Cure a Migraine Headache
Edited by Jonathan, estrella sacragon, Eng, Lynn and 2 others
Migraine disorder sufferers experience regular, often strong, headaches. Migraine headaches, often called "migraines" for short, often involve an intermittent throb or pulse of pain on just one side of the head.
These headaches are often associated with nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound; they generally last between four hours and three days. Migraine headaches, which are often misdiagnosed as sinus or tension headaches, are severe enough to interfere with sleep, work, and other everyday activities. They may occur as often as several times per week or as rarely as once or twice a year.
Migraine is common among people aged 25-55, and 30 million Americans suffer from migraine. It occurs three times more in adult women than in adult men and 20 percent of these women and one out of 16 of these men are afflicted with it. To a lesser extent, teens and children can also have migraines.
Types of Migraines
- 1Also called migraine without aura, it is the most common type of migraine, making up 80 percent of migraine cases. Anxiety, mental fuzziness, fatigue, and mood changes are associated with this prevalent migraine.Common migraine.Advertisement
- 2Another name for migraine with aura, it happens in 20 percent of all migraine sufferers. Auras, which are symptoms connected with the senses (but mostly visual symptoms), mostly happen before a headache, but can also occur during or after a headache. Most prevalent visual auras are flashing lights, blind spots and zigzag lines. Other sensory auras that occur are ringing in the ears, smelling an odor, speaking difficulty, numbness or tingling, or an odd taste in the mouth.Classic migraine.Advertisement
- 3Fluctuating levels in estrogen during a woman's menstrual cycle results in this type of migraine.Menstrual migraine.
- 4Typically happens in children, especially those with a genetic history of migraine. This migraine manifests through moderate to severe abdominal pain, and also, through episodes of vomiting and nausea. As adults, children who suffer abdominal migraine will graduate to classic migraine headaches.Abdominal migraine.
- 5Also known as ocular migraine, it involves loss of vision in one eye that can last up to one hour. The loss of vision could be temporary, partial or total. It may or may not be accompanied by a headache.Retinal migraine.
- 6A rare, inherited migraine that is caused genetically by one out of many chromosomes. During a migraine headache attack, one side of the body goes numb or has temporary motor paralysis.Familial hemiplegic migraine.
- 7It manifests as a headache, which usually happens at the back of the head. It has sensory auras that include speaking problems, confusion, dizziness, hearing sounds, and visual hallucinations. It is most apparent in young adults who undergo hormonal changes.Basilar artery migraine.
- 8The victim develops partial or complete paralysis in nerves used for eye movement. This rare migraine requires emergency treatment.Ophthalmoplegic migraine.
- 9An extremely severe headache that lasts for more than 72 hours. It is rare and admission to the hospital is required for proper monitoring of symptoms and treatment.Status migrainosus.
- 10It starts as a chronic daily headache but over time, the migraine continues as a nauseating, nonstop background headache with fluctuating severity. Its other name is coexisting migraine and tension-type headache. It is a challenge for doctors to treat.Transformed or chronic migraine.
How to deal with migraine headaches
- 1A constant migraine sufferer will have to deal with it throughout his lifetime. But it is possible to find relief from the pain. It could be a pharmaceutical medication or an alternative treatment.Actually, migraine headaches have no cure.Advertisement
- 2Preventive medicines.
- Antidepressants. These are tricyclic antidepressants that help the brain in maintaining levels of brain chemicals and serotonin, that causes a migraine.
- Cardiovascular drugs. A class of drugs called calcium channel blockers (which are usually prescribed to treat cardiovascular disease), were determined through research, to prevent migraines and relieve the aura symptoms. Although credited to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, beta blockers can prevent migraines and reduce the suffering of the victim.
- Botox. It is the short name for onabotulinumtoxinA, which is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat migraine headaches. To reduce the severity and frequency of attacks in adults, injections are coursed through the muscles of the forehead and the neck. Repeat injections are made every 12 weeks or three months.
- Anti-seizure medicines. They have side effects of hair loss, cramps, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. So doctors only prescribe these medicines to treat migraine headaches when other options are deemed failures. Examples of these type of medicines are valproate sodium (Depacon), gabapentin (Neurontin), and topiramate (Topamax).
- 3As soon as the migraine headache begins, this type of medicine should be taken right away so that the pain will not become too overwhelming to the patient.Pain relieving medicines.
- OTC pain relievers. Over the counter medicines. Examples are naproxen, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Some of these pain relievers were designed especially for migraine headaches and have ingredients which combine the strength of several pain elements. Additionally, caffeine, which has shown promise to help the victim absorb the pain relievers more quickly, has been very helpful towards solving the jigsaw puzzle that is the migraine headache.
- Triptans. These are the most popular prescribed medications for migraine headaches. They include almotriptan (Axert), and rizatriptan (Maxalt), and sumatriptan (Imitrex). They work best for victims who suffer from nausea and are very sensitive to light and sounds during a migraine attack.
- Midrin. It is a combination of three elements: Dichloralphenazone, isometheptene, and acetaminophen. When taken during the early stage of a migraine attack, it stops dilated blood vessels from worsening further.
- Opiates. Narcotics, such as codeine, are migraine headache remedies. They could be addicting, so doctors are cautious in prescribing them.
- Dexamethasone. A corticosteroid prescribed together with other medicines to ease pain. Frequent use is not possible due to risk of steroid toxicity.
- Ergot. Used in combination with caffeine to prevent blood vessel dilation which causes headaches.
- Anti-nausea medicine. Nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting due to a migraine headache, can be treated by physicians through the prescription of anti-nausea medicine such as compazine (prochlorperazine) and phenergan (promethazine).
Alternative treatments to relieve the building tension in the head and the neck
- 1Rest and relaxationAdvertisement
- 4Meditation and yoga
- 5Hot bath
- 6Listening to pleasant, soothing music
- 8Massage therapy
- 9Chiropractic treatment
- 10Vitamins, minerals and herbsAdvertisement