes can trigger migraines. Abortive and preventive drugs are the common ways to manage migraines. Schedule an appointment at Magnolia Pain Associates for migraine treatment to relieve your throbbing head pain.