A migraine is a severe form of a headache that causes throbbing, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or sensitivity to light and sound. The migraine pain can last for hours or even days without proper treatment. This type of pain can be disabling enough to interfere with daily activities. Migraines often begin in childhood or early adulthood. Chronic migraines can produce symptoms 15 days or more each month.
What can trigger a migraine?
Although the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, researchers have narrowed down possible triggers. If you are prone to migraines, avoiding possible triggers is one way to manage them. Each person’s trigger will be unique. Some of the most common migraine triggers include:
- Salty or processed foods
- Skipping meals
- Alcohol or caffeine
- Preservatives and sweeteners
- Hormonal changes
- Hormone medications
- Sleep cycle changes
- Weather changes
How are migraines treated?
Each individual will respond differently to treatment and will depend on the frequency and severity of your migraine and the degree of disability they cause. Any other medical conditions you may have will also be considered. Medications are often used to help relieve or prevent migraines. Your doctor will be able to find the right medication for your specific symptoms. Some medications that are used include pain relievers or anti-seizure medicine.
Alternative medicine has also been shown to mark improvement for migraine sufferers. This includes treatments such as:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Herbs, vitamins and minerals
Often, at home self-care can lessen the symptoms of migraine pain. This could be anything from relaxation techniques or getting enough rest. The first step is to pinpoint what may be causing the migraines before deciding on a treatment. Using a headache diary can help in this instance.
Dr. Minsoo Kang, MD is a Board-certified physician practicing in and around Buffalo, NY. He specializes in neurology with a focus on headache related issues such as migraines.
Call or stop by his offices today for an appointment.