Migraines 101_ What to Know About This Type of Headache
Do you or someone you love experience migraines? If so, you probably have an idea of how debilitating the experience can be, especially if you have chronic migraines. Millions of people suffer from migraines, and it appears that for many, migraine attacks get more frequent as time passes by.
In the U.S. alone, chronic migraine affects 3% to 5% of the entire population. But even those with episodic migraines could “transition” and suffer from chronic migraines after some time. If this condition is something that you or a loved one deals with quite often, this article is for you. Read on as Morristown Post Acute Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, the provider of the best nursing care in Morristown, shares the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment of migraine:
What Are Chronic Migraines?
Chronic migraine is defined as a headache that occurs for 15 or more days every month, for longer than three months, where no less than eight of those headaches show features of migraine.
At least two of these features should be experienced for a headache to be classified as a migraine attack:
- Moderate to severe pain that is often intense
- Pain may be on one side or both sides of the head
- The head pain results in a throbbing, pulsating, or pounding sensation
- The individual experiences nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound along with the headache
However, not all headache days are migraine attacks. For instance, if you experience a migraine attack with a terrible headache on the first day but still have a lower grade headache on the second day, that could be a day of a migraine attack and a day of other types of headache.
How to Know If a Headache Is a Migraine
Migraine is a neurological disorder that can affect one’s quality of life, so you must know whether your headaches are benign or migraines.
Headaches are usually unpleasant head pains that feel like pressure. The pain could range from mild to severe and can be felt on both sides of the head or across the forehead, or the back of the neck. On the other hand, migraine comes with severe throbbing on the side of the head, which could come with other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and light and sound sensitivity. Migraines also usually start with a symptom called “aura,” which is the perception of seeing flashing lines, halos, or wavy lines, or even temporary loss of vision.
What Are the Risk Factors and Triggers of Migraines?
Many factors may increase the risk of migraine attacks, including a family history of migraine episodes. Typically, this may peak during the 30s and slowly become less severe and less frequent in the next decades. Women are also three times more likely to suffer from migraines due to the hormonal changes that they experience.
Things that can aggravate migraines include stress, cold drinks, irregular sleep patterns, weather change, certain food, alcohol, and sensory stimuli like sounds, smells, or bright lights. As mentioned, hormonal changes that may also be due to intake of contraceptives or hormonal replacement therapy can make migraines worse.
What Is the Most Effective Treatment for Migraines?
Keep in mind that treatment for migraines can vary. Preventive and acute migraine medication may be given, and behavioral therapy may also be recommended together with some lifestyle changes. Because it is a neurological condition that could also be chronic, management and the proper prescription medication are essential.
Migraine may be common, but it’s not something that you should ignore. Due to its potential severity, you must take management steps so that it won’t affect your life quality. If you need assistance and don’t think you can’t handle your migraine attacks at home on your own, you can always go to a Morristown hospital for short-term care.
Morristown Post Acute Rehabilitation & Nursing Center offers the best nursing care in Morristown. We provide high-caliber health care, intending to bridge the gap between hospital and home care. Contact us to learn about our services!