That persistent headache that sometimes becomes so intense that your vision gets blurry may be signs of a migraine. If so, that bottle of aspirin won't do you much good. Stop fighting the pain and learn the signs of a migraine so you're treating that headache effectively.
How Common are Migraine Headaches?
The Migraine Research Foundation states that nearly 10 percent of the population experiences migraines, with women having them three times more often than men. What makes these headaches so unique are the set of symptoms associated with them and the fact that they can be so intense that they keep a person from doing almost any of their normal daily activities.
The Signs That You May Have Migraine Headaches
Here are some of those unique symptoms that say you're experiencing a migraine headache instead of just a typical stress headache:
Seeing lights or other visual signs - Also called "seeing auras", you may see flashes of light or color, lines that criss-cross your vision, or spots of lighter areas that float across your vision. This typically occurs a few minutes before the pain sets in.
Sudden mood changes - You may suddenly feel depressed or excited, for no particular reason. This may happen along with the visual symptoms or shortly after they have gone away, but before the pain begins.
Sleep disruption - If you wake up during the night with a headache, it may be a migraine. Prolonged sleepless nights can trigger migraines in some people causing a cycle where the headaches prevent sleep, and the loss of sleep fosters headaches.
Sinus issues - Some people experience congestion, watery drainage from the nose and tearing as part of their migraine headaches.
Food cravings - A desire for a specific food right before a migraine attack is noted by some people.
Pain in the temples - Migraine pain is described as an intense, throbbing pain that occurs on one or both sides of the head.
Eye pain - Stabbing pains behind the eye are also reported by people with migraines. Your vision can be blurry and you may be more sensitive to light.
Treatment of Your Migraines
If you have any of these migraine signs, get to your doctor for an evaluation and treatment options. There is no cure for migraines, so the focus of treatment is to:
- stop current symptoms from getting worse
- prevent the migraines from starting
People experience migraines differently, so the treatment is unique to the individual. For example, some people have nausea during a migraine so they may take medication to reduce that sensation.
Reducing current symptoms
Your doctor may have you take one or more of the following medications the moment you feel like the symptoms are coming on:
- anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications
- anti-nausea medications
- medications that constrict blood vessels in the brain
- steroid-based medications for inflammation and pain control
Preventing the Symptoms
Some medications you may take everyday to stop the migraines from being triggered:
- beta and calcium channel blockers to treat hypertension and control blood flow
- antidepressants which have shown to be effective in preventing migraine pain
- anti-seizure drugs which manage neurological triggers that cause migraines
- chiropractic treatment to fix alignment issues that may be causing migraines.
Recognize the symptoms of a migraine headache so you can start treating the pain effectively. If you are interested in chiropractic therapy to treat your migraines, then contact a clinic like Davidson Chiropractic Clinic.