Migraines: Not Just A Common Headache

Migraines are a very painful and often debilitating form of headache. The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but they’re thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. About 1 in 10 people suffer from migraines- which are classified as a chronic neurological disease.

Common symptoms of a migraine:

  • Your head pain is moderate or severe and often the pain may be hard to endure or even unbearable
  • The pain can be isolated to one side of the head or on both.  Some patients experience migraines around their eyes and behind their cheeks
  • Your head pain causes a throbbing, pounding, or pulsating sensation
  • Your head pain gets worse with physical activity or any movement
  • You may experience nausea and/or vomiting
  • You may be sensitive to light, noise and/or smells
  • Your head pain is severe enough to make you miss school, work or other activities (or it keeps you from being at your best when you do those activities)
  • A migraine attack lasts anywhere from four hours to several days

What are the treatments of a Migraine: 

In most cases migraines can be treated at home.  The use of over the counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen or naproxen taken quickly then resting in a dark room cane ameloriate the symptoms.  Sometimes the addition of caffeine (e.g. coffee or a soda) can also help resolve the hedache.  However, if your migraine is causing significant nausea/vomiting or pain then a trip to the urgent care may be necessary.  There are medications that can assist in controlling the symptoms that are not available over the counter.

ExpressMD Urgent Care providers are ready to evaluate you and provide medications, if necessary, to help temporarily alleviate your migraine until you can see your regular doctor.

Once you have established care with a neurologist you may require daily medications to prevent migraine symptoms from even starting.

What causes Migraines:

Migraine causes are somewhat unknown, however many people can find causation with different triggers.  Some of the common triggers of migraine include:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption or elimination
  • Flickering lights/strobes
  • Poor air quality (including string smells)
  • Weather changes (humidity, barometric pressure)
  • Hormonal changes based off of pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, or medications
  • Medications
  • Food (MSG, nitrate rich foods, aged foods, or caffeine)

ExpressMD staff is here 7 days a week next time you need treatment for your migraine.