Are you experiencing severe headaches as well as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and/or sound? Chances are, you are suffering from a migraine attack. About six percent of men and around 18 percent of women may experience migraine headaches in their lifetime. People who experience migraines must consult with the doctors of Los Angeles Pain Clinic for them to be given various forms of medical treatment. Our doctors can also provide expert advice for patients on how to alleviate the causes of migraines.
According to studies, though not all are felt, there are four possible phases of a migraine; and these are the following:
- Prodrome The first phase of migraine, this may occur hours or days before migraine is experienced. During this phase, one may have an altered mood, suffer from excessive sleepiness, have their muscles stiffen, as well as other symptoms.
- Aura This phase can immediately precede the attack. This may only be felt by 20 to 30 percent of those who suffer migraines. Here, one may experience disturbance of vision by seeing flashes of light or zigzag lines, feel needle or pin-like stinging in the hand, arm, face, and mouth.
- Pain or headache phase During this phase, headaches may be felt in one or both sides of the head. This usually lasts from four hours to as long as three days.
- Postdrome This fourth and final phase of migraine may or may not be felt by the patients. Here the person may feel soreness that comes with the feeling of tiredness, weakness, and may suffer cognitive difficulties
What Causes Migraine Headaches?
While the real cause of migraines are still unknown, studies say that genetics play a huge factor in developing this condition. Hormone levels also are a factor as to why people get migraines. Women are more vulnerable in experiencing this kind of headaches than men. While no specific cause has been determined yet, here are some of the triggers that could cause a potential migraine:
- Allergies and allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
- Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
How is Migraine Headaches Treated?
Since no definite cause has been determined yet, there are ways to prevent and stop migraines. To avoid experiencing one, you should avoid the triggers that cause migraine attacks. For people that suffer from recurring cases of migraine, there are preventive medications that help lessen, if not totally prevent migraine attacks. However, if you are currently experiencing migraine, there are many over-the-counter NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or a combination of aspirin and cola with caffeine. These will help lessen and take away the pain of migraines. However, if you feel nauseous and are sensitive to light and sound, you can consult your physician to get triptans or other medicines that can help alleviate and take away these symptoms of migraines. You can also try the following:
- Get enough sleep
- Stay away from stress
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoiding certain foods that can trigger migraines
- Stay active by doing regular physical exercise
In the end, preventive medication and a healthy lifestyle change can help lessen the chances of you experiencing migraines. This way, you won’t need to put up with the suffering that you have to go through when migraine attacks strike.