More than just a headache, a migraine causes a slew of uncomfortable symptoms that can last hours or even days. The headaches affect 12 percent of Americans, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, and tend to occur much more often in women. Your Winchester, VA, neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants offer migraine treatments that can ease your pain.
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
Migraines cause severe, throbbing headaches that may make it impossible to function. Pain is often limited to one side of the head. During a migraine, you may become extremely sensitive to sounds and light and might need to retreat to a dark, quiet room until your symptoms subside. Migraine can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Some people experience auras a few hours before a migraine starts. If you have migraines with aura, you may see flashing or zigzag lights, experience a temporary loss of vision, or notice tingling or numbness in your arms, legs, or other parts of the body.
What causes migraines?
It's not exactly clear why migraines occur, although genetics may play a role in the painful headaches. Certain things can trigger migraines. Triggers vary from person to person, but can include:
- Hormonal changes in women
- Strong odors or bright lights
- Weather changes
- Lack of sleep
- Skipping meals
- Anxiety and stress
- Tobacco or caffeine use
- Foods (Some people experience migraines after consuming chocolate, yeast, processed meat, alcohol, fruits, pickled foods, aged cheeses or foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
How are migraines treated?
Over-the-counter pain relievers may not be strong enough to treat migraine pain. Your Winchester neurologists can offer prescription drugs that are more effective in treating pain and can also provide medications that reduce nausea. If you have chronic or daily migraines, you may benefit from taking preventive medications that reduce or prevent migraines.
Keeping a headache log will help you identify your migraine triggers. If you get a migraine every time you eat blue cheese, eliminating the cheese from your diet may be a simple way to reduce migraines. Relaxation or stress-relief techniques can be helpful if you notice that you often get migraines after a stressful day at work or school.
Don't suffer unnecessarily with migraine symptoms. Call your Winchester, VA, neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828 to schedule an appointment.