What is a migraine?
A migraine headache causes throbbing or pulsing pain that starts on one side of your head. Lasting for hours or days, migraines are the second most common type of headache in adults.
You may notice certain activities or foods trigger your migraine. Common triggers include:
- Fluctuations in hormones
- Food additives such as aspartame
- Red wine
- Bright lights
- Change in the weather
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
Symptoms of migraines vary and may occur in stages.
- Prodrome: Prodrome occurs one or two days before your migraine hits and may cause constipation, changes in your mood, or a stiff neck. These changes may be subtle but can serve as a warning that a migraine is coming on.
- Aura: Aura can occur before or after your migraine. During this phase you may experience visual, sensory, or speech disturbances, such as seeing flashes of light or feeling pins and needles in your extremities.
- Attack: This is the stage marked by the throbbing or pulsing pain you feel in your head. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision during an attack. Sensitivity to light is also common. An attack can last from a few hours up to 72 hours.
- Postdrome: Postdrome is the stage that follows the pain. During this stage, which can last up to 24 hours, you may feel drained, confused, weak, or moody. You may also continue to feel sensitivity to light.
How are migraines treated?
The team at My Primary Care Clinic uses a combination of methods to help you manage your migraine pain.
To relieve symptoms during an attack, the team may recommend:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Triptans: prescription medication that constricts blood vessels to relieve pain
- Ergots: prescription medication that relieves pain from a prolonged migraine
- Indomethacin: a suppository prescription medicine that alleviates nausea
If you’re prone to migraines, the team may recommend treatments to help stop an attack, such as:
- Antidepressants: to improve brain chemistry
- Cardiovascular medications: to reduce severity of your migraine
- Antiseizure medications: to reduce frequency of the headache
For help with your migraine pain, call the office or book an appointment online. Walk-ins welcome.