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By | September 5, 2017

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 attack include eye pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or sound, and severe headache that is usually described as “pounding pain” on one side of the head. Migraine attacks are usually triggered by hormonal changes, stress, certain foods, oversleeping, and strong stimuli such as loud noises. Some types of birth control pills can trigger migraines, and various foods such as aged cheese, smoked meats, chocolate, dairy products, alcoholic beverages as well as 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. Avoid eating foods that are known to trigger your migraines. Meditation and relaxation strategies can also help prevent migraine attacks and reduce the severity of headache such as meditation, yoga, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation. Most people with migraines combine pharmacologic treatments and lifestyle changes in managing their condition. For those patients experiencing severe migraine attacks, prescription medications are usually recommended. How do we define the aura of a migraine? Migraine aura refers to specific warning symptoms before the onset of a migraine attack that may range from a blind spot in one eye, flashing lights or numbness involving one side of the body. A migraine aura may last for several minutes and it’s usually resolved once the head pain starts, although there are instances when a migraine aura may last until a migraine is resolved. There are patients who never experience migraine aura and this can be because it can mimic the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

Many women find their migraines are resolved during pregnancy because of high levels of estrogen during pregnancy. Any medications taken before pregnancy to treat a migraine must be discontinued. 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. Generally, the best management treatment for a migraine is the combination of healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, pharmacologic treatments, and avoiding triggering factors.