Migraines can be debilitating to those who get them. They can range in symptoms from throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, to extreme sensitivity to sound and light. Attacks can last for hours, even days, keeping you from work or regular activities. Some people get warning symptoms before the headache begins, such as blind spots, tingling, or flashes of light. Read below about 5 things you may not know about migraines.
1. Migraine causes are undetermined.
Science does not yet know what causes migraines although environmental factors and genetics can have influences. Changes to the brainstem and how it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may contribute to them. Brain chemicals such as serotonin may also contribute to migraines. Research is ongoing as to how these parts of the brain play a part in migraine headaches.
2. Migraine triggers can set off a headache.
There are many common triggers of migraine headaches. Managing and being aware of these triggers is one way to reduce migraines. These triggers include hormonal changes especially in women, foods and food additives, alcohol and caffeine, stress and sensory stimuli, sleep patterns, physical exertion, weather or barometric fluctuations, and some medications.
3. Managing migraines can cause additional issues.
Managing migraines reduces pain and other symptoms, but can also cause additional problems. Some pain relievers can cause abdominal upset including ulcers. Overuse of medications can cause addiction or overuse symptoms. Some migraine medications can cause serotonin syndrome, which can affect cognition, behavior, muscle control, and even may result in death.
4. Lifestyle changes can prevent migraines.
Some lifestyle changes have been proven to help reduce or eliminate migraines in patients including:
- Learn to cope strategy
- Consistent daily schedule
- Regular exercise
- Reducing estrogen
- Using transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation device (t-SNS)
5. Migraine symptoms may mimic other disease symptoms.
Migraine symptoms often mimic symptoms of other conditions. These symptoms include:
- Vision loss
- Pins and needles in legs or arms
- Weakness in face or part of body
- Difficulty speaking
- Hearing sounds or music
- Jerking uncontrollably
Since getting a migraine is a serious condition, it is important to seek a physician trained in migraine care such as a vascular doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Migraines can last from four to 72 hours on average.
If you suffer from frequent migraines, the Georgia Vascular Institute is here to help. GVI uses a SphenoCath device to provide a procedure called a sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) block. This quick, simple, and comfortable in-office procedure provides immediate relief to migraine and headache pain through administering anesthetics to the nasal cavity. This procedure blocks the pain without needles, cotton swabs, or harsh medicines. With low risks and high success rates, it is safe for adults and children alike.
The professionals at GVI are here to halt the pain and disruptions to everyday life that migraines cause. Reach out to our migraine specialists today by scheduling an appointment. We have several convenient locations in the metro Atlanta area including Atlanta, Forest Park, Stockbridge, and Jonesboro.