Make It Stop!

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

A migraine headache is an intense, painful headache. Migraine headaches are often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Most migraines last 4 to 72 hours, but symptoms of the headache may last longer. More than 12 percent of Americans, or 36 million people, suffer from migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation. Each person’s migraine experience is different: migraines can last several hours or several days. Some people experience a migraine one or more times a week, and others may have a migraine once a year.

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However, unlike pain elsewhere in your body, a bad headache really can’t be ignored. If you have had a lasting, pounding headache and it is accompanied with other symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or numbness and tingling, please do not thoughtlessly take painkillers. At Art Of Care, Inc. we recommend to seek medical attention right away. People who suffer from migraines take migraine-specific medication and can usually tell immediately when the pain begins that it is a migraine rather than a tension headache because the symptoms often do include nausea and visual changes.

Doctors also prescribe specific medication for cluster headaches, which are a rare but extremely painful and characterized by acute pain on one side of the head that occurs in clusters — sporadically throughout the day or over several weeks. People suffering from cluster headaches tend to pace around and act very agitated, in contrast to the migraine sufferer, who usually just wants to lie down in a dark, quiet place.

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However, medicine isn’t always the answer. For tension headaches, a cold compress to the forehead, massage, meditation or light exercise such as a brisk walk can help tremendously. Tension headaches can be caused by everything from recurring stress, poor nutrition, exposure to chemicals or fumes, dehydration, lack of exercise, too much exercise or overuse of medication.

For those experiencing chronic migrainetreatment involves both lifestyle changes and medical approaches. Discussing your headaches with your physician is essential to find out why you are experiencing chronic migraine. Once the diagnosis is known, the right therapies can be started, including medications to treat the acute pain, and other drugs to stop those headaches from occurring. 

If you get headaches frequently and don’t know why, documenting details until a pattern emerges might be a good solution. Once you find a trigger, do your best to avoid it and try to maintain a regular schedule of sleeping, eating and exercise.

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