Do you suffer from painful migraine headaches? Literally millions of Americans do, and here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, our five physicians and their team of compassionate experts help people control their migraine headaches. Read on to learn more about this puzzling, often debilitating condition and how we can help.
What is a migraine?
The National Headache Foundation says that migraines are brain-based, caused by an imbalance of naturally-occurring chemicals. They may begin as a low-grade ache in one area of the head and then progress to intense, widespread, throbbing pain.
My migraines last about four or five hours. Is this typical?
Healthline says migraines last anywhere from four to 72 hours. They progress through fairly distinct phases, and as they resolve, they leave patients feeling quite fatigued. Weakness and confusion often accompany this recovery phase, as well.
My vision acts up with my migraines. What's going on?
Vision often blurs as a migraine starts. However, some people have what's called ocular migraines which express with little to no pain but cause distressing visual disturbances such as temporary blindness, zig-zag lines, stars or spots.
Can food and activity trigger migraines?
Yes, they can. Too much physical activity, lack of sleep, consumption of red wine, cheese, chocolate, and more may initiate migraines. The American Migraine Foundation reports that stress commonly triggers these headaches. A small percentage of migraine sufferers experience a warning that a headache is developing. This warning is called an aura—an unusual visual, tactile or auditory disruption.
How can my headaches be controlled?
Self-care is an important part of migraine management. Here at our Winchester, VA, office, we will assist you in identifying your triggers and will develop a treatment plan to control them. Some over-the-counter medications reduce pain and other symptoms. Additionally, cold compresses, sitting or resting in a darkened room, and massaging your temples/forehead may help. Your neurologist may recommend prescription medications, such as beta-blockers, or even injections of BOTOX to limit the movement of certain muscles of the face and scalp.
Find out more about migraines
The more you know about your headaches, the more empowered you will be to manage them. For expert and compassionate help, please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for an in-office consultation with one of the physicians in our migraine clinic. Phone us today at (540) 967-1828.