Coping with Migraine Headaches

If you have ever experienced a migraine headache, you know how debilitating they can be. The intense pain, as well as the accompanying symptoms like nausea and light sensitivity can be enough to drive you into bed for the duration. This can be extremely inconvenient if you feel the warning signs of an oncoming headache while driving, working or taking care of your children. A migraine headache can put a damper on vacations, celebrations and everyday life. Because these headaches can get in the way of your daily routine and activities, it is important to understand the causes of migraines so that you can more effectively prevent and treat them.

Causes of Migraines

Although the actual causes of migraines are still a mystery to doctors, there are some basic facts that are known about these headaches. They seem to be the result of a change in body chemistry and the blood vessels within the brain. Two of the chemicals in particular that appear to be linked to migraine headaches are dopamine and serotonin. A combination of the release of these chemicals, along with an expansion of blood vessels results in inflammation and pain. There are a number of triggers that are thought to affect this condition. These can include certain types of food, stress, birth control pills and smoking. Many migraine sufferers find that by eliminating these triggers, the incidence of headaches are greatly reduced.

Prevention of Migraines

There are other methods of migraine headache prevention besides avoiding the triggers that appear to cause the headaches. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep and taking care of yourself during stressful times of life can help prevent episodes. You can also avoid bright lights, since migraine sufferers tend to have a lower threshold for light-induced pain. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol can also be a problem for a person who suffers from frequent migraine headaches. If these methods do not appear to be effective enough, there are medications that can be taken to help prevent migraines as well. Your doctor can help you find the best prevention for your individual case.

Treatment of Migraines

Many migraine sufferers prefer to use homeopathic treatments in dealing with their headaches. These can include a cool compress on the forehead that may actually help to regulate the blood vessels causing the problem, and plenty of rest and sleep until the pain subsides. You can also try taking acetaminophen and a cup of black coffee, or an over-the-counter medication for migraine relief. If your migraine headaches are frequent or extremely intense, your doctor can prescribe medication for you.

Related Information and Products

A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
Migraine - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
A migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from a few hours to 3 days. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
Migraine - Wikipedia
Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. The pain is often on one side of your head. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea and weakness.