Nearly 70% of women suffer from migraine attacks. It tarts with a dull, throbbing pain at the arch of your eyebrow. At its peak, though, it feels like a train is running over your head.
Find out how migraines happen, and the common myths and facts on treating it, so you can be prepared—and armed—when migraines start.
Myth: a migraine is just a bad headache
Migraine is caused by the expansion of blood vessels, headache is caused by the narrowing of blood vessels. Therefore, the medicine that can treat a headache can actually worsen a migraine.
Myth: I know I have a migraine when my head hurts
Throbbing pain is a symptom but there are others. You may feel nausea, vomiting, auras (light spots, blind spots, flashing lights, tingling in the ears), light sensitivity, numbness, shoulder pain and stiffness, vertigo, higher heart rate, dry mouth. Knowing these other symptoms can help you recognize a migraine early on, and take the proper precautions
Myth: Migraine lasts only for a few hours
Migraines can actually last for several days! Left untreated it can even to ischemic stroke, the third leading cause of death in the United States. One survey documented that 27% of people under 45 who had a stroke experienced a migraine before the attack.
Myth: I can only let the migraine pass
You can actually prevent and control migraine by using doctor prescribed drugs and employing other non drug treatment, such as sleeping in a dark and cool room with sleep mask, reducing stress through relaxation techniques, applying cold water to your face or exposing yourself to cold, fresh airm and placing ice packs or heat packs on the back of your neck.
To prevent migraine you can eat regularly to maintain your blood sugar level and minimize computer glare on your screen. Also avoid your personal migraine triggers, which can include certain scents or foods.
The foods that lead to migraines usually dilate the blood vessels: some kinds of fish, chocolate, aged or fermented chese, foods that contain MSG or nitrates. Alcohol can also cause or worsen a migraine attack.
Other people are sensitive to temperature changes or loud noises. While you can’t control the weather or environment, you can prepare yourself by bringing migraine medication when you know you’ll be exposed to those situations.
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