Facts and Tips About Migraines
A migraine is usually experienced by women because of falling estrogen levels before menstruation that causes severe head pain often accompanied by sensitivity to sound, smells or light. The common manifestations of a migraine is the one-sided “pounding” a headache, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraine attacks are usually triggered by hormonal changes, stress, certain foods, oversleeping, and strong stimuli such as loud noises. Some forms of birth control pills can trigger a migraine attack, and so as with certain foods like chocolate, aged cheese, smoked meats, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate. Keep a headache diary if you’re unsure what triggers your headache so you are able to easily identify the cause in case you’ll experience a migraine attack.
The treatment for a migraine is usually over-the-counter (OTC) such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, or prescription drugs like triptans. Exercise and healthy diet may help in reducing the frequency of your migraine attacks. As much as possible, avoid eating foods that are known to trigger your migraine. For some people, they find meditation and relaxation strategies helpful in preventing migraine attacks and reducing the severity of headache such as meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation. Most people combine pharmacologic and lifestyle changes to manage their condition. On the other hand, some people really require prescription medications because their migraine attacks are too severe. How do we define the aura of a migraine? A migraine aura refers to a set of warning symptoms that the patient experiences before migraine attack such as a numbness involving one side of the body, blind spot in one eye or flashing lights. An aura may last for several minutes and it is resolved once the head pain starts or it may also last until a migraine is resolved. For people who have never experienced migraine aura, it can be frightening because it can mimic the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Many women find their migraine headaches resolved during pregnancy because of consistently high levels of estrogen during pregnancy. It is important to discontinue any medication that was used prior to pregnancy to prevent birth defects. Sometimes migraines are related to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ if you experience headaches or a migraine along with jaw locking frequently, if you keep grinding your teeth or your jaw always feel swollen, so it helps to contact a TMJ specialist who will be recommending effective exercises and routine changes to help in your condition. In general, the best way to effectively manage your migraine is to identify the triggering factors, lifestyle changes and taking medications as prescribed by your doctor.