Migraines are no ordinary headache, and if you’ve ever had a migraine, you know only too well there’s no comparison between the two. Gazelle Aram, MD, at Expert Care Center in Delray Beach, Florida, is a pain management specialist who offers a range of effective therapies that help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. For more information, call Expert Care Center or book an appointment online today.

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Migraines Q & A

Migraines are headaches that are often debilitating as they don’t just cause extreme head pain, but also other symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness

Sometimes people who have migraines experience auras, which could appear as lights or spots in front of your eyes, or affect your other senses. Auras originate from the nervous system and disrupt your normal senses.

Migraines are a condition that affects certain people and not others, so unlike headaches which everyone gets now and then, only some people experience migraines. For most people who do get migraines, they’re impossible to work through, and resting somewhere quiet and dark is the only answer.
People who get migraines regularly can often tell when one is on the way, as they learn to identify the signs from previous experience.

While there’s no definitive answer to what causes migraines, there are certain triggers, and some groups of people are more likely to experience migraines. Known triggers for migraine attacks include:
  • Taking estrogen medications
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Eating processed foods, very salty foods, or strong cheeses
  • Eating irregularly and fasting
  • Food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate
  • Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
  • Stress
  • Bright lights or glare from the sun
  • Powerful smells
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Intense physical activities
  • Changes in the weather
To help determine what your triggers are, it’s useful to start recording everything that happened prior to your migraine starting, each time you have one. After several episodes, you can compare the notes you made and see if anything is the same each time.

Migraine treatments tend to focus on using medications to stop you from having migraines so often, or prevent your migraines from developing or worsening once they start.

While regular headaches respond well to over-the-counter medications like aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen, most people find these treatments less effective for migraines.

Alternatives include:

  • Preventative medications such as: B-Blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Atypical antidepressants, etc
  • Abortive medications such as: Triptans, Ergotamine
  • Anti-nausea medicine
  • Anti-seizure drugs
  • Neurotoxin injections
  • Nerve Blocks

It is also important to make sure that the headaches are truly migraines and not other types of headaches such as cervicogenic headaches, cluster headaches, tension, etc.

To find out more about headache treatments, call Expert Care Center or book an appointment online today.