Headaches can be excruciating and annoying at the same time. They are one of the most common medical conditions experienced by people at some point in their life. Headaches can happen to anyone, irrespective of their gender, age, and race. They can be a sign of emotional distress or stress and can aggravate anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, or migraine. People suffering from headaches frequently can face problems in coping up with their work and personal life. Headaches are of different types; migraine, tension, cluster, exertional, and hypnic headache.
What are Migraine Headaches?
A migraine is a chronic headache that is often combined with vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light. The problems can last for some hours to some days at a stretch. It causes a severe pulsing sensation or a throbbing pain, generally only on one portion of the head.
Some patients can also experience an aura during and after a migraine attack. It can also accompany blind spots, flashes of light, tingling sensations on one side of the leg, arm, and face, and obstruction in speaking. You can control this issue with the right mediations and healthy lifestyle choices.
Migraine Attack Causes / Triggers
Migraine headaches happen due to a medical condition called migraine. Though doctors are still unaware of the exact migraine headache causes, it is somewhat related to the genes and genetic modifications in the brain! Overactive nerve cells can trigger the process of migraine. These cells release certain chemicals like CGRP and serotonin and swell the blood vessels. Here are some common migraine headache causes:
- Anxiety and stress can lead to the release of certain substances that lead to a headache
- Food items and drinks like aged cheese, hotdogs, pepperoni, lunchmeats, and alcohol can trigger a migraine
- Sudden change in weather, strong winds, changes in altitude can cause a migraine
- Consumption of caffeine can trigger acute migraine
- Frequent skipping of meals can lead to migraine headache
- Any changes in sleeping pattern and sleep disruption can also lead to migraine
- Any severe hormonal changes can be a cause of migraine
- Dehydration can also give rise to migraine headache
- Some specific medications can lead to migraine as a side-effect
- Exposure to loud noise and bright lights can trigger migraine
Lifestyle Tips/Changes to manage Migraine Attack
Here are some tips for managing migraine attacks and their frequency:
- Lights – As soon as you realize you have a migraine headache, turn off the lights and lie down on the bed. Close your eyes and try to relax a bit.
- Hot and Cold compress – This is an effective method to manage migraines. Apply a hot and cold compress on the back of your neck and take a deep breath.
- Sleeping hours – Try to fix your sleeping time. Take smaller naps to avoid any disturbance in your sleeping patterns
- Unwind – End your day with some soothing music or your favourite show. Avoid any kind of exposure to loud sounds.
- Eat wisely – Make sure you don’t skip meals and avoid food items that can trigger a migraine. Refer to a food journal for healthy eating habits.
- Manage Stress – Simplify your life, take a break, manage your time, enjoy, relax, and have a positive outlook towards life.
- Exercising – Stay away from obesity and an inactive lifestyle. Design your workout plan and follow it religiously
Home Remedies for Migraine
Some simple home remedies can help you in controlling this condition:
- Lavender Oil – Regular application of lavender oil can ease migraine pain within some time. You can inhale it directly or can apply it to the temples for faster relief.
- Feverfew – Have you heard about fever few? It is a herb similar to a daisy flower. Experts believe that this herb is quite effective in relieving migraine within 15-20 minutes.
- Peppermint Oil – The menthol present in peppermint oil is quite effective in controlling migraines. You can apply a few drops on your forehead or temples for better results. Makes sure you stay away from bright light and loud sound after that.
Treatment Options for Migraine
Your neurologist might ask you to go for a CT scan or MRI before starting the treatment. The primary aim of the procedure shall be to block the triggers and stop the headache.
- Medications for Relief – Your doctor can give you some medicines that can help you in getting rid of the excruciating migraine headache. These include pail relievers, Triptans, Opioid medicines, anti-nausea drugs, and Lasmiditan.
- Preventive Medications – These medicines are prescribed to control the triggers before they initiate pain. They include blood pressure control medicines, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, botox injections, and CGRP antibodies.
Migraine can be controlled with the right food intake and medications. Make sure you consult a reputed neurologist and have a regular check-up after that. You can take a lot of precautionary measures to curb the triggers and prevent frequent migraine attacks.